To read this content please select one of the options below:

Exploratory search in information systems: a systematic review

Yaxi Liu (School of Economics and Management, Xidian University, Xian, China)
Chunxiu Qin (Department of Information Management, School of Economics and Management, Xidian University, Xian, China)
Yulong Wang (School of Economics and Management, Xidian University, Xian, China)
XuBu Ma (Department of Information Management, School of Economics and Management, Xidian University, Xian, China)

The Electronic Library

ISSN: 0264-0473

Article publication date: 14 February 2024

Issue publication date: 10 April 2024

175

Abstract

Purpose

Exploratory search activities are ubiquitous in various information systems. Much potentially useful or even serendipitous information is discovered during the exploratory search process. Given its irreplaceable role in information systems, exploratory search has attracted growing attention from the information system community. Since few studies have methodically reviewed current publications, researchers and practitioners are unable to take full advantage of existing achievements, which, in turn, limits their progress in this field. Through a literature review, this study aims to recapitulate important research topics of exploratory search in information systems, providing a research landscape of exploratory search.

Design/methodology/approach

Automatic and manual searches were performed on seven reputable databases to collect relevant literature published between January 2005 and July 2023. The literature pool contains 146 primary studies on exploratory search in information system research.

Findings

This study recapitulated five important topics of exploratory search, namely, conceptual frameworks, theoretical frameworks, influencing factors, design features and evaluation metrics. Moreover, this review revealed research gaps in current studies and proposed a knowledge framework and a research agenda for future studies.

Originality/value

This study has important implications for beginners to quickly get a snapshot of exploratory search studies, for researchers to re-align current research or discover new interesting issues, and for practitioners to design information systems that support exploratory search.

Keywords

Acknowledgements

This work was supported by the National Social Science Fund of China (No. 22ATQ002).

Citation

Liu, Y., Qin, C., Wang, Y. and Ma, X. (2024), "Exploratory search in information systems: a systematic review", The Electronic Library, Vol. 42 No. 2, pp. 308-339. https://doi.org/10.1108/EL-11-2023-0264

Publisher

:

Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2024, Emerald Publishing Limited

Related articles