This thesis describes the UNITE project which provides browsing and search of taxonomically indexed resources in a wide range of media types (text, images, hypercard stacks, etc.). The server provides remote access to any taxonomically structured domain and supports mirroring, which helps distribute the client load, and enables the client to try alternative servers if its first choice is unavailable.
Users are active participants in the project. Through a review mechanism, they can contribute new resources to the database and provide feedback through our comments page. These feedbacks allowed us to research and develop new ways to browse available resources. These efforts in designing the UNITE system indicated that users initially found hierarchical browsing structures to be an easy way to locate information. As users evaluated the browsing mechanism they became familiar with available resources. With this familiarity of the information domain also came a desire to more precisely focus their queries.
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