Collaborative information synthesis II: Recommendations for information systems to support synthesis activities

Catherine Blake, Wanda Pratt

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


As the quantity of information continues to exceed our human processing capacity, information systems must support users as they face the daunting task of synthesizing information. One activity that consumes much of a scientist's time is developing models that balance contradictory and redundant evidence. Driven by our desire to understand the information behaviors of this important user group, and the behaviors of scientific discovery in general, we conducted an observational study of academic research scientists as they resolved different experimental results reported in the biomedical literature. This article is Part 2 of two articles that report our findings. In Part 1 (Blake & Pratt, 2006), we introduced the Collaborative Information Synthesis (CIS) model, which captures the salient information behaviors that we observed. In this article, we review existing cognitive and information seeking models that have inadvertently reported synthesis behavior and provide five recommendations for systems designers to build information systems that support synthesis activities.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1888-1895
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of the American Society for Information Science and Technology
Issue number14
StatePublished - Dec 2006
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Software
  • Information Systems
  • Human-Computer Interaction
  • Computer Networks and Communications
  • Artificial Intelligence


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