Diese Datenbank enthält über 40.000 Dokumente zu Themen aus den Bereichen Formalerschließung – Inhaltserschließung – Information Retrieval.
© 2015 W. Gödert, TH Köln, Institut für Informationswissenschaft / Powered by litecat, BIS Oldenburg (Stand: 24. Juni 2018)
1Savolainen, R.: Information-seeking processes as temporal developments : comparison of stage-based and cyclic approaches.
In: Journal of the Association for Information Science and Technology. 69(2018) no.6, S.787-797.
Abstract: Drawing on the ideas of process philosophy, this study elaborates the nature of information-seeking process by approaching them as temporal developments. To this end, a conceptual analysis was made by comparing key models which approach information seeking as stage-based and cyclic processes. The nature of such processes was scrutinized by devoting attention to two main aspects, that is, the temporal order in which the constituents of information seeking appear during the process, and the changes occurring in the constituents. Stage-based approaches draw on linear time concept by conceptualizing such processes as sets of consecutive activities progressing toward a final point. Cyclic approaches conceptualize information-seeking processes as sets of iterative activities which may be repeated. The findings suggest that stage-based and cyclic approaches should not be opposite approaches; rather, they complement each other. However, cyclic models emphasizing the importance of feedback loops have gained more popularity in the modeling of web searching, whereas the interest in the development of stage-based approaches has decreased since the 1990s.
Inhalt: Vgl.: https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1002/asi.24003.
2Savolainen, R.: Contributions to conceptual growth : the elaboration of Ellis's model for information-seeking behavior.
In: Journal of the Association for Information Science and Technology. 68(2017) no.3, S.594-608.
Abstract: Using Ellis's seminal model of information seeking as an example, this study demonstrates how the elaborations made to the original framework since the late 1980s have contributed to conceptual growth in information-seeking studies. To this end, nine key studies elaborating Ellis's model were scrutinized by conceptual analysis. The findings indicate that the elaborations are based on two main approaches: adding novel, context-specific components in the model and redefining and restructuring the components. The elaborations have contributed to conceptual growth in three major ways. First, integrating formerly separate parts of knowledge; second, generalizing and explaining lower abstraction-level knowledge through higher-level constructs; and third, expanding knowledge by identifying new characteristics of the object of study, that is, information-seeking behavior. Further elaboration of Ellis's model toward a theory would require more focused attempts to test hypotheses in work-related environments in particular.
Inhalt: Vgl.: http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/asi.23680/full.
3Savolainen, R.: Information need as trigger and driver of information seeking : a conceptual analysis.
In: Aslib journal of information management. 69(2017) no.1, S.2-21.
Abstract: Purpose The purpose of this paper is to elaborate the picture of the motivators for information behaviour by examining the nature of information need as a trigger and driver of information seeking. Design/methodology/approach Conceptual analysis focusing on the ways in which the researchers have conceptualized information need in models for human information behaviour (HIB). The study draws on conceptual analysis of 26 key studies focusing on the above topic. Findings Researchers have employed two main approaches to conceptualize information needs in the HIB models. First, information need is approached as a root factor which motivates people to identify and access information sources. Second, information need is approached as a secondary trigger or driver determined by more fundamental factors, for example, the information requirements of task performance. The former approach conceptualizes information need as a trigger providing an initial impetus to information seeking, while the latter approach also depicts information need as a driver that keeps the information-seeking process in motion. The latter approach is particularly characteristic of models depicting information seeking as a cyclic process. Research limitations/implications As the study focuses on information need, no attention is devoted to related constructs such as anomalous state of knowledge and uncertainty. Originality/value The study pioneers by providing an in-depth analysis of the nature of information need as a trigger and driver of information seeking. The findings refine the picture of motivators for information behaviour.
Inhalt: Vgl.: http://www.emeraldinsight.com/doi/pdfplus/10.1108/AJIM-08-2016-0139.
4Savolainen, R.: Heuristics elements of information-seeking strategies and tactics : a conceptual analysis.
In: Journal of documentation. 73(2017) no.6, S.1322-1342.
