An interface for supporting asynchronous multi-level collaborative information retrieval

Research output: ResearchConference contribution

A great deal of research into Collaborative Information Retrieval (CIR) has assumed that search team members have the same level of unrestricted access to information. However, case studies and observations from different domains including government, healthcare and legal, have suggested that CIR sometimes involves people with unequal access to information. This type of scenario has been referred to as Multi-Level CIR (MLCIR). In addition to supporting collaboration, MLCIR systems must ensure that there is no unintended disclosure of sensitive information, this is an under investigated area of research. In this paper we present results of an evaluation of an interface we have designed for MLCIR scenarios. Pairs of participants used the interface under 3 different information access scenarios for a variety of search tasks. These scenarios included 1 CIR and 2 MLCIR scenarios, namely: full access (FA), document removal (DR) and term blacklisting (TR). Design interviews were conducted post evaluation to obtain qualitative feedback from participants. Evaluation results showed that our interface performed well for both DR and FA scenarios but for TR, team members with less access had a negative influence on their partner’s search performance, demonstrating insights into how different MLCIR scenarios should be supported. Design interview results showed that our interface helped the participants to reformulate their queries, understand their partner’s performance, reduce duplicated work and review their team’s search history without disclosing sensitive information.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationACM SIGIR Conference on Human Information Interaction & Retrieval 2017
Place of PublicationNew York
Number of pages10
StatePublished - 7 Mar 2017
EventACM SIGIR Conference on Human Information Interaction & Retrieval 2017 - Oslo and Akershus University College of Applied Sciences, Oslo, Norway
Duration: 7 Mar 201711 Mar 2017


ConferenceACM SIGIR Conference on Human Information Interaction & Retrieval 2017
Abbreviated titleCHIIR 2017
Internet address

    Research areas

  • collaborative information retrieval, multi-level, access to information, full access, document removal, term blacklisting, information retrieval, asynchronous collaboration, information access, interface design, non-uniform access

Bibliographical note

© {Htun, N. N., Halvey, M., Baillie, L. | ACM} {2017}. This is the author's version of the work. It is posted here for your personal use. Not for redistribution. The definitive Version of Record was published in ACM SIGIR Conference on Human Information Interaction & Retrieval 2017,

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