retrieval [English]

InterPARES Definition

n. ~ 1. Activities and processes to get or bring (some thing) back. – 2. Information retrieval · A process of searching, browsing, selecting, and accessing information.

General Notes

Retrieval2 techniques may use specialized techniques for different types of information, such as text, images, audio, or datasets. Retrieval may be based on metadata assigned to digital objects that hold the information, on automated analysis of the content of those objects, or a combination.

Other Definitions


  • Reitz 2004 (†763 s.v. "information retrieval"): The process, methods, and procedures used to selectively recall recorded information from a file of data. In libraries and archives, searches are typically for a known item or for information on a specific subject, and the file is usually a human-readable catalog or index, or a computer-based information storage and retrieval system, such as an online catalog or bibliographic database. In designing such systems, balance must be attained between speed, accuracy, cost, convenience, and effectiveness. (†2652)
  • Wikipedia (†387 s.v. "information retrieval"): The activity of obtaining information resources relevant to an information need from a collection of information resources. Searches can be based on full-text or other content-based indexing. Information retrieval is the science of searching for information in a document, searching for documents themselves, and also searching for metadata that describe data, and for databases of texts, images or sounds. (†2655)
  • Wikipedia (†387 s.v. "image retrieval"): A computer system for browsing, searching and retrieving images from a large database of digital images. Most traditional and common methods of image retrieval utilize some method of adding metadata such as captioning', keywords, or descriptions to the images so that retrieval can be performed over the annotation words. (†2656)
  • Wikipedia (†387 s.v. "document retrieval"): The matching of some stated user query against a set of free-text records. These records could be any type of mainly unstructured text, such as newspaper articles, real estate records or paragraphs in a manual. User queries can range from multi-sentence full descriptions of an information need to a few words. ¶ Document retrieval is sometimes referred to as, or as a branch of, text retrieval. Text retrieval is a branch of information retrieval where the information is stored primarily in the form of text. (†2657)