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Article
Publication date: 3 December 2018

Abu Shamim Mohammad Arif and Jia Tina Du

Collaborative information searching is common for people when planning their group trip. However, little research has explored how tourists collaborate during information…

Abstract

Purpose

Collaborative information searching is common for people when planning their group trip. However, little research has explored how tourists collaborate during information search. Existing tourism Web portals or search engines rarely support tourists’ collaborative information search activities. Taking advantage of previous studies of collaborative tourism information search behavior, in the current paper the purpose of this paper is to propose the design of a collaborative search system collaborative tourism information search (ColTIS) to support online information search and travel planning.

Design/methodology/approach

ColTIS was evaluated and compared with Google Talk-embedded Tripadvisor.com through a user study involving 18 pairs of participants. The data included pre- and post-search questionnaires, web search logs and chat history. For quantitative measurement, statistical analysis was performed using SPSS; for log data and the qualitative feedback from participants, the content analysis was employed.

Findings

Results suggest that collaborative query formulation, division of search tasks, chatting and results sharing are important means to facilitate tourists’ collaborative search. ColTIS was found to outperform Tripadvisor significantly regarding the ease of use, collaborative support and system usefulness.

Originality/value

The innovation of the study lies in the development of an integrated real-time collaborative tourism information search system with unique features. These features include collaborative query reformulation, travel planner and automatic result and query sharing that assist multiple people search for holiday information together. For system designers and tourism practitioners, implications are provided.

Details

Online Information Review, vol. 43 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1468-4527

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Article
Publication date: 9 September 2014

Somu Renugadevi, T.V. Geetha, R.L. Gayathiri, S. Prathyusha and T. Kaviya

The purpose of this paper is to propose the Collaborative Search System that attempts to achieve collaboration by implicitly identifying and reflecting search behaviour of…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to propose the Collaborative Search System that attempts to achieve collaboration by implicitly identifying and reflecting search behaviour of collaborators in an academic network that is automatically and dynamically formed. By using the constructed Collaborative Hit Matrix (CHM), results are obtained that are based on the search behaviour and earned preferences of specialist communities of researchers, which are relevant to the user's need and reduce the time spent on bad links.

Design/methodology/approach

By using the Digital Bibliography Library Project (DBLP), the research communities are formed implicitly and dynamically based on the users’ research presence in the search environment and in the publication scenario, which is also used to assign users’ roles and establish links between the users. The CHM, to store the hit count and hit list of page results for queries, is also constructed and updated after every search session to enhance the collaborative search among the researchers.

Findings

The implicit researchers community formation, the assignment and dynamic updating of roles of the researchers based on research, search presence and search behaviour on the web as well as the usage of these roles during Collaborative Web Search have highly improved the relevancy of results. The CHM that holds the collaborative responses provided by the researchers on the search query results to support searching distinguishes this system from others. Thus the proposed system considerably improves the relevancy and reduces the time spent on bad links, thus improving recall and precision.

Originality/value

The research findings illustrate the better performance of the system, by connecting researchers working in the same field and allowing them to help each other in a web search environment.

Details

Aslib Journal of Information Management, vol. 66 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2050-3806

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Article
Publication date: 15 January 2018

Dan Wu, Shaobo Liang and Wenting Yu

The purpose of this paper is to explore users’ learning in the collaborative information search process when they conduct an academic task as a group.

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to explore users’ learning in the collaborative information search process when they conduct an academic task as a group.

Design/methodology/approach

This paper presents a longitudinal study for a three-month period on an actual task. The participants, who were undergraduate students, needed to write a research proposal in three months to apply for funding for a research project, including a three-hour experiment.

Findings

The results show that undergraduates’ learning in the collaborative search process for academic group work included knowledge reconstruction, tuning, and assimilation. Their understanding of the topic concepts improved through the process, and their attitudes became more optimistic. Besides, the learning in the collaborative information search process also enhanced participants’ skills in communication, research, information search, and collaboration. To improve learning outcomes, professional and appropriate academic resources are required, as well as effective division of labor, positive sharing behaviors, and use of collaborative systems.

Practical implications

The future development of collaborative information search systems should focus on the needs of academic research and support for elements such as instant communication and knowledge sharing.

Originality/value

This paper contributes to research into searching as learning by understanding undergraduates’ collaborative search behavior for writing a proposal.

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Article
Publication date: 19 September 2016

Chris Leeder and Chirag Shah

The purpose of this paper is to gain a better understanding of the collaborative information seeking (CIS) behaviors of students conducting authentic group work projects…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to gain a better understanding of the collaborative information seeking (CIS) behaviors of students conducting authentic group work projects, and the features of a collaborative search system that are most useful to these students.

