In August of 2005 we inaugurated a new research tool to users of the NAP website, the "Active Skim." Via links in the Tables of Contents, every chapter of our 3500+ online books can be skimmed, and can be explored further by clicking on key terms from the chapter.
The basic skim presents the most significant single chunk of text from every page in the chapter, as identified by our programs. This is an imperfect, but nonetheless effective, means of enabling a reader/researcher to get the gist of a chapter, and to focus in on particular pages of interest.
We also provide the 30 most significant terms derived from that chapter in the right-hand column.
Click on a term, and you will see, in context, the chunks from any page from that chapter containing the term. From there, you can open the exact page for more further, contextualized, reading.
Again, though imperfect, our textual analysis approach does a reasonably good job at identifying key ideas and themes from a chapter.
We believe the Active Skim tool has the potential to significantly assist researchers, students, specialists, and others more rapidly make use of our online resources. We'd be delighted to hear from you
at email@example.com, with your comments and suggestions about how to improve this interface even further.
- Top terms for each chapter are identified and evaluated for significance within the chapter algorithmically, from ASCII text
- Skim chunks algorithmically extracted on the fly from ASCII text, based on preponderance of high-value terms
- Metadata contained in book-specific XML files
Most of the Active Skim architecture and approach was invented by Michael Jensen
based on lexical analysis systems currently under patent review. Visual look designed by Sara Sandhu; usability design by Megan Ellinger.