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Article
Publication date: 9 May 2016

Pia Borlund

The purpose of this paper is to report a study of how the test instrument of a simulated work task situation is used in empirical evaluations of interactive information

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1353

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to report a study of how the test instrument of a simulated work task situation is used in empirical evaluations of interactive information retrieval (IIR) and reported in the research literature. In particular, the author is interested to learn whether the requirements of how to employ simulated work task situations are followed, and whether these requirements call for further highlighting and refinement.

Design/methodology/approach

In order to study how simulated work task situations are used, the research literature in question is identified. This is done partly via citation analysis by use of Web of Science®, and partly by systematic search of online repositories. On this basis, 67 individual publications were identified and they constitute the sample of analysis.

Findings

The analysis reveals a need for clarifications of how to use simulated work task situations in IIR evaluations. In particular, with respect to the design and creation of realistic simulated work task situations. There is a lack of tailoring of the simulated work task situations to the test participants. Likewise, the requirement to include the test participants’ personal information needs is neglected. Further, there is a need to add and emphasise a requirement to depict the used simulated work task situations when reporting the IIR studies.

Research limitations/implications

Insight about the use of simulated work task situations has implications for test design of IIR studies and hence the knowledge base generated on the basis of such studies.

Originality/value

Simulated work task situations are widely used in IIR studies, and the present study is the first comprehensive study of the intended and unintended use of this test instrument since its introduction in the late 1990’s. The paper addresses the need to carefully design and tailor simulated work task situations to suit the test participants in order to obtain the intended authentic and realistic IIR under study.

Details

Journal of Documentation, vol. 72 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0022-0418

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Article
Publication date: 7 October 2014

Barbara Wildemuth, Luanne Freund and Elaine G. Toms

One core element of interactive information retrieval (IIR) experiments is the assignment of search tasks. The purpose of this paper is to provide an analytical review of…

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1880

Abstract

Purpose

One core element of interactive information retrieval (IIR) experiments is the assignment of search tasks. The purpose of this paper is to provide an analytical review of current practice in developing those search tasks to test, observe or control task complexity and difficulty.

Design/methodology/approach

Over 100 prior studies of IIR were examined in terms of how each defined task complexity and/or difficulty (or related concepts) and subsequently interpreted those concepts in the development of the assigned search tasks.

Findings

Search task complexity is found to include three dimensions: multiplicity of subtasks or steps, multiplicity of facets, and indeterminability. Search task difficulty is based on an interaction between the search task and the attributes of the searcher or the attributes of the search situation. The paper highlights the anomalies in our use of these two concepts, concluding with suggestions for future methodological research related to search task complexity and difficulty.

Originality/value

By analyzing and synthesizing current practices, this paper provides guidance for future experiments in IIR that involve these two constructs.

Details

Journal of Documentation, vol. 70 no. 6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0022-0418

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 4 December 2018

Cliff Loke, Schubert Foo and Shaheen Majid

Keywords search is intuitive, simple to use and convenient. It is also the de facto input interface for textual and multimedia retrieval. However, individuals often…

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1943

Abstract

Purpose

Keywords search is intuitive, simple to use and convenient. It is also the de facto input interface for textual and multimedia retrieval. However, individuals often perform poorly when faced with exploratory search tasks that are common during learning, resulting in poor quality searches. The purpose of this paper is to examine how adolescent learners search and select videos to support self-learning. The findings allow for the identification of design concepts of video retrieval interface and features that can facilitate better exploratory searches.

Design/methodology/approach

Participants were assigned two customized video search tasks. The think-aloud protocol is used to allow participants to verbalize their actions, thoughts and feeling. This approach offered rich insights to the participants’ cognitive processes and considerations when performing the search tasks.

Findings

This study identified five themes for exploratory video search behavior: selection of internet resources, query formulation/reformulation, selection of the video(s) for preview, getting acquainted with the video content, and making a decision for the search task. The analysis of these themes led to a number of design concepts, ranging from supporting exploration of topics to better interaction with metadata.

Practical implications

The findings can inform future development of dedicated video retrieval systems interfaces that seeks to facilitate effective exploratory searches by learners.

Originality/value

This study contributes by suggesting design concepts for video retrieval system developers to support exploratory video searches.

Details

Aslib Journal of Information Management, vol. 71 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2050-3806

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Article
Publication date: 10 October 2016

Miamaria Saastamoinen and Kalervo Järvelin

The purpose of this paper is to investigate information retrieval (IR) in the context of authentic work tasks (WTs), as compared to traditional experimental IR study designs.

