Information retrieval by metabrowsing

F Wiesman*, HJ van den Herik, A Hasman

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


    This article investigates a new, effective browsing approach called metabrowsing. It is an alternative for current information retrieval systems, which still face six prominent difficulties. We identify and classify the difficulties and show that the metabrowsing approach alleviates the difficulties associated with query formulation and missing domain knowledge. Metabrowsing is a high-level way of browsing through information: instead of browsing through document contents or document surrogates, the user browses through a graphical representation of the documents and their relations to the domain. The approach requires other cognitive skills from the user than what is currently required. Yet, a user evaluation in which the metabrowsing system was compared with an ordinary query-oriented system showed only some small indicatory differences in effectiveness, efficiency, and user satisfaction. We expect that more experience with metabrowsing will result in a significantly better performance difference. Hence, our conclusion is that the development of new cognitive skills requires some time before the technologies are ready to be used.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)565-578
    Number of pages14
    JournalJournal of the American Society for Information Science and Technology
    Issue number7
    Publication statusPublished - May 2004




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