Contexts of relevance for information retrieval system design : research article

Erica Cosijn, Theo Bothma


Users judge relevance in various dimensions, but systems traditionally only support matching of queries to documents or document representations on an algorithmic or topical level. We argue that systems should support users in order for them to make relevance judgements on the level of cognitive relevance, situational relevance, and socio-cognitive relevance as well. Current studies in the field of Information Retrieval and Seeking are discussed from a relevance point of view, in order to show how systems might be adapted to assist users in making multi-dimensional relevance judgements.


Adult Literacy; Public Libraries; South Africa

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ISSN 2304-8263 (online); ISSN 0256-8861 (print)
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