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Information About Information: Public Investments in Information Retrieval Research


  • Albert Link


  • Brent Rowe


  • Dallas Wood



Information retrieval (IR) is the science and practice of matching information seekers with the information being sought. Research on IR focuses on improving the effectiveness and efficiency of retrieval techniques and evaluating competing retrieval mechanisms. For example, Internet search engines utilize IR techniques to provide relevant information to users. In the United States, about $29 million of public support has been devoted to IR research over the past two decades. Through the activities of the Text Retrieval Conference (TREC) program with the U.S. National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST). Here, we show empirically that research organizations worldwide that avail themselves of this information have relatively greater IR performance.
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Suggested Citation

  • Albert Link & Brent Rowe & Dallas Wood, 2011. "Information About Information: Public Investments in Information Retrieval Research," Journal of the Knowledge Economy, Springer;Portland International Center for Management of Engineering and Technology (PICMET), vol. 2(2), pages 192-200, June.
  • Handle: RePEc:spr:jknowl:v:2:y:2011:i:2:p:192-200
    DOI: 10.1007/s13132-011-0046-7

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Gregory Tassey, 2005. "Underinvestment in Public Good Technologies," The Journal of Technology Transfer, Springer, vol. 30(2_2), pages 89-113, January.
    2. Elias G. Carayannis & Aris Kaloudis & ├ąge Mariussen, 2008. "Introduction," Chapters,in: Diversity in the Knowledge Economy and Society, chapter 1 Edward Elgar Publishing.
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    More about this item


    Information retrieval; Public goods; Knowledge production function;

    JEL classification:

    • D80 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - General
    • H41 - Public Economics - - Publicly Provided Goods - - - Public Goods


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