Beall (2008) The Weaknesses of Full-Text Searching


This paper provides a theoretical critique of the deficiencies of full-text searching in academic library databases. Because full-text searching relies on matching words in a search query with words in online resources, it is an inefficient method of finding information in a database. This matching fails to retrieve synonyms, and it also retrieves unwanted homonyms. Numerous other problems also make full-text searching an ineffective information retrieval tool. Academic libraries purchase and subscribe to numerous proprietary databases, many of which rely on full-text searching for access and discovery. An understanding of the weaknesses of full-text searching is needed to evaluate the search and discovery capabilities of academic library databases. ?? 2008 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

Citation Jeffrey Beall (2008). The Weaknesses of Full-Text Searching. Journal of Academic Librarianship, vol. 34 no. 5, pp. 438–444. DOI

BibTex entry for this article:

BibTex entry for this article:

archivePrefix = {arXiv},
arxivId = {1304.1186},
author = {Beall, Jeffrey},
doi = {10.1016/j.acalib.2008.06.007},
eprint = {1304.1186},
isbn = {0099-1333},
issn = {00991333},
journal = {Journal of Academic Librarianship},
number = {5},
pages = {438--444},
pmid = {10911016},
title = {{The Weaknesses of Full-Text Searching}},
volume = {34},
year = {2008}

Key ideas


algorithmic searching, metadata-enabled searching, probabilistic searching, searching, stochastic search