Abstract: Purpose The purpose of this paper is to elaborate the picture of strategies and tactics for information seeking and searching by focusing on the heuristic elements of such strategies and tactics. Design/methodology/approach A conceptual analysis of a sample of 31 pertinent investigations was conducted to find out how researchers have approached heuristics in the above context since the 1970s. To achieve this, the study draws on the ideas produced within the research programmes on Heuristics and Biases, and Fast and Frugal Heuristics. Findings Researchers have approached the heuristic elements in three major ways. First, these elements are defined as general level constituents of browsing strategies in particular. Second, heuristics are approached as search tips. Third, there are examples of conceptualizations of individual heuristics. Familiarity heuristic suggests that people tend to prefer sources that have worked well in similar situations in the past. Recognition heuristic draws on an all-or-none distinction of the information objects, based on cues such as information scent. Finally, representativeness heuristic is based on recalling similar instances of events or objects and judging their typicality in terms of genres, for example. Research limitations/implications As the study focuses on three heuristics only, the findings cannot be generalized to describe the use of all heuristic elements of strategies and tactics for information seeking and searching. Originality/value The study pioneers by providing an in-depth analysis of the ways in which the heuristic elements are conceptualized in the context of information seeking and searching. The findings contribute to the elaboration of the conceptual issues of information behavior research.
Inhalt: Vgl.: http://www.emeraldinsight.com/doi/full/10.1108/JD-11-2016-0144.
5Savolainen, R.: Conceptual growth in integrated models for information behaviour.
In: Journal of documentation. 72(2016) no.4, S.648-673.
Abstract: Purpose - The purpose of this paper is to elaborate the picture of the nature of integrated models for information behaviour from the perspective of conceptual growth in this field of study. Design/methodology/approach - Conceptual analysis focusing on the ways in which the researchers have developed integrated models. The study concentrates on seven key models proposed by Bates, Choo and associates, Godbold, Robson and Robinson, and Wilson. Findings - Researchers have employed four main approaches to develop integrated models. First, such frameworks are based on the juxtaposition of individual models. Second, integrated models are built by cross-tabulating the components of diverse models. Third, such models are constructed by relating similar components of individual models. Finally, integrated models are built by incorporating components taken from diverse frameworks. The integrated models have contributed to conceptual growth in three major ways: first, by integrating formerly separate parts of knowledge; second, by generalizing and explaining lower abstraction-level knowledge through higher level constructs; and third, by expanding knowledge by identifying new characteristics of the object of study. Research limitations/implications - The findings are based on the comparison of seven models only. The integrated frameworks of information retrieval were excluded from the study. Originality/value - The study pioneers by providing an in-depth analysis the nature of integrated models for information behaviour. The findings contribute to the identification of the key factors of information behaviour.
Inhalt: Vgl.: http://www.emeraldinsight.com/doi/abs/10.1108/JDOC-09-2015-0114.
6Hartel, J. ; Savolainen, R.: Pictorial metaphors for information.
In: Journal of documentation. 72(2016) no.5, S.794-812.
Abstract: Purpose Arts-informed, visual research was conducted to document the pictorial metaphors that appear among original drawings of information. The purpose of this paper is to report the diversity of these pictorial metaphors, delineate their formal qualities as drawings, and provide a fresh perspective on the concept of information. Design/methodology/approach The project utilized pre-existing iSquare drawings of information that were produced by iSchool graduate students during a draw-and-write activity. From a data set of 417 images, 125 of the strongest pictorial metaphors were identified and subjected to cognitive metaphor theory. Findings Overwhelmingly, the favored source domain for envisioning information was nature. The most common pictorial metaphors were: Earth, web, tree, light bulb, box, cloud, and fishing/mining, and each brings different qualities of information into focus. The drawings were often canonical versions of objects in the world, leading to arrays of pictorial metaphors marked by their similarity. Research limitations/implications Less than 30 percent of the data set qualified as pictorial metaphors, making them a minority strategy for representing information as an image. The process to identify and interpret pictorial metaphors was highly subjective. The arts-informed methodology generated tensions between artistic and social scientific paradigms. Practical implications The pictorial metaphors for information can enhance information science education and fortify professional identity among information professionals. Originality/value This is the first arts-informed, visual study of information that utilizes cognitive metaphor theory to explore the nature of information. It strengthens a sense of history, humanity, nature, and beauty in our understanding of information today, and contributes to metaphor research at large.
Inhalt: Vgl.: http://dx.doi.org/10.1108/JD-07-2015-0080.
7Savolainen, R.: Information seeking and searching strategies as plans and patterns of action : a conceptual analysis.
In: Journal of documentation. 72(2016) no.6, S.1154-1180.
