The effect of task type on preferred element types in an XML‐based retrieval system


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Journal of the American Society for Information Science and Technology;62 (9)


The American Society For Information Science And Technology

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This article examines the influence of task type on the users' preferred level of document elements (full articles, sections, or subsections) during interaction with an XML-version of Wikipedia. We found that in general articles and subsections seemed to be the most valuable elements for our test subjects. For information-gathering tasks, this tendency was stronger, whereas for fact-finding tasks, the sections seemed to play a more important role. We assume from this that users select different information search strategies for the two task types. When dealing with fact-finding tasks, users seem more likely to use one single element as an answer, while when they do information gathering, they pick information from several elements.



This is a preprint of an article published in Journal of the American Society for Information Science and Technology, Volume 62, Issue 9, pages 1717–1726, September 2011. Article as published can be found at URL:

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