Credibility Assessment of User-Generated Content: Comparing Information Search and Content Creation Activities

Written on 02/18/2014. Filed under .


Credibility Assessment of User-Generated Content: Comparing Information Search and Content Creation Activities

Friday, April 18, 2014
12:30 – 2:30 pm

NWQ B Room 3511
Lunch will be provided.

Sponsored by the Research Group for Information Retrieval 


Abstract: Assessment of information credibility is a ubiquitous human activity given that people constantly make decisions and selections based on value and quality of information in a variety of information seeking and use contexts. The Web 2.0 environment presents new challenges and opportunities to people as they now have to decide the extent to which they can believe online information posted by user-generated content contributors. In this talk, Soo Young Rieh, an Associate Professor at the University of Michigan, presents a lab-based study about how people assess the credibility of user-generated content (UGC) versus traditional media content (TMC) within the context of two online activities: information search and content creation. The data were collected from 64 local Internet users in a laboratory setting through activity logs, post-task questionnaires, and interviews. The results reveal four major findings: (1) Subjects rated the various credibility constructs differently depending on whether they used UGC or TMC and their credibility ratings were influenced by the topic; (2) Subjects’ UGC credibility assessments were primarily based on the volume of contributions and the degree to which the contributions provided a well-balanced view rather than the credibility of a single source; (3) Subjects invested more effort for assessing credibility during information search than content creation; (4) Subjects who put more effort into assessing credibility reported greater satisfaction and increased learning.  She will discuss the practical implications of her study for web designers and web search engine as well as theoretical contributions to the field of information behavior.

Bio: Soo Young Rieh is an Associate Professor in the School of Information at the University of Michigan. Her research areas include information behavior and web searching behavior focusing on human judgments of information credibility and cognitive authority. For the past 15 years, she has examined how to help people find credible information across a variety of information seeking and use contexts and investigated the intersection of credibility assessment and information seeking strategies. She also has involved in developing and evaluating online information literacy games to improve college students’ information search and evaluation skills. Her research projects have been funded by the MacArthur Foundation and the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS). She has won the John Wiley Best JASIST (Journal of the American Society for Information Science and Technology) Paper Award two times in 2005 and 2011, and she is the first recipient of the ASIS&T Best Conference Paper Award established in 2010. She received her Ph.D. from Rutgers University, and previously held a position as a Human Factors Research Engineer at Excite@Home Search and Directory Group.