Collaborative browsing and visualization of the search process

Michael B. Twidale, David M. Nichols

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


We describe how to support the process of collaborative browsing and how to integrate support for the social aspects of information searching activities into information systems and particularly their interfaces. The use of library resources is often stereotyped as a solitary activity. However, informal observations indicate significant collaboration between users despite the fact that existing systems fail to support this. We describe the Ariadne system which does attempt to support collaboration by providing a visualization of the search process. Storage of search histories as digital objects allows them to be manipulated and communicated. An explicit representation of a search history supports discussion of search strategies and concepts by explicit pointing to prior activities even when one of the participants may be a novice lacking the appropriate vocabulary. Several different types of activity, synchronous and asynchronous, remote and co-located, can be supported by search process re-use. We outline some of the issues of privacy concerned with the storage of users' searches.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)177-182
Number of pages6
JournalAslib Proceedings
Issue number7-8
StatePublished - 1996
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Information Systems
  • Library and Information Sciences


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