Support for explicit collaboration is an essential part of many information seeking activities. Explicit collaboration differs from recommendation systems and collaborative filtering in that the people engaged in information seeking have an explicitly shared information need. Hence, rather than inferring similarities of intent, the system is free to mediate the sharing of knowledge and division of labor [3]. In the last few years, several research groups have pursued various issues related to collaboration during search, including support for awareness [8], algorithmic mediation [7], conceptual [6] and software frameworks for collaboration [2], and collaboration through a range of different devices [1, 4, 5].

Explicit collaboration implies a certain emphasis on interaction. The system has to not only communicate search results to the user, but also mediate communication and data sharing among its users. There are new algorithms that need to be invented that use inputs from multiple people to produce search results, and new evaluation metrics need to be invented that reflect the collaborative and interactive nature of the task. Finally, we need to integrate the expertise of library and information science researchers and practitioners by revisiting real-world information seeking situations with an eye for shared information needs and explicit collaborative search.

We are looking for several kinds of submissions for the workshop.

  • Position/work in progress papers, four to six pages in length in the standard ACM format, the describe work related to collaborative information seeking. Papers will be reviewed and a few will be selected for presentation; the rest will be invited to submit a poster instead. The submission date for papers is June 29th.
  • Posters will present late-breaking or just-starting work in the area. Poster submissions should be two to four pages in the standard ACM format. The workshop schedule will include time to view and discuss posters. The submission date for posters is June 29th.
  • Demos will show working systems that support collaborative search or other information seeking activities. Each accepted demo will include a plenary presentation slot of 15-20 minutes, during which significant aspects of the system can be described and demonstrated. We will also set aside time for a session (analogous to the poster session) during which participants could interact with the demo presenters and their systems. Those interested in participating in the demo track should submit a two to four page paper in the standard ACM format that will describe key aspects of the system and how it supports various aspects of collaborative search. These papers are also due on June 29th. In addition, because system building is sometimes unpredictable in the amount of time involved, to help us plan the schedule, we would like to receive an interim progress report from those intending to participate in the demo track some time in early September. Such a report should consist of a series of screenshots or a video screen-cast (or even a link to a working online system!). We’ll settle on an exact date once we see how many participants we have in this track. Demo acceptances are contingent on having a viable system available in time for the workshop; if participants are unable to get a system ready in time for the workshop, we will reclassify the submission as a Poster.

Please use this EasyChair link to submit your papers, posters, etc.


  1. Amershi, S. and Morris, M.R. CoSearch: A System for Co-located Collaborative Web Search. Proceedings of CHI 2008.
  2. Fernandez-Luna, J.M., Huete, J.F., Perez-Vazquez, R., and Rodriguez-Cano, J.C. CIRLab: A Groupware Framework for Collaborative Information Retrieval. Information Processing & Management, 2010.
  3. Foley, C. and Smeaton, A.F. Division of Labour and Sharing of Knowledge for Synchronous Collaborative Information Retrieval. Information Processing & Management, 2010.
  4. Morris, M. R. and Horvitz, E. SearchTogether: An Interface for Collaborative Web Search. Proceedings of UIST 2007.
  5. Morris,M.R., Lombardo, J., and Wigdor, E. WeSearch: Supporting Collaborative Search and Sensemaking on a Tabletop Display. Proceedings of CSCW 2010.
  6. Pickens, J. and Golovchinsky, G. (2007) Collaborative Exploratory Search. Proceedings of the Human Computer Information Retrieval (HCIR) Workshop, Nov 2, 2007.
  7. Pickens, J., Golovchinsky, G., Shah, C., Qvarfordt, P., and Back, M. Algorithmic Mediation for Collaborative Exploratory Search. Proceedings of SIGIR 2008.
  8. Shah, C. and Marchionini, G. Awareness in Collaborative Information Seeking. JASIST, 2010.

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