Abstract: Purpose The purpose of this paper is to elaborate the picture of strategies for information searching and seeking by reviewing the conceptualizations on this topic in the field of library and information science (LIS). Design/methodology/approach The study draws on Henry Mintzberg's idea of strategy as plan and strategy as pattern in a stream of actions. Conceptual analysis of 57 LIS investigations was conducted to find out how researchers have approached the above aspects in the characterizations of information search and seeking strategies. Findings In the conceptualizations of information search and information seeking strategies, the aspect of strategy as plan is explicated most clearly in text-book approaches describing the steps of rational web searching. Most conceptualizations focus on the aspect of strategy as pattern in a stream of actions. This approach places the main emphasis on realized strategies, either deliberate or emergent. Deliberate strategies indicate how information search or information seeking processes were oriented by intentions that existed previously. Emergent strategies indicate how patterns in information seeking and seeking developed in the absence of intentions, or despite them. Research limitations/implications The conceptualizations of the shifts in information seeking and searching strategies were excluded from the study. Similarly, conceptualizations of information search or information retrieval tactics were not examined. Originality/value The study pioneers by providing an in-depth analysis of the ways in which the key aspects of strategy are conceptualized in the classifications and typologies of information seeking and searching strategies. The findings contribute to the elaboration of the conceptual space of information behaviour research.
Inhalt: Vgl.: http://dx.doi.org/10.1108/JD-03-2016-0033.
8Savolainen, R.: Providing informational support in an online discussion group and a Q&A site : the case of travel planning.
In: Journal of the Association for Information Science and Technology. 66(2015) no.3, S.450-461.
Abstract: This study examines the ways in which informational support based on user-generated content is provided for the needs of leisure-related travel planning in an online discussion group and a Q&A site. Attention is paid to the grounds by which the participants bolster the informational support. The findings draw on the analysis of 200 threads of a Finnish online discussion group and a Yahoo! Answers Q&A (question and answer) forum. Three main types of informational support were identified: providing factual information, providing advice, and providing personal opinion. The grounds used in the answers varied across the types of informational support. While providing factual information, the most popular ground was description of the attributes of an entity. In the context of providing advice, reference to external sources of information was employed most frequently. Finally, although providing personal opinions, the participants most often bolstered their views by articulating positive or negative evaluations of an entity. Overall, regarding the grounds, there were more similarities than differences between the discussion group and the Q&A site.
Inhalt: Vgl.: http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/asi.23191/abstract.
9Savolainen, R.: ¬The interplay of affective and cognitive factors in information seeking and use : comparing Kuhlthau's and Nahl's models.
In: Journal of documentation. 71(2015) no.1, S.175-197.
Abstract: Purpose - The purpose of this paper is to elaborate the conceptual picture of the relationships between the affective and cognitive factors in information seeking and use. Design/methodology/approach - Conceptual analysis focusing on the ways in which the affective and cognitive factors and their interplay are approached in the Information Search Process model developed by Carol Kuhlthau, and the Social-Biological Information Technology model elaborated by Diane Nahl. Findings - Kuhlthau's model approaches the cognitive factors (thoughts) and affective factors (feelings) and affective-cognitive factors (mood) as integral constituents of the six-stage information search process. Thoughts determine the valence of feelings (positive or negative), while mood opens or closes the range of possibilities in a search. Nahl's taxonomic model defines the affective and cognitive factors as components of a biologically determined process serving the ends of adaptation to information ecology. The interplay of the above factors is conceptualized by focusing on their mutual roles in the cognitive and affective appraisal of information. Research limitations/implications - The findings are based on the comparison of two models only. Originality/value - So far, information scientists have largely ignored the study of the interplay between affective and cognitive factors in information seeking and use. The findings indicate that the examination of these factors together rather than separately holds a good potential to elaborate the holistic picture of information seeking and use.
10Savolainen, R.: ¬The role of emotions in online information seeking and sharing : a case study of consumer awareness.
In: Journal of documentation. 71(2015) no.6, S.1203-1227.
