Use of mind mapping in search process to clarify information needs and improve search satisfaction

Atiyeh Baghestani Tajali, Azam Sanatjoo, Hassan Behzadi, Hamid R. Jamali Mahmuei

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


A mind map is an approach to the organisation of the human mind that prepares the ground for thinking. Inspired by the function of the mind in handling a situation, this article reports on an empirical study that evaluated the efficiency of mind map techniques and tools in formulating and refining information needs. The study examined graduate students’ Internet information searching. Two simulated search tasks were completed by participants in two search sessions. The results revealed no statistically significant difference between searching with a mind map and without a mind map, and therefore, no advantage could be found for using a mind map in the search process. Participants were happier with their search session when not using mind maps; mind map might help information need clarification, but it is a barrier to interaction and serendipity retrieval. However, this could be due to the search setting where the mind map had to be used as a separate tool and not an integrated component of the search system. The article also discusses some potential benefits of mind mapping for searching.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1417-1427
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Information Science
Issue number5
Early online date13 Dec 2021
Publication statusPublished - 01 Oct 2023


Dive into the research topics of 'Use of mind mapping in search process to clarify information needs and improve search satisfaction'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this