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An exploration of the relationships between work task and interactive information search behavior



This study explores the relationships between work task and interactive information search behavior. Work task was conceptualized based on a faceted classification of task. An experiment was conducted with six work-task types and simulated work-task situations assigned to 24 participants. The results indicate that users present different behavior patterns to approach useful information for different work tasks: They select information systems to search based on the work tasks at hand, different work tasks motivate different types of search tasks, and different facets controlled in the study play different roles in shaping users' interactive information search behavior. The results provide empirical evidence to support the view that work tasks and search tasks play different roles in a user's interaction with information systems and that work task should be considered as a multifaceted variable. The findings provide a possibility to make predictions of a user's information search behavior from his or her work task, and vice versa. Thus, this study sheds light on task-based information seeking and search, and has implications in adaptive information retrieval (IR) and personalization of IR.