Persistence, vision, networks, collaboration - leadership in information retrieval research


  • Gary Horrocks Editor, eLucidate



The library and information science community has its share of inspirational research pioneers building a corpus of knowledge to influence and construct the future. Intuitive search interface design, the psychology and mechanics of information retrieval and information seeking behaviour are key development priorities. In December 2021, Ian Ruthven, Professor of Information Seeking and Retrieval at the Department of Computer and Information Sciences, University of Strathclyde, presented the seventh annual Strix Memorial Lecture entitled: ‘Google’s what you use when Alexa doesn’t know the answer, Uncle Ian.’ It was inspired by an innocent comment made by his young niece.

People create their own models of how information works for them. Information seeking behaviour is social and shaped by life, so there are infinite iterations of queries and limitless perceived solutions to perceived problems.

We explore Ian’s work and his observation that there is so much potential to progress research by placing information seeking and retrieval within the broader societal and cultural framework of what people or populations want from or do with information.