Wan-ching Wu and Diane Kelly Receive ASIS&T Best Paper Award

August 29, 2014

Wan-ching Wu, a Ph.D. student at the UNC School of Information and Library Science (SILS), and SILS associate professor Dr. Diane Kelly have been named recipients of the 2014 Best Information Behavior Conference Paper Award for their paper “Online Search Stopping Behaviors: An Investigation of Query Abandonment and Task Stopping.”

“The goal of the study is to understand the factors that influence people’s search stopping behaviors during online information search,” said Wu. “Past research on search stopping behavior has primarily focused on the stopping behavior that takes place at the conclusion of an information-seeking task. However, in this study we focus on two types of stopping behaviors that take place during information search tasks: query abandonment, or the point at which a person decides to stop his/her current query and enter a new one, and task stopping, or the point at which a person decides to stop the search task.”

For this paper, 48 participants in a laboratory study were asked to complete a series of search tasks and were interviewed about their experiences and search strategies following each search.

Results show that participants made query abandonment decisions based on the properties of search results, of queries and of search tasks,” Wu said. Their decisions to stop a task were influenced by the content they had examined, the goal they wished to achieve, the subjective perceptions they felt, and the study constraints they faced.”

The Best Paper Award is given annually by ASIS&T's Special Interest Group for Information Seeking and Use (SIG USE). The award includes a certificate, $200, and recognition at the upcoming ASIS&T Annual Meeting in November.

“This work comes directly from Wan-ching’s dissertation research and it is very satisfying to me, as her advisor, that she has been recognized for all her hard work with this important award,” said Dr. Kelly. “SIG USE is one of the central ASIST SIGs and for the Award Committee to select this paper is humbling. If we are to create information search systems that are more helpful to people when they search for information, understanding more about people’s decision-making is critical.”

“I feel very honored to receive the SIG USE award,” Wu said. “To me this award means a recognition of me as a researcher and a recognition of the quality of this work, which is part of my dissertation research. I also feel happy that the research community shares an interest in the research topic search stopping behavior, which I have not heard much discussion lately. I am looking forward to presenting this work at ASIS&T.”

Congratulations, Wan-ching and Dr. Kelly, on receiving this honor.