Search goal revision in models of information retrieval

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Citations (Scopus)


Research indicates that considerable amounts of search goal revision can take place during user-system interaction. Following a review of the treatment of this phenomenon in various models of information retrieval, an alternative model is proposed which attempts to explain search goal redefinition more fully, by distinguishing between goal change due to new information gained and goal change due to old knowledge remembered. In the case of the latter, it is postulated that external stimuli, contained for example in system feedback, raise the user's nonconscious knowledge to consciousness, providing the user with a better understanding of their information want and goal. The new model is described as an instance of a more general model of information acquisition, embracing a spectrum of information behaviour, from purposeful query-based searching to incidental encountering.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)352-361
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Information Science
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2006


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