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On the role of user-centred evaluation in the advancement of interactive information retrieval

Petrelli, D. (2008) On the role of user-centred evaluation in the advancement of interactive information retrieval. Information Processing and Management, 44 (1). pp. 22-38. ISSN 0306-4573


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This paper discusses the role of user-centred evaluations as an essential method for researching interactive information retrieval. It draws mainly on the work carried out during the Clarity Project where different user-centred evaluations were run during the lifecycle of a cross-language information retrieval system. The iterative testing was not only instrumental to the development of a usable system, but it enhanced our knowledge of the potential, impact, and actual use of cross-language information retrieval technology. Indeed the role of the user evaluation was dual: by testing a specific prototype it was possible to gain a micro-view and assess the effectiveness of each component of the complex system; by cumulating the result of all the evaluations (in total 43 people were involved) it was possible to build a macro-view of how cross-language retrieval would impact on users and their tasks. By showing the richness of results that can be acquired, this paper aims at stimulating researchers into considering user-centred evaluations as a flexible, adaptable and comprehensive technique for investigating non-traditional information access systems.

Item Type: Article
Copyright, Publisher and Additional Information: © 2007 Elsevier B.V. This is an author produced version of a paper published in Information Processing and Management. Uploaded in accordance with the publisher's self-archiving policy.
Institution: The University of Sheffield
Academic Units: The University of Sheffield > Faculty of Social Sciences (Sheffield) > Information School (Sheffield)
Depositing User: Sherpa Assistant
Date Deposited: 12 May 2008 13:57
Last Modified: 08 Feb 2013 16:56
Published Version: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ipm.2007.01.024
Status: Published
Publisher: Elsevier B.V.
Refereed: Yes
Identification Number: 10.1016/j.ipm.2007.01.024
URI: http://eprints.whiterose.ac.uk/id/eprint/3777

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