Resonance and the experience of relevance

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In this article, I propose the concept of resonance as a useful one for describing what it means to experience relevance. Based on an extensive interdisciplinary review, I provide a novel framework that presents resonance as a spectrum of experience with a multitude of outcomes ranging from a sense of harmony and coherence to life transformation. I argue that resonance has different properties to the more traditional interpretation of relevance and provides a better system of explanation of what it means to experience relevance. I show how traditional approaches to relevance and resonance work in a complementary fashion and outline how resonance may present distinct new lines of research into relevance theory.

Original languageEnglish
Number of pages16
JournalJournal of the Association for Information Science and Technology
Early online date23 Oct 2020
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 23 Oct 2020


  • relevance
  • resonance
  • information use
  • information assessment
  • information retrieval
  • information seeking behaviour


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