The seventeen theoretical constructs of information searching and information retrieval

Bernard J. Jansen, Soo Young Rieh

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

56 Citations (Scopus)


In this article, we Identify, compare, and contrast theoretical constructs for the fields of information searching and information retrieval to emphasize the uniqueness of and synergy between the fields. Theoretical constructs are the foundational elements that underpin a field's core theories, models, assumptions, methodologies, and evaluation metrics. We provide a framework to compare and contrast the theoretical constructs in the fields of information searching and information retrieval using Intellectual perspective and theoretical orientation. The intellectual perspectives are Information searching, information retrieval, and cross-cutting; and the theoretical orientations are information, people, and technology. Using this framework, we Identify 17 significant constructs in these fields contrasting the differences and comparing the similarities. We discuss the impact of the interplay among these constructs for moving research forward within both fields. Although there is tension between the fields due to contradictory constructs, an examination shows a trend toward convergence. We discuss the implications for future research within the information searching and information retrieval fields.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1517-1534
Number of pages18
JournalJournal of the American Society for Information Science and Technology
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - 1 Aug 2010


ASJC Scopus subject areas

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

Cite this