Looking for Books in Social Media: An Analysis of Complex Search Requests

  • Marijn Koolen
  • Toine Bogers
  • Antal van den Bosch
  • Jaap Kamps
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 9022)


Real-world information needs are generally complex, yet almost all research focuses on either relatively simple search based on queries or recommendation based on profiles. It is difficult to gain insight into complex information needs from observational studies with existing systems; potentially complex needs are obscured by the systems’ limitations. In this paper we study explicit information requests in social media, focusing on the rich area of social book search. We analyse a large set of annotated book requests from the LibraryThing discussion forums. We investigate 1) the comprehensiveness of book requests on the forums, 2) what relevance aspects are expressed in real-world book search requests, and 3) how different types of search topics are related to types of users, human recommendations, and results returned by retrieval and recommender systems. We find that book search requests combine search and recommendation aspects in intricate ways that require more than only traditional search or (hybrid) recommendation approaches.


Book Search Social Media Evaluation Recommendation 


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • Marijn Koolen
    • 1
  • Toine Bogers
    • 2
  • Antal van den Bosch
    • 3
  • Jaap Kamps
    • 1
  1. 1.University of AmsterdamThe Netherlands
  2. 2.Aalborg University CopenhagenDenmark
  3. 3.Radboud UniversityNijmegenThe Netherlands

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