Document Type


Publication Date

Spring 3-2015


Informetrics, Information retrieval, Indexing, Research impact, User search patterns


Informetrics and information retrieval (IR) represent fundamental areas of study within information science. Historically, researchers have not fully capitalized on the potential research synergies that exist between these two areas. Data sources used in traditional informetrics studies have their analogues in IR, with similar types of empirical regularities found in IR system content and use. Methods for data collection and analysis used in informetrics can help to inform IR system development and evaluation. Areas of application have included automatic indexing, index term weighting and understanding user query and session patterns through the quantitative analysis of user transaction logs. Similarly, developments in database technology have made the study of informetric phenomena less cumbersome, and recent innovations used in IR research, such as language models and ranking algorithms, provide new tools that may be applied to research problems of interest to informetricians. Building on the author’s previous work (Wolfram 2003), this paper reviews a sample of relevant literature published primarily since 2000 to highlight how each area of study may help to inform and benefit the other.