Design/methodology/approach

An exploratory study was conducted with 41 participants in ten groups working on an in class, for-credit group project assignment utilizing a collaborative search system. Quantitative and qualitative data were gathered on the everyday search practices of students over the course of the group project, along with quality scores for the sources found.

Findings

Results showed that student behavior during their CIS related to the quality of their search outcomes, as the effective and efficient searchers found better quality sources. Students’ pre-task attitudes and experiences toward group work also relate to the quality of their search outcomes. Student feedback demonstrated the importance of making collaborative search tools convenient, lightweight, and easy to use.

Practical implications

These findings may be useful to researchers designing and studying the effectiveness of collaborative search tools, and to instructors planning to incorporate group projects into their classes.

Originality/value

In this paper, the authors document the authentic behaviors and attitudes of students conducting group projects in an classroom setting, and offer specific recommendations for developers of collaborative search systems. These findings provide greater context for CIS research into the collaborative search behaviors of students conducting group work projects.

Details

Aslib Journal of Information Management, vol. 68 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2050-3806

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Book part
Publication date: 24 November 2010

Chirag Shah

Collaboration is often required for activities that are too complex or difficult to be dealt with by a single individual. Many situations requiring information-seeking…

Abstract

Collaboration is often required for activities that are too complex or difficult to be dealt with by a single individual. Many situations requiring information-seeking activities also call for people to work together. Often the methods, systems, and tools that provide access to information assume that they are used only by individuals working on their tasks alone. This review points to the need to acknowledge the importance of collaboration in information-seeking processes, to study models, and to develop systems that are specifically designed to enable collaborative information seeking (CIS) tasks. This chapter reviews the literature from various domains including library and information science, human–computer interaction, collaborative systems, and information retrieval. Focus of the review is on the extent to which people work together on information seeking tasks and the systems and tools that are available for them to be successful. Since CIS occurs in the broader context of collaboration in general, a review of literature about collaborations is first undertaken to define it and place it into context with related terms such as cooperation and communication. A more focused review of research follows relating CIS to systems that have attempted to support such interactions. Included are identification and synthesis of a number of core issues in the field and how best to evaluate systems and collaborative tools. Key lessons learned from the review are summarized, and gaps in the literature identified to spur future research and study.

Details

Advances in Librarianship
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-84950-979-4

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Article
Publication date: 18 October 2019

Jia Tina Du, Abu Shamim Mohammad Arif and Preben Hansen

Collaborative information search (CIS) is a growing and significant research area. Query formulation and reformulation is an important search strategy in information search

Abstract

Purpose

Collaborative information search (CIS) is a growing and significant research area. Query formulation and reformulation is an important search strategy in information search. However, limited research has investigated query behavior during CIS. The purpose of this paper is to characterize collaborative query reformulation (CQR) by exploring the sources of collaborative query (CQ) terms and the types and patterns of CQR in the context of tourism information search.

Design/methodology/approach

An empirical study was designed to investigate search query reformulation as tourists performed CIS on a devised interface. A total of 36 participants (in 18 pairs) took part in the study; data were documented in pre- and post-search questionnaires, search logs and chat logs.

Findings

The findings show that participants intermixed individual search and collaborative search during CIS. Participants constructed CQ terms mainly by selecting terms from individual search queries and discussion chat logs. Eight types of CQR were identified, with specialization (82 percent) accounting for the most used search tactics. At most times, participants were found to add terms to the previous query. Findings demonstrated 27 specific CQR patterns; in excess of two-third participants (69 percent) took only one move to reformulate CQ by adding terms, or replacing/using new words.

Practical implications

The results of this research can be used to inform the design of search systems supporting collaborative querying in CIS.

Originality/value

This study is highlighting an important research direction of CQ reformulation in collaborative search while previous studies of the topic are limited, comparing to the vast body of work on query reformulation in individual information search using regular search systems.

Details

Online Information Review, vol. 43 no. 7
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1468-4527

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Book part
Publication date: 10 February 2012

Manuel Burghardt, Markus Heckner and Christian Wolff

Purpose — This chapter illustrates and explains the ambiguity and vagueness of the term social search and aims at describing and classifying the heterogeneous landscape of…

Abstract

Purpose — This chapter illustrates and explains the ambiguity and vagueness of the term social search and aims at describing and classifying the heterogeneous landscape of social search implementations on the WWW.

Methodology/approach — We have looked at different definitions as well as the context of social search by carrying out an extensive literature review, and tried to unify and enhance existing ideas and concepts. Our definition of social search is illustrated by a general review of existing social search engines, which are analyzed and described by their specific features and social aspects.

