An interface for supporting asynchronous multi-level collaborative information retrieval

Nyi Nyi Htun, Martin Halvey, Lynne Baillie

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

3 Citations (Scopus)


A great deal of research into Collaborative Information Retrieval (CIR) has assumed that search team members have the same level of unrestricted access to information. However, case studies and observations from different domains including government, healthcare and legal, have suggested that CIR sometimes involves people with unequal access to information. This type of scenario has been referred to as Multi-Level CIR (MLCIR). In addition to supporting collaboration, MLCIR systems must ensure that there is no unintended disclosure of sensitive information, this is an under investigated area of research. In this paper we present results of an evaluation of an interface we have designed for MLCIR scenarios. Pairs of participants used the interface under 3 different information access scenarios for a variety of search tasks. These scenarios included 1 CIR and 2 MLCIR scenarios, namely: full access (FA), document removal (DR) and term black-listing (TR). Design interviews were conducted post evaluation to obtain qualitative feedback from participants. Evaluation results showed that our interface performed well for both DR and FA scenarios but for TR, team members with less access had a negative influence on their partner's search performance, demonstrating insights into how different MLCIR scenarios should be supported. Design interview results showed that our interface helped the participants to reformulate their queries, understand their partner's performance, reduce duplicated work and review their team's search history without disclosing sensitive information.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationCHIIR 2017 - Proceedings of the 2017 Conference Human Information Interaction and Retrieval
PublisherAssociation for Computing Machinery
Number of pages10
ISBN (Electronic)9781450346771
Publication statusPublished - 7 Mar 2017
Event2nd ACM SIGIR Conference on Human Information Interaction and Retrieval - Oslo, Norway
Duration: 7 Mar 201711 Mar 2017 (Conference website)


Conference2nd ACM SIGIR Conference on Human Information Interaction and Retrieval
Abbreviated titleCHIIR 2017
Internet address


  • Asynchronous collaboration
  • Information access
  • Information retrieval
  • Interface design
  • Non-uniform access

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Human-Computer Interaction
  • Information Systems


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