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The foundation of the concept of relevance

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Title
The foundation of the concept of relevance
Abstract
In 1975 Tefko Saracevic declared “the subject knowledge view” to be the most fundamental perspective of relevance. This paper examines the assumptions in different views of relevance, including “the system's view” and “the user's view” and offers a reinterpretation of these views. The paper finds that what was regarded as the most fundamental view by Saracevic in 1975 has not since been considered (with very few exceptions). Other views, which are based on less fruitful assumptions, have dominated the discourse on relevance in information retrieval and information science. Many authors have reexamined the concept of relevance in information science, but have neglected the subject knowledge view, hence basic theoretical assumptions seem not to have been properly addressed. It is as urgent now as it was in 1975 seriously to consider “the subject knowledge view” of relevance (which may also be termed “the epistemological view”). The concept of relevance, like other basic concepts, is influenced by overall approaches to information science, such as the cognitive view and the domain-analytic view. There is today a trend toward a social paradigm for information science. This paper offers an understanding of relevance from such a social point of view.
Publication
Journal of the American Society for Information Science and Technology
Volume
61
Issue
2
Pages
217-237
Date
2010-02-01
Language
en
DOI
10.1002/asi.21261
ISSN
1532-2890
Accessed
2018-04-25T22:21:19Z
Library Catalog
Wiley Online Library
Rights
© 2009 ASIS&T
Citation
Hjørland, B. (2010). The foundation of the concept of relevance. Journal of the American Society for Information Science and Technology, 61(2), 217–237. https://doi.org/10.1002/asi.21261
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Type of contribution