Abstract: Purpose - The purpose of this paper is to specify the role of emotions played in information seeking and sharing taking place in online discussion forum. To this end, an explorative study was made that focussed on consumer awareness. Design/methodology/approach - The study is based on the analysis of a sample of 30 discussion threads containing altogether 1,630 messages available in Canadian Content - a major online platform. The expression of emotions was examined by using the categories of the interaction process analysis (IPA) model. Two research questions were addressed: first, what kind of emotions are expressed in the four functional areas of the IPA model when discussing online about consumer awareness? and second, what is the role of positive and negative emotions in information seeking and sharing about the above topic? The data were analyzed by means of descriptive statistics and qualitative content analysis. Findings - Of the emotional expressions, 42 percent were positive and 58 percent negative. The most frequent emotions were amusement, contempt, worry, irritation and pleasure. The frequencies of positive and emotional expressions varied in the context of 12 IPA categories. Positive emotions predominated when participants showed solidarity or agreed, while negative emotions were particularly prevalent when indicating antagonism. The repertoire of positive and negative emotions was broadest while providing opinions or sharing information with others. In contrast, emotions were expressed rarely in the context of information seeking. Research limitations/implications - The study is explorative in nature and the findings are based on the examination of an online discussion group focussed on the issues of consumer awareness. Originality/value - The study contributes to the study of affective factors in computer-mediated interaction by empirically specifying the repertoire of positive and negative emotions expressed in online discussion.
Inhalt: Vgl.: http://www.emeraldinsight.com/doi/abs/10.1108/JD-09-2014-0129.
11Savolainen, R.: ¬The structure of argument patterns on a social Q&A site.
In: Journal of the American Society for Information Science and Technology. 63(2012) no.12, S.2536-2548.
Abstract: This study investigates the argument patterns in Yahoo! Answers, a major question and answer (Q&A) site. Mainly drawing on the ideas of Toulmin (), argument pattern is conceptualized as a set of 5 major elements: claim, counterclaim, rebuttal, support, and grounds. The combinations of these elements result in diverse argument patterns. Failed opening consists of an initial claim only, whereas nonoppositional argument pattern also includes indications of support. Oppositional argument pattern contains the elements of counterclaim and rebuttal. Mixed argument pattern entails all 5 elements. The empirical data were gathered by downloading from Yahoo! Answers 100 discussion threads discussing global warming-a controversial topic providing a fertile ground for arguments for and against. Of the argument patterns, failed openings were most frequent, followed by oppositional, nonoppositional, and mixed patterns. In most cases, the participants grounded their arguments by drawing on personal beliefs and facts. The findings suggest that oppositional and mixed argument patterns provide more opportunities for the assessment of the quality and credibility of answers, as compared to failed openings and nonoppositional argument patterns.
Objekt: Yahoo! Answers
12Savolainen, R.: Judging the quality and credibility of information in Internet discussion forums.
In: Journal of the American Society for Information Science and Technology. 62(2011) no.7, S.1243-1256.
Abstract: This exploratory study contributes to research on relevance assessment by specifying criteria that are used in the judgment of information quality and credibility in Internet discussion forums. To this end, 4,739 messages posted to 160 Finnish discussion threads were analyzed. Of the messages, 20.5% contained explicit judgments of the quality of information and credibility in other messages. In the judgments, the forum participants employed both positive criteria such as validity of information and negative criteria such as dishonesty in argumentation. In the evaluation of the quality of the message's information content, the most frequently used criteria pertained to the usefulness, correctness, and specificity of information. In the judgment of information credibility, the main criteria included the reputation, expertise, and honesty of the author of the message. Since Internet discussion forums tend to emphasize the role of disputational discourse questioning rather than accepting the views presented by others, mainly negative criteria were used in the judgments. The generality of our claims is limited because we chose forums that focused on sensitive and value-laden topics; future work could explore credibility and quality judgment in other forums and forumlike venues such as question and answer sites as well as exploring how quality and credibility judgments interact with other aspects of forum use.
Themenfeld: Internet ; Information ; Benutzerstudien
13Savolainen, R.: Source preference criteria in the context of everyday projects : relevance judgments made by prospective home buyers.
In: Journal of documentation. 66(2010) no.1, S.70-92.
