Benefits of using database technology to manage organisations data resources are well established. A sharable natural representation of information as data can be created and the related notion of data independence can then help preserve investment in both data collection and applications development. This talk argues that similar benefits can be gained within a compressed time scale when using database technology to manage data resources during inductive research. Specifically, it describes recent use of database technology, and a temporal data model in particular, within an ongoing study of how - and how effectively - the general public search for information on the Web. Particular benefits are shown to be the ability to dynamically develop semantic models of query transformation as the inductive research progresses. Specifically, we have been able to derive, validate and elaborate models of web searching as the research has progressed from an initial quantitative investigation in which characteristic patterns of query transformation were identified, through to the current qualitative study in which qualitative data is being used to derive explanations for these forms of information seeking behaviour.
Barry Eaglestone BSc, PhD, CEng, CITP, MBCS
Barry Eaglestone is a Senior Lecturer in Information System in the Department ofInformation Studies, University of Sheffield. During 2000-2004 he was also Director of the Centre for Health Information Management Research. Also, since 1998, he has been leader of the departmental Information Systems research group and also of the University of Sheffield Music Informatics research group. Previously, he has been employed as a lecturer, researcher and computing professional at various UK universities and in industry. His research specialises in database theory and technology, with interests in advanced applications, including healthcare, music informatics and museum systems. In recent years he has focused on electronic health records and related data quality issues, information systems support for creativity, and the use of temporal data modelling to better understand web information seeking behaviour. This work has been funded by various bodies, including AHRC, EU Framework 5 and the EPSRC. He has authored over 80 refereed journal and conference publications, written textbooks on relational, object and web databases, and has edited 8 conference proceedings in the areas of databases and health informatics. In addition he has given numerous invited research seminars and lectures in Europe, the United States, Pakistan and China. He has mentored numerous Ph.D. students and reviews research proposals for various funding bodies, including the EPSRC, Irish Health Research Board, and the Science Foundation of Ireland. He is currently a member of the editorial boards for the Health Informatics Journal and the Journal of Music and Meaning.