PAPERS: A simple object-oriented text retrieval system

Stephen Wade

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


PAPERS is an interactive text retrieval system which has been developed to support the userfriendly creation, maintenance and searching of "personalised" document collections such as files of references downloaded from an online system. The system is currently used to demonstrate the importance of object-oriented programming techniques in the design of interactive software to students of Information Science at the Department of Information Studies, University of Sheffield. Towards this end, the software has been developed in Turbo Pascal 6 (marketed by Borland) making use of !he language's object oriented tools for programming text-based windows, menus and dialog boxes. The system has the look and feel of a Graphic User Interface (GUI), which is difficult to achieve using traditional programming techniques. The notion of object orientation extends to the way in which the "behind-the-scenes" software has been written - a consequence of this is that the behaviour of the system can be customised by anyone familiar with the conventions of Object-Oriented Programming (OOP) used in Turbo Pascal The search mechanisms in PAPERS are based around the best match retrieval model rather than the more conventional, and much more widely used, Boolean approach. Use of this search mechanism means that the interface to PAPERS is very simple; to carry out a search, the user simply enters a query in natural language, and the system rapidly responds to this query with a ranking of the documents in the database. Enquiries about the commercial availability of PAPERS should be made to the author.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3-17
Number of pages15
JournalEducation for Information
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 1993
Externally publishedYes


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