Eugene Garfield
In 1963, I was recruited by Saul Gorn and Morris Rubinoff to teach a course in information retrieval at the University of Pennsylvania Moore School of Electrical Engineering. I found it useful to characterize information retrieval (IR) by a simple dichotomy: information recovery and information discovery. The inspiration for the term recovery comes from the French term retrouver--to find again.

I had, at that time, already been publishing Current Contents for more than five years. The bulk of our readers were research scientists for whom the art of browsing is as natural as life itself. In those days, Current Contents was described as a "current awareness service" or "bibliographic alerting tool." Before Current Contents most scientists went to the library to scan the journals.

Engineers, on the other hand, were rarely seen in the library. They obtained their highly focused information by reading technical reports and recent...

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