© 2005

The Turn

Integration of Information Seeking and Retrieval in Context


  • Well-argued multi-dimensional research framework for IS&R in context (Information Seeking and Retrieval)

  • Flexible research program with its central variables at play

  • Detailed proposals for capture of contexts for IS&R

  • Deep reviews of laboratory, user-centred and cognitive information research

  • Profound discussions of perspectives for information access and acquisition


Part of the The Information Retrieval Series book series (INRE, volume 18)

Table of contents

About this book



The Turn analyzes the research of information seeking and retrieval (IS&R) and proposes a new direction of integrating research in these two areas: the fields should turn off their separate and narrow paths and construct a new avenue of research. An essential direction for this avenue is context as given in the subtitle Integration of Information Seeking and Retrieval in Context. Other essential themes in the book include:

IS&R research models, frameworks and theories; search and works tasks and situations in context; interaction between humans and machines; information acquisition, relevance and information use; research design and methodology based on a structured set of explicit variables - all set into the holistic cognitive approach. The present monograph invites the reader into a construction project - there is much research to do for a contextual understanding of IS&R.

The Turn represents a wide-ranging perspective of IS&R by providing a novel unique research framework, covering both individual and social aspects of information behavior, including the generation, searching, retrieval and use of information. Regarding traditional laboratory information retrieval research, the monograph proposes the extension of research toward actors, search and work tasks, IR interaction and utility of information. Regarding traditional information seeking research, it proposes the extension toward information access technology and work task contexts.

The Turn is the first synthesis of research in the broad area of IS&R ranging from systems oriented laboratory IR research to social science oriented information seeking studies.


Design Generation Integration information retrieval technology

Authors and affiliations

  1. 1.Royal School of Library and Information ScienceCopenhagenDenmark
  2. 2.University of TampereFinland

Bibliographic information

Industry Sectors
Chemical Manufacturing
IT & Software
Consumer Packaged Goods


From the reviews:

This book is a wonderful contribution to a comprehensive understanding of a complete and integrated view of information seeking and information retrieval.

James D. Anderson, Professor Emeritus of Library and Information Science, Rutgers University

"The Turn is a valuable book which aims to demonstrate how and why Information Retrieval (IR) and Information Seeking (IS) research should move side by side. … the book has a very useful section at the end called ‘definitions’ which includes definitions of important concepts of the book in a very informative and succinct way. … The book is … well-supported by a fairly extensive list of references … . I believe ‘the Turn’ is a landmark work in IS&R." (Yazdan Mansourian, Webology, Vol. 3 (3), September, 2006)

"The authors’ thesis is quite straightforward. They argue that two significant strands of research within the information sciences have developed in isolation, when they should be integrated and synergistic. These are research into information seeking … and into information retrieval … . this is a very worthy, and generally convincing, attempt at a synthesis. … It is very well-written … . Indeed, it could be recommended … as a source-book for models in information science. … This admirable book deserves careful study … ." (David Bawden, Journal of Documentation, Vol. 63 (2), 2007)