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How can we better support users with non-uniform information access in collaborative information retrieval?

Htun, Nyi Nyi and Halvey, Martin and Baillie, Lynne (2017) How can we better support users with non-uniform information access in collaborative information retrieval? In: ACM SIGIR Conference on Human Information Interaction & Retrieval 2017. ACM, New York.

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Abstract

The majority of research in Collaborative Information Retrieval (CIR) has assumed that collaborating team members have uniform information access. However, practice and research has shown that there may not always be uniform information access among team members, e.g. in healthcare, government, etc. To the best of our knowledge, there has not been a controlled user evaluation to measure the impact of non-uniform information access on CIR outcomes. To address this shortcoming, we conducted a controlled user evaluation using 2 non-uniform access scenarios (document removal and term blacklisting) and 1 full (uniform) access scenario. Following this, a design interview was undertaken to provide interface design suggestions. Evaluation results showed that neither of the 2 non-uniform access scenarios had a significant negative impact on collaborative and individual search outcomes. Design interview results suggested that awareness of team’s query history and intersecting viewed/judged documents could potentially help users share their expertise without disclosing sensitive information. We also provide important design recommendations to better support users with non-uniform information access in CIR.