Findings — The chapter presents a discussion of social search as well as a comparison of existing social search engines.

Social implications — The definition of social search and the comparison of social search engines summarize the many ways people can search the web together and allow for an assessment of future developments in this area.

Originality/value of paper — Although different attempts to define social search have been made in the past, we present an argumentation that unifies some existing definitions and which is different from other interpretations of the social search concept. We present an overview and a comparison of the different genres of social search engines.

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Article
Publication date: 19 September 2016

Kyoungsik Na and Jisu Lee

The purpose of this paper is to explore the differences between collaborative and individual search techniques in a scenario-based task focussed on query behavior…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to explore the differences between collaborative and individual search techniques in a scenario-based task focussed on query behavior, cognitive load, search time, and task type about the search.

Design/methodology/approach

To help understand the influences on searching for relevant information in pairs or individual contexts, the authors conducted an exploratory user study with 30 participants, using two search tasks completed in a controlled laboratory setting.

Findings

On the basis of the analysis, the authors found that collaborative search teams resulted in more queries, more diverse query terms, and more varied query results compared to those working individually. The study results indicated that the cognitive load imposed on the participants did not differ between a collaborative search and an individual search except for the component of performance on the NASA Task Load Index. The results further showed that the total search time was a significant difference on average between the two conditions (i.e. individual information search and collaborative information search) for the second task. And there were significant differences of the mean of total search time between the two tasks for the both conditions. The authors also found that there was no significant relationship between query behavior and the total cognitive load.

Originality/value

The findings from this study have implications for a better understanding of collaborative search interface design, searchers’ cognitive load, query behavior, and general collaborative information search.

Details

Aslib Journal of Information Management, vol. 68 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2050-3806

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Article
Publication date: 16 November 2015

Chirag Shah, Chathra Hendahewa and Roberto González-Ibáñez

The purpose of this paper is to investigate when and how people working in collaboration could be benefitted by an exploratory search task, specifically focussing on team…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to investigate when and how people working in collaboration could be benefitted by an exploratory search task, specifically focussing on team size and its effect on the outcomes of such a task.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper investigates the effects of team sizes on exploratory search tasks using a lab study involving 68 participants – 12 individuals, ten dyads, and 12 triads. In order to assess various factors during their exploratory search sessions, an evaluation framework is synthesized using relevant literature. The framework consists of measures for five groups of quantities relevant to exploratory search: information exposure, information relevancy, information search, performance, and learning.

Findings

The analyses on the user study data using the proposed framework reveals that while individuals working alone cover more information than those working in teams, the teams (dyads and triads) are able to achieve better information coverage and search performance due to their collaborative strategies. In many of the measures, the triads are found to be even better than the dyads, demonstrating the value of adding a collaborator to a search process with multiple facets.

Originality/value

The findings shed light on not only how collaborative work could help in achieving better results in exploratory search, but also how team sizes affect specific aspects – information exposure, information relevancy, information search, performance, and learning – of exploratory search. This has implications for system designers, information managers, and educators.

Details

Aslib Journal of Information Management, vol. 67 no. 6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2050-3806

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Article
Publication date: 21 September 2015

Anika Meyer and Ina Fourie

The purpose of this paper is to explore the value of utilising a holistic ergonomic approach, covering engineering, cognitive and social perspectives, to cultivate…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to explore the value of utilising a holistic ergonomic approach, covering engineering, cognitive and social perspectives, to cultivate beneficial and productive collaborative information seeking (CIS) systems and environments, specifically with regard to three main CIS pillars (control, communication and awareness).

Design/methodology/approach

A qualitative research approach, based on a selective corpus of CIS literature, was utilised to perform a content analysis to note if terms and concepts normally associated with engineering, cognitive and social ergonomics can be used to eliminate terms reflecting issues related to three CIS pillars (control, communication and awareness) that can benefit from a holistic ergonomic approach.

Findings

The content analysis revealed that a fairly extensive amount of holistic ergonomic terminology is prominent within the CIS literature, therefore establishing a connection between the two disciplines: CIS and ergonomics. This suggests that CIS system issues could benefit from the insights of a holistic ergonomic approach.

Research limitations/implications

Since this is an exploratory study the scope of CIS literature utilised in the content analysis was limited to a selection considered most important by the authors; this should be supplemented by further research.

Practical implications

Intended to instigate interest in further exploration of the beneficial and productive implications and practical application of holistic ergonomics in designing CIS systems and environments.

Originality/value

This is the first research paper in the Library and Information Science literature that explores the potential of utilising holistic ergonomics to cultivate CIS systems and environments.

Details

Library Hi Tech, vol. 33 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0737-8831

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