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to investigate information retrieval (IR) in the context of authentic work tasks (WTs), as compared to traditional experimental IR study designs.

Design/methodology/approach

The participants were 22 professionals working in municipal administration, university research and education, and commercial companies. The data comprise 286 WTs and 420 search tasks (STs). The data were collected in natural situations. It includes transaction logs, video recordings, interviews, observation, and daily questionnaires.

Findings

The analysis included the effects of WT type and complexity on the number of STs, queries, search keys and types of queries. The findings suggest that simple STs are enough to support most WTs. Complex WTs (vs more simple ones) and intellectual WTs (vs communication, support and editing WTs) include more STs than other WT categories.

Research limitations/implications

Further research should address the problems related to controllability of field studies and enhance the use of realistic WT situations in test-based studies, as well.

Originality/value

The study is an attempt to bring traditional IR studies and realistic research settings closer to each other. Using authentic WTs when studying IR is still rare. The representativeness of the WT/ST types used in interactive IR experiments should be carefully addressed: in the work flow, people seldom consciously recognise separate “STs”. This means that STs may mainly be an academic construct even to the point that studying IR without a decent context does violence to the further understanding of the phenomenon.

Details

Journal of Documentation, vol. 72 no. 6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0022-0418

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 8 January 2018

Helena Lee and Natalie Pang

The purpose of this paper is to examine the role of task and user’s topic familiarity in the evaluation of information patch (websites).

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to examine the role of task and user’s topic familiarity in the evaluation of information patch (websites).

Design/methodology/approach

An experimental study was conducted in a computer laboratory to examine users’ information seeking and foraging behaviour. In total, 160 university students participated in the research. Two types of task instructions, specifically defined and non-specifically defined (general) task types were administered. Mixed methods approach involving both quantitative and qualitative thematic coding were adopted, from the data of the questionnaire surveys and post-experiment interviews.

Findings

In the context of task attributes, users who conducted information seeking task with specifically defined instructions, as compared to the non-specifically defined instructions, demonstrated stricter credibility evaluations. Evidence demonstrated the link between topical knowledge and credibility perception. Users with topical knowledge applied critical credibility assessments than users without topical knowledge. Furthermore, the evidential results supported that the level of difficulty and knowledge of the topic or subject matter associated with users’ credibility evaluations. Users who have lesser or no subject knowledge and who experienced difficulty in the information search tended to be less diagnostic in their appraisal of the information patch (website or webpages). Users equipped with topical knowledge and who encountered less difficulty in the search, exhibited higher expectation and evaluative criteria of the information patch.

Research limitations/implications

The constraints of time in the lab experiment, carried out in the presence of and under the observation of the researcher, may affect users’ information seeking behaviour. It would be beneficial to consider users’ information search gratifications and motivations in studying information evaluations and foraging patterns. There is scope to investigate users’ proficiency such as expert or novice, and individual learning styles in assessing information credibility.

Practical implications

Past studies on information evaluation, specifically credibility is often associated with users’ characteristics, source, or contents. This study sheds light on the context of task type, task difficulty and topical knowledge in affecting users’ information judgement.

Originality/value

One of the scarce studies in relating task orientation, task difficulty and topical knowledge to information evaluations.

Details

Journal of Documentation, vol. 74 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0022-0418

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Article
Publication date: 3 May 2021

Kyoungsik Na

This study explores the effects of cognitive load on the propensity to reformulate queries during information seeking on the web.

Abstract

Purpose

This study explores the effects of cognitive load on the propensity to reformulate queries during information seeking on the web.

Design/methodology/approach

This study employs an experimental design to analyze the effect of manipulations of cognitive load on the propensity for query reformulation between experimental and control groups. In total, three affective components that contribute to cognitive load were manipulated: mental demand, temporal demand and frustration.

Findings

A significant difference in the propensity of query reformulation behavior was found between searchers exposed to cognitive load manipulations and searchers who were not exposed. Those exposed to cognitive load manipulations made half as many search query reformulations as searchers not exposed. Furthermore, the National Aeronautical and Space Administration Task Load Index (NASA-TLX) cognitive load scores of searchers who were exposed to the three cognitive load manipulations were higher than those of searchers who were not exposed indicating that the manipulation was effective. Query reformulation behavior did not differ across task types.

Originality/value

The findings suggest that a dual-task method and NASA-TLX assessment serve as good indicators of cognitive load. Because the findings show that cognitive load hinders a searcher's interaction with information search tools, this study provides empirical support for reducing cognitive load when designing information systems or user interfaces.

