A Full text retrieval system is a natural language document retrieval system in which the full text of all documents in a collection is stored on a computer so that every word in every sentence of every document can be located by the machine. This kind of IR System is recently becoming rapidly available online in the field of legal, newspaper, journal and reference book indexing. Increased research interest has been in this field. In this paper, research on full text databases and retrieval systems are reviewed, directions for research in this field are speculated, questions in the field that need answering are considered, and variables affecting online full text retrieval and various role that variables play in a research study are described. Two obvious research questions in full text retrieval have been how full text retrieval performs and how to improve the retrieval performance of full text databases. Research to improve the retrieval performance has been incorporated with ranking or weighting algorithms based on word occurrences, combined menu-driven and query-driven systems, and improvement of computer architectures and record structure for databases. Recent increase in the number of full text databases with various sizes, forms and subject matters, and recent development in computer architecture artificial intelligence, and videodisc technology promise new direction of its research and scholarly growth. Studies on the interrelationship between every elements of the full text retrieval situation and the relationship between each elements and retrieval performance may give a professional view in theory and practice of full text retrieval.
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