Information overload, retrieval strategies and Internet user empowerment

Carlson, Christopher N. Information overload, retrieval strategies and Internet user empowerment., 2003 . In The Good, the Bad and the Irrelevant (COST 269), Helsinki (Finland), 3 - 5 September 2003. [Conference paper]


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English abstract

Initial user benefits from search engine technology have been critically degraded over time by the rapid increase of Internet pages. Traditional retrieval strategies therefore yield increasingly poor results due to a dramatic increase in ballast in the results. Search engine users thus increasingly experience information overload. Technical approaches to dealing with this problem have caused an initial euphoria, yet have proven ineffective in solving the problem. Enhancement of user empowerment in the area of Internet-based information retrieval must therefore be grounded in the augmentation of user capabilities. Alternative retrieval strategy approaches including a demonstration of their best areas of application are offered. Issues of information literacy and information anxiety are explored with regard to their relevancy to improving the retrieval skills of non-professional users. Users must redefine their information needs and processing habits. Pre-filtering of perceived information requirements to reduce the amounts of information actively sought and acquired, while upgrading its quality, i.e. improving the precision/recall ratio, is a learnable trait. In terms of securing the future utility of inexpensive, universal-access online information exchange forums such as the Web, it is important that non-professional users learn to navigate successfully in an excessively information-rich environment.

Item type: Conference paper
Keywords: information overload, information retrieval, Internet use, information literacy
Subjects: B. Information use and sociology of information
Depositing user: Christopher N. Carlson
Date deposited: 17 Sep 2004
Last modified: 02 Oct 2014 11:59


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