Skip to main content

Seminar this week - System-mediated & User-mediated Collaborative Information Seeking (CIS)

Chirag Shah from University of North Carolina (UNC) at Chapel Hill presented a talk entitled.

System-mediated and User-mediated Collaborative Information Seeking (CIS)


Information seeking is typically seen as a single person activity, done in isolation without the support of other people. It is time we revise this assumption and acknowledge that seeking and using information can be a social activity, done in collaboration with others. Many situations call for such collaboration while seeking information. For instance, a couple planning a vacation have the same information need, but may have different expertise and opinions about how, where, and what aspects of the trip. In most such situations, we end up using different tools, such as browser, messenger, email, etc., in ad hoc manner to accomplish the common goal. Integrated solutions that not only provide the support for such activities seamlessly, but also encourage and facilitate collaborations in impromptu fashion are highly desired. In this talk I will present two different views of doing this - system-mediated collaboration, and user-mediated collaboration. The former can be facilitated using different algorithms working in the back-end, and the latter can be achieved by providing interface level support where the users can decide how they want to divide the task and share the information.

Charag is a doctoral candidate at School of Information & Library Science (SILS) at University of North Carolina (UNC) at Chapel Hill. He received his MS in Computer Science from UMass Amherst, where he worked with Bruce Croft and James Allan on high accuracy retrieval, and topic detection and tracking. At UNC, he has been working with Gary Marchionini and Diane Kelly on various issues concerning exploratory information seeking and interactive information retrieval. He has also worked at many world-renowned research laboratories, such as FXPAL in California and National Institute of Informatics in Tokyo, Japan. His dissertation is focused on collaborative information seeking. He is also interested in social search and question-answering, digital preservation, and contextual information extraction. He has developed several tools for exploratory information seeking and extraction, including "Coagmento" for collaborative information seeking, and "ContextMiner" for capturing contextual information from multiple online sources.

Additional information is available at


Popular posts from this blog

Raspberry Pi Weather Project now live

A project to create a raspberry pi weather station is currently live in the Information School.  The Sheffield Pi weather station has been created by Romilly Close, undergraduate Aerospace Engineering student at the University of Sheffield.  The project was funded by the Sheffield Undergraduate Research Experience (SURE) scheme and is being supervised by Dr Jo Bates, Paula Goodale and Fred Sonnenwald from the Information School. Information about the Sheffield Pi station and how to create your own can be found on the project website .  You can also see live data from the Sheffield Pi station on , and further information can also be found on the Met Office Weather Observations Website .    This work compliments the School’s existing project entitled ‘The Secret Life of a Weather Datum’ which explores socio-cultural influences on weather data.  This project is funded under the AHRC’s Digital Transformations Big Data call.  It aims to pilot a new approach to im

Our Chemoinformatics Group wins Jason Farradane Award

The Information School's Chemoinformatics Research Group has been awarded the 2012 UKeiG Jason Farradane Award , in recognition of its outstanding 40 year contribution to the information field. The prize is awarded to the three current members of the group,  Professor Val Gillet , Dr John Holliday and Professor Peter Willett . The judges recognised the Group's status as one of the world's leading centres of chemoinformatics research, a major contributor to the field of information science, and an exemplar in raising the profile of the information profession. The School has a long association with the Farradane prize. Its second recipient was long time member of staff Professor Mike Lynch in 1980.

Professor Mike Thelwall gives inaugural lecture

Professor of Data Science Mike Thelwall recently gave his inaugural lecture at the University of Sheffield, entitled  How helpful are AI and bibliometrics for assessing the quality of academic research? The lecture, delivered in the University's Diamond building, was introduced by Head of the Information School Professor Briony Birdi. It covered Mike's research into whether Artificial Intelligence can inform - or replace - expert peer review in the journal article publication process and what this could look like, as well as to what extent bibliometrics and citation statistics can play a role in assessing the quality of a piece of research. Mike also discussed whether tools like ChatGPT can accurately detect research quality. The inaugural lecture was well attended by colleagues from around the University.