Towards “metacognitively aware” IR systems: an initial user study

Genevieve Gorrell (Department of Information Studies, University of Sheffield, Sheffield, UK)
Barry Eaglestone (Department of Information Studies, University of Sheffield, Sheffield, UK)
Nigel Ford (Department of Information Studies, University of Sheffield, Sheffield, UK)
Peter Holdridge (Department of Information Studies, University of Sheffield, Sheffield, UK)
Andrew Madden (Department of Information Studies, University of Sheffield, Sheffield, UK)

Journal of Documentation

ISSN: 0022-0418

Publication date: 24 April 2009

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to describe: a new taxonomy of metacognitive skills designed to support the study of metacognition in the context of web searching; a data collection instrument based on the taxonomy; and the results of testing the instrument on a sample of university students and staff.

Design/methodology/approach

The taxonomy is based on a review of the literature, and is extended to cover web searching. This forms the basis for the design of the data collection instrument, which is tested with 405 students and staff of Sheffield University.

Findings

Subjects regard the range of metacognitive skills focused on as broadly similar. However, a number of significant differences in reported metacognition usage relating to age, gender and discipline.

Practical implications

These findings contribute to the long‐term aims of the research which are to: develop a model of the actual and potential role of metacognition in web searching, and identify strategic “metacognitive interventions” that can be built into an intelligent information retrieval system, driven by the model, capable of enhancing retrieval effectiveness by compensating for metacognitive weaknesses on the part of the searcher.

Originality/value

The value of the paper lies in: the consideration of metacognition in the context of web searching, the presentation of an extensible taxonomy of metacognitive skills, development and testing of a prototype metacognitive inventory, finding of significant differences in reported metacognition usage according to age, gender and discipline, and reflection of the implications of the results for future research into web searching.

Keywords

Citation

Gorrell, G., Eaglestone, B., Ford, N., Holdridge, P. and Madden, A. (2009), "Towards “metacognitively aware” IR systems: an initial user study", Journal of Documentation, Vol. 65 No. 3, pp. 446-469. https://doi.org/10.1108/00220410910952429

Download as .RIS

Publisher

:

Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2009, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Please note you might not have access to this content

You may be able to access this content by login via Shibboleth, Open Athens or with your Emerald account.
If you would like to contact us about accessing this content, click the button and fill out the form.
To rent this content from Deepdyve, please click the button.