Information Retrieval System?
Information Retrieval system is a part and parcel of communication system. The main objectives of Information retrieval is to supply right information, to the hand of right user at a right time. Various materials and methods are used for retrieving our desired information.  The term Information retrieval first introduced by Calvin Mooers in 1951.
Information retrieval is the activity of obtaining information resources relevant to an information need from a collection of information resources. It is a part of information science, which studies of those activities relating to the retrieval of information. Searches can be based on metadata or on full-text indexing. We may define this process as;
Various Author and books define information retrieval variously. Some of them are as:
According to Calvin Mooers (1951), “Searching and retrieval of information from storage according to specification by subject.”
According to J.H. Shera, “Information Retrieval is the process of locating and selecting data relevant to a given requirement.”
Oxford Dictionary define Information Retrieval as, “The tracing and recovery of specific information from stored data.”
Element of Information retrieval:
Information Retrieval mainly consists of four elements, i.e.
a. Information carrier.
b. Descriptor.
c. Document address.
d. Transmission of information.
Now these elements are briefly discussed in below;
  1. Information carrier: Carrier is something that carries, hold or conveys something. On the other hand, Information Carrier is something that carriers or store information. For example: Film, Magnetic Tape, CD, DVD etc.
  2. Descriptor: Term or terminology that’s used for to search information from storage is known as Descriptor. It is known as key words that we use for search information from a storage device.
  3. Document address: Every document must have an address that identifies the location of that document. Here document address means ISBN, ISSN, code number, call number, shelf number or file number that helps us to retrieve information.
  4. Transmission of Information: Transmission of Information means to supply any document at the hands of the users when needed. Information retrieval system uses various communication channel or networking tools for doing this.
Function of Information Retrieval:
The main functions of Information Retrieval system is to supply right information at the hand of right user at a right time. Functions of Information Retrieval system are as discussed below:
  1. Acquisition: It is the main and first function of Information Retrieval. Acquisition means to collect information from various sources. Firstly the user collects their desired information from various sources. Sources may be Book, document, database, journal etc.
  2. Contest analysis: Second step of Information retrieval system is to analyze their acquired information, and in this step they may take decision is this document they collect is valuable or not.
  3. Content presentation: Information presentation is a system for presenting information to the user. Information should be presenting clearly and effectively so that users can be able to understand them very easily. For this purpose catalogue, bibliography, index, current awareness service will help us a lot.
  4. Creation of file/store: In this stage the library authority creates a new file for storing their collected information, which is ready for presentation. They organize those file by some systematic way.
  5. Creation of search methods: In this stage the authority decide what kinds of search logic they may use for searching and retrieving information.
  6. Dissemination: The last stage of Information retrieval system is dissemination. It is the act of spreading information widely. In the stage the library authority disseminate information to the user by a systematic way.
Techniques of Information retrieval:
The main objective of a Library and Information center is to supply right information in the hands of right user at a right rime. For this they use two techniques for retrieving information more effectively, i.e.
1. Traditional system, and
2. Non-traditional system.
Now those are briefly discussed in below.
1. Traditional system: The main function of a Library and Information center is to acquisition, organizing, preservation and dissemination of materials. For this they follow some traditional system. Such as cataloguing, classification, indexing, abstracting, bibliography, authority file etc. Some of them are briefly discussed in below:
  • Catalogue: catalogue is a list of books of one or more library, by which we can identify the location of any books. This contains Author name, Title name, Edition, Number of volume, subject, ISBN etc.
  • Index: An index is an alphabetical list at the back of a book saying where particular things are mentioned in the book. It is a very important tool for information retrieval.
  • Abstract: An abstract is a concise and accurate representation of the contents of a document. It also serves as a retrieval tools.
  • Bibliography: Bibliography is also a list of books, not confined to a particular library. It acts as a retrieval tool.
  • Authority file: It is a list of files contains call number and class number without any specific rules. It also an important tools for retrieving information.
2. Non-traditional/modern system: Besides some traditional system, in the present time we also use some non-traditional/modern system for information retrieval. It is two types.
a. Sami-automatic system: It is a combination of man and machine, use for retrieving information. Besides the use of machines, man’s intelligence and physical labour also needed for retrieving information. Ctalogue card, punch card, EDGE notes card, Apache card etc. are some of the example of semi-automatic system.
b. Automatic system: Use of automatic retrieval tools are first introduced in late 1980s. In this system all the retrieval works are done by the help of computer and other related modern technologies. Physical labours of man’s are not important here. Some of the automatic tools are: Computer, modem, CD-ROM, Hard-Disk, Floppy Disk, and Internet etc.
  • Computer: an electronic machine that can store and work with large amounts of information.
  • CD-ROM: a compact disc used as a read-only optical memory device for a computer system.
  • Hard Disk: a rigid non-removable magnetic disk with a large data storage capacity.
  • Floppy Disk: a flexible removable magnetic disk (typically encased in a hard plastic shell) for storing data.
  • Internet: a global computer network providing a variety of information and communication facilities, consisting of interconnected networks using standardized communication protocols.

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10 thoughts on “Information Retrieval System

  1. Thank you,
    Your notes help a lot in my studies as I am undorgoing distance leaning and should deal on my own,
    Thank you,
    Please tell me what are the best qalities to be a good librarian?

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