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.


Meaningful digital health interventions : bridging digital divides via tailored design
Buchanan Steven, Jardine Cara, Ruthven Ian
8th Annual Innovation in Healthcare Delivery Systems 2017 Symposium, (2017)
The Loupe : tangible augmented reality for learning to look at Ancient Greek art
Damala Areti, Hornecker Eva, van der Vaart Merel, van Dijk Dick , Ruthven Ian
Mediterranean Archaeology and Archaeometry Vol 16, pp. 73-85, (2016)
Sharing "happy" information
Tinto Fiona, Ruthven Ian
Journal of the American Society for Information Science and Technology, (2016)
Work and information : which workplace models still work in modern digital workplaces?
Byström Katriina, Ruthven Ian, Heinström Jannica
9th International Conference on Conceptions of Library and Information Science (CoLIS 9), (2016)
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, pp. 1-18, (2016)
Involving the museum visitor community in designing exhibits
Clarke Loraine, Nicol Emma, Ruthven Ian
Cultural Heritage Communities: Technologies and Challenges, (2015)

more publications


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

Professional activities

ISIC : The Information Behaviour Conference
Keynote/plenary speaker
Member of permanent steering committee of Information Seeking in Context conference series
Information Processing and Management (Journal)
To be assigned
Information Research (Journal)
Editorial board member

more professional activities


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
EPSRC Doctoral Training Grant | Harvey, Morgan Alexander
Ruthven, Ian (Principal Investigator) Roussinov, Dmitri (Co-investigator) Harvey, Morgan Alexander (Research Co-investigator)
Period 01-Oct-2007 - 01-Sep-2011
Scottish Network on Digital Cultural Resources Evaluation (ScotDigiCH)
Ruthven, Ian (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
Material Encounters with Digital Cultural Heritage
Ruthven, Ian (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
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

more projects


Computer and Information Sciences
Livingstone Tower

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