The session will focus on the possibility of combining the traditionally mutually exclusive research areas of information needs, seeking and use (INSU) and information retrieval(IR)through empirical (work) task-based research on INSU and IR. These types of studies are often aimed at fostering the fusion of INSU and IR research, as well as they provide insights on why, or why not, such an integration is desirable.
This session is designed to bring together Scandinavian, American and other researchers to discuss the methodological issues involved in utilising a concept of task in information seeking and retrieval studies. Instead of emphasising the research results, the aim of the session is to shed light on various conceptualisations and operationalisations of tasks. This is approached by exploring how tasks are used in empirical research and what have been both the pros and cons. The invited speakers will address the topic from the perspective of their own research in different real-life contexts, and the invited commentators will add a more general perspective into the discussion.