This is the third workshop we are organizing on the topic of collaborative information retrieval. The first workshop, held in conjunction with JCDL 2008, focused on broad topics and sought to establish a vocabulary for discussion about collaborative information seeking, to identify work practices and disciplines that might benefit from collaborative information seeking, and to establish a community of researchers with related interests. The second workshop, held in conjunction with CSCW 2010, built on the previous results, and focused on issues of communication and awareness in support of collaborative information seeking.
Our goal in this third workshop is to focus on algorithmic and other software issues related to information seeking in a collaborative setting. We would like to explore a variety of algorithms for mediating collaboration, and also to examine how different user interface elements can be used to support associated activity. Algorithmic aspects will include the coordination of input from multiple people, fusion and distribution of search results, and modifications to ranking algorithms based on group-specific information. Interface aspects will include support for awareness of individual and of group activity, role-specific interfaces, support for communication among collaborators, and support for transparency of search algorithms to foster a better understanding of the search space. It is also important to consider the effect that the starting context (e.g., IM chat, discussions in a social network, transitions from single-user to collaborative search, etc.) has on the algorithms and on the UI.