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Chirag Shah Publishes First Book of its Kind on Social Information Seeking
Chirag Shah Publishes First Book of its Kind on Social Information Seeking

Associate Professor of Library and Information Science Chirag Shah has published a new book, titled “Social Information Seeking - Leveraging the Wisdom of the Crowd.”

“My background in information and computer science as well as my work in computational social science have provided me with opportunities to study this topic of social information seeking, which lies at the intersection of information retrieval/seeking and social media, over the last decade or so,” said Shah. “I think it’s a pretty attractive area for anyone who cares about the social side of information retrieval/seeking. Social information seeking provides a new way we could leverage the wisdom of the crowd for information seeking. Considering the social and collaborative dimensions of information seeking could help us solve problems not possible before.”

According to the publisher (Springer), “. . . Sometimes also referred to as social search or social information retrieval, this is a relatively new area of study concerned with the seeking and acquiring of information from social spaces on the Internet. It involves studying situations, motivations, and methods involved in seeking and sharing of information in participatory online social sites, such as Yahoo! Answers, WikiAnswers, and Twitter, as well as building systems for supporting such activities.”

“This book uniquely combines traditional models of information seeking with newer and emerging trends in social media and crowdsourcing,” said Shah. “While much has been written about either of these, as well as social/collaborative/community-based searches, this is the first time all of these have come under one umbrella in the most comprehensive form to date. In this regard, it is the first book of its kind. The book is also written with graduate students, scholars, and practitioners in mind. It offers not just theoretical models, but also ideas about system design and evaluation, making it suitable for a wide range of readers.”

The publisher added, “The book is intended mainly for researchers and graduate students looking for an introduction to this new field, as well as developers and system designers interested in building interactive information retrieval systems or social/community-driven interfaces.”

 “The book is a culmination of my work over a decade’s time, but I worked on the book specifically for about two years. It’s certainly a fantastic feeling to see it finally come to fruition as I hold a physical copy of the book. This wouldn’t have been possible without the incredible support of my wife Lori, and several colleagues and students over this time,” Shah said.

For more information about the book, and to view the table of contents and a sample chapter, please click here.

For more information about the Library and Information Science Department at SC&I, please click here.

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