Elicitations during information retrieval: implications for IR system design

Amanda Spink*, Abby Goodrum, David Robins, Mei Mei Wu

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalConference articlepeer-review

12 Citations (Scopus)


What elicitations or requests for information do search intermediaries and users with information requests make before and during an information retrieval (IR) interaction - and for what purposes? These issues were investigated in two studies of elicitations during 40 mediated IR interactions - including one study of the user elicitation purposes and another of the search intermediary elicitation purposes. A total of 2409 elicitations were identified - 852 user elicitations within 10 purpose categories and 1557 search intermediary elicitations within 15 purpose categories. The elicitation purposes included requests for information on search terms and strategies, database selection, search procedures, system's outputs and relevance of retrieved items, and users' knowledge and previous information-seeking. Implications for the development of a dialogue-based model of IR interaction and the design of IR systems are also discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)120-127
Number of pages8
JournalSIGIR Forum (ACM Special Interest Group on Information Retrieval)
Publication statusPublished - 1996
Externally publishedYes
EventProceedings of the 1996 19th Annual International ACM SIGIR Conference on Research and Development in Information Retrieval, SIGIR 96 - Zurich, Switz
Duration: 1996 Aug 181996 Aug 22

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Management Information Systems
  • Hardware and Architecture


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