User-Oriented IR Research Approaches

User-Oriented IR Research Approaches

Iris Xie (University of Wisconsin, USA)
Copyright: © 2008 |Pages: 28
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-59904-240-4.ch001


There exist two approaches in IR system design and research: system-oriented and user-oriented. The system-oriented approach has played the dominant role in the design of IR systems in the past. Only in recent years have system designers begun to accept the need to take the human, socio-technical approach. They recognize that technically-oriented designs cannot satisfy user needs, and as a result, these designs have not succeeded in the market (Shackel, 1997). The traditional model of information retrieval as a match between a request or a query and a set of documents is no longer working. The emergence of the cognitive approach in IR signified a shift from document representation to the representation of the cognitive structure of users (Vakkari, 2003). The new concept is to consider the user as an essential component of the system (Beaulieu, 2000; Robertson & Hancock-Beaulieu, 1992). At the same time, Wilson (2000) also noted the shift from a system-centered approach to a person-centered approach accompanied by a shift from quantitative methods to qualitative methods.

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