Details

Aslib Journal of Information Management, vol. 73 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2050-3806

Keywords

Content available
Article
Publication date: 7 October 2014

Peter Willett

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286

Abstract

Details

Journal of Documentation, vol. 70 no. 6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0022-0418

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Article
Publication date: 2 September 2013

Dan Albertson

The purpose of this paper is to present a framework applicable to interactive video retrieval. The objective of the framework is so that it can be applied conceptually for…

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1248

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to present a framework applicable to interactive video retrieval. The objective of the framework is so that it can be applied conceptually for understanding users and use of video digital libraries, and also practically for designing retrieval components like user interfaces.

Design/methodology/approach

The framework was developed through a user-centered and analytical approach, and serves as an initial attempt at generalizing how users interact when searching and browsing digital video, throughout different situations, along with the general designs that can be supportive.

Findings

The framework is two-fold, yet, together, comprises one set of conceptual findings. The first component of the framework depicts generalized user interactions throughout varying contexts of an interactive video retrieval process, followed by a second component, an illustration of the resulting supportive interface designs or sets of features. Cautions from previous studies not to over generalize the interactive process were heeded.

Research limitations/implications

The implications for such research are based on the understanding that video retrieval will benefit from the advancement of user-centered foundations, which can guide and support design decisions for resources like digital libraries.

Originality/value

The need for this study is rather straightforward: there is currently not enough conceptual research of interactive video retrieval from a user-centered perspective, which contrasts with other areas of information retrieval research where the interaction process has been thoroughly examined for a variety of domains and contexts with implications for different retrieval tools like OPACs, search engines, and article databases.

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Article
Publication date: 31 August 2012

Dan Wu, Daqing He and Xiaomei Xu

With the vast amount of multilingual information available online, it becomes increasingly critical for libraries to use various multilingual information access techniques…

Abstract

Purpose

With the vast amount of multilingual information available online, it becomes increasingly critical for libraries to use various multilingual information access techniques in order to effectively support patrons' online information requests. However, this is still a relatively under‐explored area. This paper aims to study the effectiveness and the adoptability of query expansion and translation enhancement in the context of interactive multilingual information access.

Design/methodology/approach

Relying on an interactive multilingual information access system called ICE‐TEA, the authors conducted a controlled experiment (English‐to‐Chinese translation) involving human subjects to assess the retrieval effectiveness, analyzed the collected search logs to examine users' behavior, and employed pre‐ and post‐questionnaires to obtain users' opinions about the system.

Findings

The results confirm that significant improvement in retrieval effectiveness can be achieved by combining query expansion with translation enhancement (as compared to a case when there is no relevance feedback). However, users' ability to understand, interact with and even perceive the complex process of searches involving the combination of query expansion and translation enhancement may greatly impact the effectiveness of the techniques. The results also confirm that human‐generated queries were short queries, which calls for careful consideration of how longer queries perform in real search because many search engines rely on longer and more complex queries.

Originality/value

This study examines two important relevance feedback techniques in the context of human‐involved multilingual information access. This study is a valuable addition to the information seeking behaviour literature.

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Article
Publication date: 12 September 2016

Dan Albertson and Boryung Ju

The purpose of this paper is to examine perceived self-efficacy of users within an interactive video retrieval context. The motivation for this research includes that…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to examine perceived self-efficacy of users within an interactive video retrieval context. The motivation for this research includes that understanding self-efficacy will provide insight on how potential users target resources and in turn promote and sustain use of retrieval tools and systems.

Design/methodology/approach

A survey method was employed. In total, 270 participants rated levels of perceived self-efficacy for successfully fulfilling different video needs if using a particular system. Perceived self-efficacy was explored quantitatively, both overall and across different potentially influential factors, such as topic type, topic familiarity, system experience, and system context. In addition, open-ended responses on the survey were categorized through content-analysis and subsequently analyzed using weighted frequencies.

Findings

Findings demonstrated significant associations between participants’ perceived self-efficacy and different topical factors, including familiarity and topic type, and also system factors, such as exposure (or experience) and system context.

Research limitations/implications

User confidence is one belief or attitude about technology acceptance, with self-efficacy intersecting multiple factors related to initial and sustained use of technologies. Findings give researchers a look at users’ preconceptions of interactive video retrieval situations, which, in turn, suggest positive implications for future research and design.

Originality/value

Video retrieval comprises considerations that are unique from other contexts due to the structure and physical makeup of video. However, until now, self-efficacy has not been directly examined in relation to video or according to several of the specific retrieval factors as explored in the current study, which is thus warranted.

Details

Journal of Documentation, vol. 72 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0022-0418

Keywords

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