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Accidentally Successful Searching: Users' Perceptions of a Digital Library

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionScientificpeer-review


Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of the 2017 Conference on Conference Human Information Interaction and Retrieval
Place of PublicationNew York, NY, USA
Number of pages4
ISBN (Print)978-1-4503-4677-1
Publication statusPublished - 2017
Publication typeA4 Article in a conference publication
EventConference on Human Information Interaction and Retrieval -
Duration: 1 Jan 2000 → …


ConferenceConference on Human Information Interaction and Retrieval
Period1/01/00 → …


People usually search information by using queries that are targeted to match the wording of the documents in the collections. However, during their search processes they may discover some useful pieces of information they did not expect. Serendipitous searching occurs when people search for information, but during their search process discover unexpected results. One key aspect of serendipity is chance encountering, which means the accidental and unexpected encountering with useful information. In this paper we address to the chance encounters, search success and search interests of information seekers using a national digital library called Finna. This study shows that chance encountering and search success increase with user satisfaction and that digital libraries can support information encountering.


  • chance encounters, information encountering, user satisfaction, user survey

Publication forum classification

Field of science, Statistics Finland

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