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)
Relevance behaviour in TREC
Ruthven Ian
Journal of Documentation Vol 70, pp. 1098-1117, (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)

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
Vice-Chair ACM Sigir 2010-2013
Journal of Documentation
Editorial board member

more professional activities


Understanding the Information Needs of Young First Time Mothers from Areas of Multiple Deprivation
Buchanan, Steven (Principal Investigator) Ruthven, Ian (Co-investigator)
Period 01-Apr-2015 - 30-Sep-2017
Scottish Network on Digital Cultural Resources Evaluation
Ruthven, Ian (Principal Investigator) Damala, Areti (Principal Investigator)
The network brings together academics from different disciplines and professionals from Scotland's key cultural organisations in order to investigate how cultural digital resources are used by diverse user groups, how to record their impact on learning, research and community engagement and how to maximize their potential.
Period 15-Jan-2015 - 30-Dec-2016
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

more projects