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A comparison of primary and secondary relevance judgements for real-life topics

Wakeling, Simon and Halvey, Martin and Villa, Robert and Hasler, Laura (2016) A comparison of primary and secondary relevance judgements for real-life topics. In: Proceedings of the 2016 ACM on Conference on Human Information Interaction and Retrieval (CHIIR '16 ). ACM, New York, pp. 173-182. ISBN 9781450337519

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Abstract

The notion of relevance is fundamental to the field of Information Retrieval. Within the field a generally accepted conception of relevance as inherently subjective has emerged, with an individual’s assessment of relevance influenced by numerous contextual factors. In this paper we present a user study that examines in detail the differences between primary and secondary assessors on a set of “real-world” topics which were gathered specifically for the work. By gathering topics which are representative of the staff and students at a major university, at a particular point in time, we aim to explore differences between primary and secondary relevance judgements for real-life search tasks. Findings suggest that while secondary assessors may find the assessment task challenging in various ways (they generally possess less interest and knowledge in secondary topics and take longer to assess documents), agreement between primary and secondary assessors is high.