Navigation, Organization, and Retrieval in Personal Digital Libraries of Email

  • Benjamin M. Gross
Conference paper
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 2555)


Electronic mail remains the dominant application for the Internet and is the most ubiquitous type of personal digital library collection. Existing research on email includes studies of use, visualization, categorization and retrieval. [1][4][5][2] This paper makes two contributions. First, I describe user interviews that revealed problems in current email systems, including role conflict, high cognitive overhead associated with organization and retrieval, inability to navigate conversations, and dificulties in addressing messages. Next, I describe a prototype system that addresses many of these problems through improvements in the message store, query interfaces, authority control, and support for identity and roles.


Email Address Prototype System Electronic Mail Authority Control Query Interface 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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    Olle Bälter. Electronic Mail in a Working Context. PhD thesis, Royal Institute of Technology, IPLab, NADA, KTH, 10044 Stockholm, 1998.Google Scholar
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    Aleksandra Jovicic. Retrieval issues in email management. Master’s thesis, University of Toronto, 2000.Google Scholar
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    F. W. Lancaster. Vocabulary Control for Information Retrieval. Information Resources Press, Arlington, VA, second edition, 1986.Google Scholar
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    Ann Lantz. Heavy users of electronic mail. International Journal of Human-Computer Interaction, 10(4):361–379, 1998.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
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    Steve Whittaker and Candace Sidner. Email overload: Exploring personal information management of email. In Proceedingsof ACM CHI 96, pages 276–283, 1996.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2002

Authors and Affiliations

  • Benjamin M. Gross
    • 1
  1. 1.SIMSUniversity of California BerkeleyUSA

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