Abstract: Purpose - The purpose of this paper is to elaborate how source preference criteria are defined in the context of everyday projects that require the seeking of problem-specific information. More specifically, to find out how information seekers explain their preference criteria by characterizing the perceived strengths and weaknesses of diverse sources. Design/methodology/approach - The approach takes the form of qualitative content analysis of empirical data gathered by semi-structured interviews with 16 prospective home buyers in 2008. The source preference criteria were elicited by making use of the construct of information source horizon. Findings - Networked sources were favoured most strongly, followed by printed media, human sources and organizational sources. Content of information was the primary source preference criterion. Availability of information was a fairly important criterion, while user characteristics, usability of information and situational factors were fairly marginal in this regard. In the definition of the preference criteria, more emphasis was placed on the perceived strengths than weaknesses of sources. Positive qualities such as "provides updated information" were referred to particularly while judging the relevance of the networked sources. Negative qualities like "outdated information" were primarily associated with printed media and organizational sources. Research limitations/implications - The study is exploratory, drawing on a relatively small sample recruited through a web-based service. Thus, the findings cannot be generalized to prospective home buyers. Practical implications - Prospective home buyers tend to favour web-based information sources and services. They should provide the customers with detailed information about the property, including photos. Originality/value - The paper specifies the picture of user-defined relevance judgment in the context of everyday life information seeking.
14Savolainen, R.: Information use and information processing : comparison of conceptualizations.
In: Journal of documentation. 65(2009) no.2, S.187-207.
Abstract: Purpose - The purpose of this article is to elaborate the picture of the processes of information use by comparing conceptualizations provided by the constructivist approach and the human information processing approach. Design/methodology/approach - The article is a conceptual analysis of major articles characterizing information use and human information processing in the fields of information studies and consumer research. Findings - It is found that both research approaches share the assumption that interpreting, relating and comparing qualities of things is fundamental to the information use process. Research limitations/implications - The picture of information use processes is based on the comparison of two research approaches only. Originality/value - Compared to the numerous studies on information needs and seeking, the questions of information use have remained under-researched. The study elaborates the conceptual picture of information use processes by identifying similarities and differences between two major research approaches.
15Savolainen, R.: Interpreting informational cues : an explorative study on information use among prospective homebuyers.
In: Journal of the American Society for Information Science and Technology. 60(2009) no.11, S.2244-2254.
Abstract: This article elaborates the picture of information use from the perspective of interpreting informational cues about the attributes of entities. It is assumed that such activity draws on cognitive mechanisms that are employed as the constituents of diverse interpretation approaches to informational cues. The empirical data of the study were gathered by means of think aloud method from 16 prospective homebuyers in 2008. The participants interpreted informational cues available in announcements published in a printed housing listing issue and a Web-based information system serving the needs of prospective homebuyers. The data were examined by means of qualitative content analysis. By drawing on the findings of Zhang and her associates, the study revealed 7 cognitive mechanisms: identification of key attributes, specification, evaluation, comparison by similarity, comparison by differentiation, explanation, and conclusion. Three major approaches employed in the interpetation of informational cues were identified. The descriptive-evaluative approach draws on the identification and evaluation of individual attributes of an entity. The comparative approach is more sophisticated because it is based on the evaluation of the attributes by their perceived similarity or differentiation. Finally, the explanatory approach draws on the identification of attributes with causal potential.
16Savolainen, R.: Everyday life information seeking.
In: Encyclopedia of library and information sciences. 3rd ed. Ed.: M.J. Bates. London : Taylor & Francis, 2009. S.xx-xx.
Abstract: Information seeking may be analyzed in two major contexts: job-related and nonwork. The present entry concentrates on nonwork information seeking, more properly called everyday life information seeking (ELIS). Typically, ELIS studies discuss the ways in which people access and use various information sources to meet information needs in areas such as health, consumption, and leisure. The entry specifies the concept of ELIS and characterizes the major ELIS models. They include the Sense-Making approach (Dervin), the Small world theory (Chatman), the ecological model of ELIS (Williamson), ELIS in the context of way of life (Savolainen), the model of information practices (McKenzie), and the concept of information grounds (Fisher). ELIS practices tend to draw on the habitualized use of a limited number of sources which have been found useful in previous use contexts. Since the late 1990s, the Internet has increasingly affected the ELIS practices by providing easily accessible sources. Even though the popularity of the networked sources has grown rapidly they will complement, rather than replace, more traditional sources and channels.
Anmerkung: Vgl.: http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/book/10.1081/E-ELIS3.
17Savolainen, R.: Source preferences in the context of seeking problem-specific information.
In: Information processing and management. 44(2008) no.1, S.274-293.
