Prof Ian Ruthven

Head Of Department

Computer and Information Sciences

Personal statement

I am a Professor of Information Seeking and Retrieval in the Department of Computer and Information Sciences.

I work in the area of information seeking and retrieval; understanding how (and why) people search for information and how electronic systems might help them search more successfully. This brings in a wide range of research including theoretical research on the design and modelling of information access systems, empirical research on interfaces and user interaction and research on the methodology of evaluating information access systems.

Recent research has included interface design research to help children search for information, information seeking studies on information poverty within marginalised groups and studies on how people use online information to create a sense of happiness.


Has expertise in:

    • information seeking theory
    • interface design for information access
    • user studies


Cultural Heritage Information Access and Management
Ruthven Ian, Chowdhury Gobinda
iSeries, (2014)
Forging memorable and multisensory museum visiting experiences : tangible interaction, co-design, digital fabrication and Do-It-Yourself approaches
Damala Areti, Hornecker Eva, Ruthven Ian, Ciolfi Luigina, Petrelli Daniela
Digital Heritage 2014 : Digital Communities in Action, (2014)
Using internet groups in situations of information poverty : topics and information needs
Hasler Laura, Ruthven Ian, Buchanan Steven
Journal of the American Society for Information Science and Technology Vol 65, pp. 25-36, (2014)
You have email, what happens next? Tracking the eyes for genre
Clark Malcolm, Ruthven Ian, O'Brian Holt Partick, Song Dawei, Watt Stuart
Information Processing and Management Vol 50, pp. 175-198, (2014)
Anti-social e-tribes : e-gangs, cybercultures and control in online communities
Rogerson Robert, Sadler Sue, Karagiannidou Eleni, Duncan Sallyanne, Ruthven Ian, Tagg Stephen, McDiarmid Alisdair
Cyberculture NowCritical Issues, (2013)
A classification scheme for content analyses of YouTube video comments
Madden Amy, Ruthven Ian, McMenemy David
Journal of Documentation Vol 69, pp. 693-714, (2013)

more publications


  • information retrieval
  • information seeking
  • qualitative and quantitative research methods

Professional activities

Information Processing and Management
To be assigned
Information Research
Editorial board member
Journal of Information Science
Editorial board member
Journal of Documentation
Editorial board member
Vice-Chair ACM Sigir 2010-2013

more professional activities


Re-design of interactive exhibits using low cost technology for proof of concept prototypes
Ruthven, Ian (Principal Investigator)
Period 01-May-2014 - 30-Sep-2015
Re-design of interactive exhibits using low cost technology for proof of concept prototypes
Ruthven, Ian (Principal Investigator)
Period 01-May-2014 - 30-Sep-2015
Material Encounters with Digital Cultural Heritage
Damala, Areti (Research Co-investigator) Ruthven, Ian (Principal Investigator) Hornecker, Eva (Principal Investigator)
meSch is a 4-year EU funded project with the goal of co-designing novel platforms for the creation of tangible exhibits at heritage sites: curators will be able to offer visitors new interactive experiences by means of material interaction with smart objects.
Period 01-Feb-2013 - 31-Jan-2017
Ruthven, Ian (Principal Investigator)
Period 01-Feb-2013 - 31-Jan-2017
Using digital visualisation technologies to explore the spread of literary modernism
Ruthven, Ian (Co-investigator)
Bringing together researchers from English Studies and Computer and Information Sciences, this project will construct an interactive tool which will create digital visualisations of texts and authors associated with literary modernism. The tool will be dynamic – users will be able to explore the data by changing the parameters and observing the differences in the visualisations – and will provide new ways to understand the role of chronological and geographical factors in the dissemination of this significant literary movement.
Period 01-Jan-2013 - 31-May-2013

more projects