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
Pages (from-to)554-569
Number of pages16
JournalJournal of the Association for Information Science and Technology
Issue number5
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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