© 2017

Social Information Seeking

Leveraging the Wisdom of the Crowd

  • Offers a concise introduction to a new field concerned with seeking and acquiring information from social spaces on the Internet

  • Intertwines general information research with social networking and other collaborative aspects of information seeking activities

  • Combines theoretical work with practical considerations and evaluation techniques


Part of the The Information Retrieval Series book series (INRE, volume 38)

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xxvi
  2. Foundation

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 1-1
    2. Chirag Shah
      Pages 3-12
    3. Chirag Shah
      Pages 13-27
    4. Chirag Shah
      Pages 29-42
  3. Social Dimension of Information Seeking

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 43-43
    2. Chirag Shah
      Pages 45-74
    3. Chirag Shah
      Pages 75-90
  4. Collaborative Dimension of Information Seeking

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 91-91
    2. Chirag Shah
      Pages 93-116
  5. Current State and Future Directions

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 131-131
    2. Chirag Shah
      Pages 133-148
    3. Chirag Shah
      Pages 149-164
  6. Back Matter
    Pages 165-177

About this book


This volume summarizes the author’s work on social information seeking (SIS), and at the same time serves as an introduction to the topic. Sometimes also referred to as social search or social information retrieval, this is a relatively new area of study concerned with the seeking and acquiring of information from social spaces on the Internet. It involves studying situations, motivations, and methods involved in seeking and sharing of information in participatory online social sites, such as Yahoo! Answers, WikiAnswers, and Twitter, as well as building systems for supporting such activities.

The first part of the book introduces various foundational concepts, including information seeking, social media, and social networking. As such it provides the necessary basis to then discuss how those aspects could intertwine in different ways to create methods, tools, and opportunities for supporting and leveraging SIS. Next, Part II discusses the social dimension and primarily examines the online question-answering activity. Part III then emphasizes the collaborative aspect of information seeking, and examines what happens when social and collaborative dimensions are considered together. Lastly, Part IV provides a synthesis by consolidating methods, systems, and evaluation techniques related to social and collaborative information seeking. The book is completed by a list of challenges and opportunities for both theoretical and practical SIS work.

The book is intended mainly for researchers and graduate students looking for an introduction to this new field, as well as developers and system designers interested in building interactive information retrieval systems or social/community-driven interfaces.


Social Information Retrieval Social Search User-Generated Content Social Networks Social Content Sharing Social Network Analysis Social Media Collaborative Information Seeking

Authors and affiliations

  1. 1.School of Communication & InformationRutgers UniversityNew BrunswickUSA

About the authors

​Chirag Shah is Associate Professor of Information and Computer Science at Rutgers University. His research interests include studies of interactive information retrieval/seeking, especially those involving social and collaborative aspects. He has published extensively on these topics, and received several grants and awards for his work. His research falls under and uniquely connects computer science, data science, and information science.

Bibliographic information

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