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Towards quantifying the impact of non-uniform information access in collaborative information retrieval

Htun, Nyi Nyi and Halvey, Martin and Baillie, Lynne (2015) Towards quantifying the impact of non-uniform information access in collaborative information retrieval. In: The 38th Annual ACM Special Interest Group in Information Retrieval Conference. ACM, New York, pp. 843-846. ISBN 978-1-4503-3621-5

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The majority of research into Collaborative Information Retrieval (CIR) has assumed a uniformity of information access and visibility between collaborators. However in a number of real world scenarios, information access is not uniform between all collaborators in a team e.g. security, health etc. This can be referred to as Multi-Level Collaborative Information Retrieval (MLCIR). To the best of our knowledge, there has not yet been any systematic investigation of the effect of MLCIR on search outcomes. To address this shortcoming, in this paper, we present the results of a simulated evaluation conducted over 4 different non-uniform information access scenarios and 3 different collaborative search strategies. Results indicate that there is some tolerance to removing access to the collection and that there may not always be a negative impact on performance. We also highlight how different access scenarios and search strategies impact on search outcomes.