Professor 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.


Evaluating tangible and multisensory museum visiting experiences : lessons learned from the meSch project
Damala Areti, van der Vaart Merel, Clarke Loraine, Hornecker Eva, Avram Gabriela, Kockelkorn Hub, Ruthven Ian
Museums and the Web 2016, (2016)
Sharing "happy" information
Tinto Fiona, Ruthven Ian
Journal of the American Society for Information Science and Technology, (2015)
Involving the museum visitor community in designing exhibits
Clarke Loraine, Nicol Emma, Ruthven Ian
Cultural Heritage Communities: Technologies and Challenges, (2015)
The everyday life information seeking behaviours of first-time mothers
Loudon Katherine, Buchanan Steven, Ruthven Ian
Journal of Documentation Vol 72, (2015)
Sharing happy information : responses and self-portrayal
Tinto Fiona, Ruthven Ian
Information Research Vol 20, (2015)
Sharing happy information : responses and self-portrayal
Tinto Fiona, Ruthven Ian
ISIC, (2014)

more publications


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

Professional activities

Information Seeking in Context
Keynote/plenary speaker
Information Processing and Management
To be assigned
Information Research
Editorial board member
Journal of Information Science
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-Jun-2015 - 30-Nov-2017
Scottish Network on Digital Cultural Resources Evaluation (ScotDigiCH)
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
Scottish ESRC Doctoral Training Centre DTG 2011 | Loudon, Katherine Jane
Buchanan, Steven (Principal Investigator) Ruthven, Ian (Co-investigator) Loudon, Katherine Jane (Research Co-investigator)
Period 01-Oct-2013 - 01-Oct-2016
Scottish ESRC Doctoral Training Centre DTG 2011 | Breslin Davda, Frances Mary
Buchanan, Steven (Principal Investigator) Ruthven, Ian (Co-investigator) Breslin Davda, Frances Mary (Research Co-investigator)
Period 01-Oct-2013 - 01-Jan-2018

more projects