The role of team cognition in collaborative information seeking

Nathan J. McNeese, Madhu Reddy

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Scopus citations


Collaborative information seeking (CIS) is of growing importance in the information sciences and human–computer interaction (HCI) research communities. Current research has primarily focused on examining the social and interactional aspects of CIS in organizational or other settings and developing technical approaches to support CIS activities. As we continue to develop a better understanding of the interactional aspects of CIS, we need also start to examine the cognitive aspects of CIS. In particular, we need to understand CIS from a team cognition perspective. To examine how team cognition develops during CIS, we conducted a study using observations and interviews of student teams engaged in colocated CIS tasks in a laboratory setting. We found that a variety of awareness mechanisms play a key role in the development of team cognition during CIS. Specifically, we identify that search, information, and social methods of awareness are critical to developing team cognition during CIS. We discuss why awareness is important for team cognition, how team cognition comprises both individual and team-level cognitive activities, and the importance of examining both interaction and cognition to truly understand team cognition.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)129-140
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of the Association for Information Science and Technology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 2017


  • cognition
  • collaboration
  • information seeking

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Information Systems
  • Computer Networks and Communications
  • Information Systems and Management
  • Library and Information Sciences


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