The relative effects of knowledge, interest and confidence in assessing relevance

I. Ruthven, M. Baillie, D. Elsweiler

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

21 Citations (Scopus)


The purpose of this paper is to examine how different aspects of an assessor's context, in particular their knowledge of a search topic, their interest in the search topic and their confidence in assessing relevance for a topic, affect the relevance judgements made and the assessor's ability to predict which documents they will assess as being relevant. This study found that each of the three factors (interest, knowledge and confidence) had an affect on how many documents were assessed as relevant and the balance between how many documents were marked as marginally or highly relevant. Also these factors are shown to affect an assessors' ability to predict what information they will finally mark as being relevant.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)482-504
Number of pages22
JournalJournal of Documentation
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2007


  • cognition
  • information retrieval
  • information searches
  • search output
  • relevance ranking


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