Abstract: The study focuses on the ways in which people define their source preferences in the context of seeking problem-specific information for non-work purposes. The conceptual framework draws on two major concepts, that is, information source horizon and information pathways. The former denotes the ways information sources are mapped in preference order in an imaginary field, while information pathways refers to the sequences in which sources placed on the information source horizon are actually used. The empirical part of the study draws on semi-structured interviews with 18 individuals active in environmental issues. Human sources and the Internet were preferred most strongly in seeking for problem-based information. The major source preferences were content of information, and availability and accessibility. Usability of information sources and user characteristics were mentioned less frequently as preference criteria. Typically, information pathways consisted of the use of 3-4 sources. On average, human and networked sources were favored in the early phases of information seeking. Printed media such as magazines and organizational sources were often used to complement information received from human sources and the Internet. However, the source preferences varied considerably, depending on the requirements of the problem at hand.
Themenfeld: Informationsdienstleistungen ; Suchtaktik
18Savolainen, R.: Information source horizons and source preferences of environmental activists : a social phenomenological approach.
In: Journal of the American Society for Information Science and Technology. 58(2007) no.12, S.1709-1719.
Abstract: This study focuses on the ways in which people define their source preferences in the context of seeking orienting information for nonwork purposes. The conceptual framework of the study combines ideas drawn from social phenomenology and information-seeking studies. The study utilizes Alfred Schutz's model describing the ways in which actors structure everyday knowledge into regions of decreasing relevance. It is assumed that this structuring based on the actor's interest at hand is also reflected in the ways in which an actor prefers information sources and channels. The concept of information source horizon is used to elicit articulations of source preferences. The empirical part of the study draws on interviews with 20 individuals active in environmental issues. Printed media (newspapers), the Internet, and broadcast media (radio, television) were preferred in seeking for orienting information. The major source preferences were content of information, and availability and accessibility. Usability of information sources, user characteristics such as media habits, and situational factors were mentioned less frequently as preference criteria.
Themenfeld: Informationsdienstleistungen ; Benutzerstudien
19Savolainen, R.: Information use as gap-bridging : the viewpoint of sense-making methodology.
In: Journal of the American Society for Information Science and Technology. 57(2006) no.8, S.1116-1125.
Abstract: The conceptual issues of information use are discussed by reviewing the major ideas of sense-making methodology developed by Brenda Dervin. Sense-making methodology approaches the phenomena of information use by drawing on the metaphor of gap-bridging. The nature of this metaphor is explored by utilizing the ideas of metaphor analysis suggested by Lakoff and Johnson. First, the source domain of the metaphor is characterized by utilizing the graphical illustrations of sense-making metaphors. Second, the target domain of the metaphor is analyzed by scrutinizing Dervin's key writings on information seeking and use. The metaphor of gap-bridging does not suggest a substantive conception of information use; the metaphor gives methodological and heuristic guidance to posit contextual questions as to how people interpret information to make sense of it. Specifically, these questions focus on the ways in which cognitive, affective, and other elements useful for the sense-making process are constructed and shaped to bridge the gap. Ultimately, the key question of information use studies is how people design information in context.
Themenfeld: Information ; Suchtaktik
20Savolainen, R. ; Kari, J.: User-defined relevance criteria in web searching.
In: Journal of documentation. 62(2006) no.6, S.685-707.
Abstract: Purpose - The purpose of this paper is to specify user-defined relevance criteria by which people select hyperlinks and pages in web searching. Design/methodology/approach - A quantitative and qualitative analysis was undertaken of talking aloud data from nine web searches conducted about self-generated topics. Findings - Altogether 18 different criteria for selecting hyperlinks and web pages were found. The selection is constituted, by two, intertwined processes: the relevance judgment of hyperlinks, and web pages by user-defined criteria, and decision-making concerning the acceptance or rejection of hyperlinks and web pages. The study focuses on the former process. Of the individual criteria, specificity, topicality, familiarity, and variety were used most frequently in relevance judgments. The study shows that despite the high number of individual criteria used in the judgments, a few criteria such as specificity and topicality tend to dominate. Searchers were less critical in the judgment of hyperlinks than deciding whether the activated web pages should be consulted in more detail. Research limitations/implications - The study is exploratory, drawing on a relatively low number of case searches. Originality/value - The paper gives a detailed picture of the criteria used in the relevance judgments of hyperlinks and web pages. The study also discusses the specific nature of criteria used in web searching, as compared to those used in traditional online searching environments.