Experimental methods in IIR: The tension between rigour and ethics in studies involving users with dyslexia


Publication date




Document type


Designing user studies in the interactive information retrieval (IIR) paradigm on people with impairments may sometimes require different methodological considerations than for other users. Consequently, there may be a tension between what the community regards as being a rigorous methodology against what researchers can do ethically with their users. This paper discusses issues to consider when designing IIR studies involving people with dyslexia, such as sampling, informed consent and data collection. The conclusion is that conducting user studies on participants with dyslexia requires special considerations at all stages of the experimental design. The purpose of this paper is to raise awareness and understanding in the research community about experimental methods involving users with dyslexia, and addresses researchers, as well as editors and reviewers. Several of the issues raised do not only apply to people with dyslexia, but have implications when researching other groups, for instance elderly people and users with learning, cognitive, sensory or motor impairments.




Permanent URL (for citation purposes)

  • https://hdl.handle.net/10642/7866