MSE Research Project Database

Effective browsing interfaces for digital libraries

Project Leader: George Buchanan
Primary Contact: George Buchanan (
Keywords: location based services
Disciplines: Computing and Information Systems

Searching in digital collections – finding items by keywords – is powerfully effective. However, browsing across the content of a digital collection is surprisingly ineffective. New techniques are urgently needed to make browsing much more effective, and competitive with the efficiency that we seen in browsing in print libraries, bookshops, museums and archives.

For information needs that are broader, or harder to articulate, effective browsing is the ‘killer app’. We currently lack one, and this project will create new tools for digital browsing based on world-leading research at the University of Melbourne. Recent studies have revealed many elements of what makes browsing effective. Those ideas can inform the creation of prototypes to provde those ideas, refine them, and reveal digital-specific issues that may also be impeding progress.

The project would suit a fluent programmer of interactive systems with a background in human-computer interaction, and an interest in systematically understanding how people work.