The purpose of this study is to carry out a direct comparison of a hypertex
t-based bibliographic retrieval system with a traditional Boolean-based ret
rieval system, each using the same database. Novice and experienced searche
rs were assigned to either a prototype hypertext system called HyperLynx or
to a traditional Boolean system and were asked to perform a set of search
tasks. The study revealed that the Boolean system performed better than the
hypertext system for search tasks with a large number of relevant items. S
earcher experience level did not play a significant role for either system.
Findings elf the study have implications for the design of future informat
ion retrieval systems that take advantage of the best features of both appr
oaches for more effective and efficient retrieval of highly structured data
bases. (C) 1998 Elsevier Science Ltd. All rights reserved.