Specifics of information retrieval for young users: A survey
Information Processing & Management
In this paper, we present the state of the art in the field of information retrieval that is relevant for understanding how to design information retrieval systems for children. We describe basic theories of human development to explain the specifics of young users, i.e., their cognitive skills, fine motor skills, knowledge, memory and emotional states in so far as they differ from those of adults. We derive the implications these differences have on the design of information retrieval systems
... or children. Furthermore, we summarize the main findings about children's search behaviour from multiple user studies. These findings are important to understand children's information needs, their search strategies and usage of information retrieval systems. We also identify several weaknesses of previous user studies about children's information-seeking behaviour. Guided by the findings of these user studies, we describe challenges for the design of information retrieval systems for young users. We give an overview of algorithms and user interface concepts. We also describe existing information retrieval systems for children, in specific web search engines and digital libraries. We conclude with a discussion of open issues and directions for further research. The survey provided in this paper is important both for designers of information retrieval systems for young users as well as for researchers who start working in this field.