LAIS 609A (3): Interactive Information Retrieval

GOAL: The goal of this course is to provide an opportunity for doctoral students to undertake focused study of a particular area within the broad field of Library, Archival and Information Studies, based on the expertise of a particular faculty member.  This seminar is focused on interactive information retrieval (IR), an area of study at the nexus of system-centred IR, information seeking research, and human computer interaction.  Interactive IR studies human information seekers and their interactions with information retrieval systems with the twin goals of better understanding system users (human affect, behavior and cognition) and of designing more effective and user-centred retrieval systems. Online search systems are near ubiquitous in contemporary society; this course will enable students to make sense of this phenomenon and contribution to this research field.


Upon completion of this course students will be able to:

  • Identify and analyze the concepts, activities and processes that are central to Interactive IR
  • Critically discuss the key theorists, authors and schools of thought
  • Map the intellectual history and development of key trends
  • Compare and synthesize diverse perspectives on central issues
  • Articulate the relationship between personal research interests and this broader field


  • The research field of Interactive IR: scope and key researchers
  • Models of information interaction
  • The role of individual differences
  • The role of task, domain and context
  • Relevance
  • Evaluation
  • Research design and methods in Interactive IR
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