Hypertext and its implications for library services

J Milne
The dissertation's main intention was to give librarians a clear introduction to the hypertext concept. Rarely do methods of information retrieval arise that have a potential for revolutionizing the way in which people work with information in as many ways as hypertext has. Definition Hypertext provides us with a new way of both storing and retrieving information from a computer database. Information stored in a hypertext system is in the form of small discrete chunks called nodes. These nodes
more » ... nodes. These nodes can consist of any type of machine-readable data eg. text, images, sound, etc. Nodes are connected together by links, and retrieval is achieved by traversing the network from node to node via the links. Nodes are linked together if the content of Lroth nodes are associated in some way. This is the crux of hypertext; the ability to give a user the power to explore the information network in an associative way, without the constraints of conventional linear presentation. This means browsing is very easy; users can respond as they see fit to any piece of information presented, and the information produced corresponds to the personal rieeds of the individual, features very poorly represented in conventional database management systems. Advantages of hypertext Creating and tracing references This is the main feature of hypertext; all references are easily followed. Users can grow their own networks to form customized webs, or simply annotate another's document. Flexibility of nodes and links Forming nodes from the information mass means a hypertext system can be structured in any way appropriate to the information or user, in a hierarchical, relational or network structure. Views of the information base can be local or global.-24