LIBR 202-12
Information Retrieval
Spring 2012 Greensheet

Virginia Tucker
Office Hours: Please contact via email; office hours will be announced.

Greensheet Links
Textbooks and Readings
Course Requirements
iSchool eBookstore
LIBR 202 Resources
Online Resource
Supplemental Readings
DBTextworks Download

The Greensheet is a course syllabus which may be revised before or during the semester.

Students will be automatically enrolled in the D2L course site on the first day of the semester and must logon to the course site in the first two days of the semester.

Course Description

This course covers principles of information retrieval and database design and their application to information systems and services. Emphasis is on models of user information seeking behavior, human information processing, and their relationship to information retrieval systems.

Required: LIBR203 Online Social Networking: Technology and Tools. For more information, see below under Course Requirements.

Course Objectives

Learning Outcomes: Students will be able to

  • Design, query, and evaluate a database information retrieval system, using an appropriate user model;
  • Articulate the fundamental concepts of information retrieval and information-seeking behavior, and employ them in the design and evaluation of systems;
  • Understand the problems inherent in the representation of information in a retrieval system;
  • Be aware of the dominant models used in information retrieval, such as MARC, AACR2, LC Classification, LCSH, and Dublin Core;
  • Understand basic principles of good interface design.

LIBR 202 supports the following SLIS Core Competencies:

  • design, query and evaluate information retrieval systems (Comp E);
  • understand the system of standards and methods used to control and create information structures and apply basic principles involved in the organization and representation of knowledge (Comp G);
  • describe the fundamental concepts of information-seeking behaviors (Comp J).

Course Requirements

Complete LIBR 203: Online Social Networking: Technology and Tools
This is a mandatory 1 unit course that introduces students to the various e-learning tools used in the SLIS program, including Blackboard, Elluminate and Second Life. This course must be completed by all new SLIS students within the first 4 weeks of their first semester. If you have questions about this course, e-mail Debbie Faires or Dale David.

For more information, see

 General Requirements

  • Have the minimal home or work computing environment as described at
  • Be able to download and install the InMagic DB/Textworks software. See Mac users, please also refer to
  • Check the course site three to four times a week for announcements and discussion posts.
  • Refer to the course calendar and submit assignments by the due date. Late assignments are not accepted except in cases of serious illness or family emergency.
  • Label assignments clearly: include your full name, course number, and assignment name on the first page. For the file name, use your last name and the assignment name, e.g., seussExercise1.doc (or docx). Assignments not labeled appropriately may receive reduced credit.

Graded assignments for this course are:

Exercise 1: Attribute Elicitation 70 points
Assignment 1: Description & Database Design 250 points
Midterm Exam 150 points
Exercise 2: Classification 50 points
Assignment 2: Subject Analysis & Evaluation 250 points
Final Exam 150 points
Discussions Participation 80 points
Total 1,000 points

Assignment 1 includes small group activities and project deliverables, with 140 of the 250 points based on a group grade; the remaining points are based on individual assignments submitted separately.

The total number of points received for the assignments and exams will be converted to a letter grade using the standard SJSU SLIS Grading Scale.

Course Calendar
A course calendar is available from the course site at the start of the semester.

Textbooks and Readings

Readings in addition to the required textbooks will be made available on the course site.

Required Textbooks:

  • Morville, P. (2005). Ambient findability: What we find changes who we become. O'Reilly Media. Available through Amazon: 0596007655. arrow gif indicating link outside sjsu domain
  • Rowley, J. & Harley, R. (2008). Organizing knowledge: An introduction to managing access to information (4th ed.). Ashgate. Available through Amazon: 0754644316 arrow gif indicating link outside sjsu domain

Grading Scale

The standard SJSU School of Information Grading Scale is utilized for all iSchool courses:

97 to 100 A
94 to 96 A minus
91 to 93 B plus
88 to 90 B
85 to 87 B minus
82 to 84 C plus
79 to 81 C
76 to 78 C minus
73 to 75 D plus
70 to 72 D
67 to 69 D minus
Below 67 F


In order to provide consistent guidelines for assessment for graduate level work in the School, these terms are applied to letter grades:

  • C represents Adequate work; a grade of "C" counts for credit for the course;
  • B represents Good work; a grade of "B" clearly meets the standards for graduate level work;
    For core courses in the MLIS program (not MARA) — INFO 200, INFO 202, INFO 204 — the iSchool requires that students earn a B in the course. If the grade is less than B (B- or lower) after the first attempt you will be placed on administrative probation.  You must repeat the class the following semester. If -on the second attempt- you do not pass the class with a grade of B or better (not B- but B) you will be disqualified.
  • A represents Exceptional work; a grade of "A" will be assigned for outstanding work only.

Students are advised that it is their responsibility to maintain a 3.0 Grade Point Average (GPA).

University Policies

General Expectations, Rights and Responsibilities of the Student

As members of the academic community, students accept both the rights and responsibilities incumbent upon all members of the institution. Students are encouraged to familiarize themselves with SJSU's policies and practices pertaining to the procedures to follow if and when questions or concerns about a class arises. See University Policy S90-5 at More detailed information on a variety of related topics is available in the SJSU catalog at In general, it is recommended that students begin by seeking clarification or discussing concerns with their instructor. If such conversation is not possible, or if it does not serve to address the issue, it is recommended that the student contact the Department Chair as a next step.

Dropping and Adding

Students are responsible for understanding the policies and procedures about add/drop, grade forgiveness, etc. Refer to the current semester's Catalog Policies section at Add/drop deadlines can be found on the current academic year calendars document on the Academic Calendars webpage at The Late Drop Policy is available at Students should be aware of the current deadlines and penalties for dropping classes.

Information about the latest changes and news is available at the Advising Hub at

Consent for Recording of Class and Public Sharing of Instructor Material

University Policy S12-7,, requires students to obtain instructor's permission to record the course and the following items to be included in the syllabus:

  • "Common courtesy and professional behavior dictate that you notify someone when you are recording him/her. You must obtain the instructor's permission to make audio or video recordings in this class. Such permission allows the recordings to be used for your private, study purposes only. The recordings are the intellectual property of the instructor; you have not been given any rights to reproduce or distribute the material."
    • It is suggested that the syllabus include the instructor's process for granting permission, whether in writing or orally and whether for the whole semester or on a class by class basis.
    • In classes where active participation of students or guests may be on the recording, permission of those students or guests should be obtained as well.
  • "Course material developed by the instructor is the intellectual property of the instructor and cannot be shared publicly without his/her approval. You may not publicly share or upload instructor generated material for this course such as exam questions, lecture notes, or homework solutions without instructor consent."

Academic integrity

Your commitment, as a student, to learning is evidenced by your enrollment at San Jose State University. The University Academic Integrity Policy F15-7 at requires you to be honest in all your academic course work. Faculty members are required to report all infractions to the office of Student Conduct and Ethical Development. The Student Conduct and Ethical Development website is available at

Campus Policy in Compliance with the American Disabilities Act

If you need course adaptations or accommodations because of a disability, or if you need to make special arrangements in case the building must be evacuated, please make an appointment with me as soon as possible, or see me during office hours. Presidential Directive 97-03 at requires that students with disabilities requesting accommodations must register with the Accessible Education Center (AEC) at to establish a record of their disability.

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