Modern Portfolio Theory in Information Science

Modern Portfolio Theory in Information Science

Mehdi Rahmani
Assistant Professor, Department of knowledge and information science
Isfahan University, Isfahan, Iran

With the advancement of new technologies and information technologies, the volume of resources published on the web and databases is increasing daily. The web network has become one of the most important sources for accessing information. Therefore, retrieving information related to the user’s needs is of great importance. such a way that the purpose of databases and search engines is to provide the right information to the right users at the right time, however, identifying useful sites and information sources is very difficult for users.

People have to spend a lot of time reviewing the retrieved pages to meet their information needs based on it. For example, after searching, a user looking for information about data mining may encounter hundreds of pages retrieved in Google, which leads to him not being able to identify the appropriate resources for his needs. On the other hand, a coordinated information retrieval system tries to prevent the retrieval of information unrelated to the user’s needs. Therefore, for several years, research has been conducted on improving the performance of search engines and researchers have used new theories to improve the information retrieval process.

—One of the most important theories that can be fruitful in improving the information retrieval process is the portfolio theory.—

One of the most important theories that can be fruitful in improving the information retrieval process is the portfolio theory. This theory was proposed in economics and capital markets and states that investors should diversify their stocks to achieve the expected profit. So, the portfolio theory provides an analysis of how to select stocks and assets for an investor’s stock and asset collection. This research has been conducted to investigate the applications of portfolio theory in Knowledge and information science.

In a general classification, important and influential human factors in the information retrieval process can be divided into five main groups: creators of information sources, indexers, designers of information retrieval systems, users of information retrieval systems, and librarians. In the following, the application and impact of the portfolio theory on each of the groups influencing the recovery process will be discussed.

One of the most important groups influencing information retrieval is the creators of information sources. Information creators should provide information according to the attitude and information needs of users and increase the possibility of creating common points with other influential groups in information retrieval. This action increases the effective and efficient use of information retrieval systems. In general, creators providing information should try to increase information retrieval points based on users’ information needs and their viewing angles so that at least one of the retrieval points matches the user’s needs during the search. Authors should be careful in selecting the searchable parts of the document and increase the searchable points in the document so that users can access at least one of these information retrieval points by presenting their information needs.

Indexing is a strategy that provides easy access to the right information at the right time for the right users.

Portfolio theory can be used in indexing to improve the information retrieval process. According to the principles of the portfolio theory, it can be stated that the indexer should determine several descriptors for the document, increasing the number of descriptors will lead to the possible connection of one of the descriptors with the user’s needs. This may lead to an increase in false shedding. Therefore, to solve this problem, a communication system must be used. The existence of a communication system between words through reference increases the level of confidence, because by referring to the index, searchers can be sure that by having a word, they can get all the documents related to the topic they are looking for. Even though they do not know all the synonyms or different ways of that word.

By using the portfolio theory, it is possible to propose an information retrieval system to increase the number of keywords to identify documents and to provide the possibility of entering keywords of the same subject, common, specific, and related, then put the keywords in thematic categories based on the semantic relationship so that in time Searching for information by the user, it is possible to communicate between the user’s information needs and subject categories.

During the search, the user may search for one or more keywords and several paragraphs in one or more search engines. Using the portfolio theory, it can be said that to be successful in information retrieval, the user must use different methods to search for information and provide their information needs to the search system. In the first part, the user should expand the number of keywords and phrases to achieve his information needs. In the next step, the user should use several different search engines or multiple databases to retrieve their information and not rely solely on providing information through a search engine or database.

Librarians should try to teach users how to access information through various methods based on the portfolio theory. The more users know about information retrieval search methods, the more information retrieval possibilities increase according to their information needs. Also, librarians can play an important role in teaching information literacy to users. Teaching information literacy to users will lead to the creation and strengthening of decision-making power and choice among users in dealing with information.

More information about this article

Cite this article in APA as: Rahmani, M. Modern portfolio theory in information science. (2024, February 9). Information Matters, Vol. 4, Issue 2.


Mehdi Rahmani

Assistant Professor, Department of knowledge and information science, Isfahan University, Isfahan, Iran