Search Support for Exploratory Writing

  • Jonas OppenlaenderEmail author
  • Elina Kuosmanen
  • Jorge Goncalves
  • Simo Hosio
Conference paper
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 11748)


Writing articles involves searching, exploring, evaluating and reflecting upon different perspectives. To this end, online search engines are commonly used tools to support writing. However, online search engines, such as Google, fall short in supporting complex queries that satisfy multiple criteria simultaneously. In this paper, we present our studies with GAS, a crowd-powered tool that allows writers to discover viewpoints, solutions and ideas that best fulfil multiple criteria simultaneously. Our user studies validate GAS as a beneficial companion to online search engines in supporting writing. We found that GAS helps people come up with ideas and write with more confidence, resulting in a higher self-reported article quality and accuracy when compared to only using an online search engine. Through our experiments, we also develop an understanding of the distinct process that people employ when searching for and exploring open-ended, subjective information to support exploratory writing.


Exploratory writing Crowdsourcing Exploratory search Complex search Creativity support Qualitative insights 



This work is partially funded by the Academy of Finland (grants 313224-STOP, 316253-SENSATE and 318927-6Genesis Flagship).


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Copyright information

© IFIP International Federation for Information Processing 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jonas Oppenlaender
    • 1
    Email author
  • Elina Kuosmanen
    • 1
  • Jorge Goncalves
    • 2
  • Simo Hosio
    • 1
  1. 1.University of OuluOuluFinland
  2. 2.University of MelbourneMelbourneAustralia

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