The Information Search Process (ISP) is a six stage model of the users’ holistic experience in the process of information seeking. The ISP model, based on two decades of empirical research, identifies three realms of experience: the affective (feelings), the cognitive (thoughts) and the physical (actions) common to each stage. Central to the ISP is the notion that uncertainty, both affective and cognitive, increases and decreases in the process of information seeking. A principle of uncertainty for information seeking is proposed that states that information commonly increases uncertainty in the early stages of the search process. Increased uncertainty indicates a zone of intervention for intermediaries and system designers.
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