Popular search engines work best for a general audience. However, anyone who isn’t familiar or comfortable in a search environment — like children — can be excluded. Search literacy skills are critical skill for young searchers. Without it, their belief in their own ability to find answers, and their sense of curiosity, can suffer. The research agenda established for this area is focused on enhancing search engine functionality to enable the retrieval of resources presented to children so they better match their experience and vocabulary. We strive to desig and develop software modules that can interpret a child’s search intent, offer child friendly query suggestions, and provide suitable web results in response to queries written by children. #This will remove the obstacles separating children from the resources they require, creating more successful searches and more successful students. The implicit belief of this research is that the only prerequisite to a search should be curiosity.

Publications

Mohammad Aliannejadi, Theo Huibers, Monica Landoni, Emiliana Murgia, and Maria Soledad Pera. 2022. “The Effect of Prolonged Exposure to Online Education on a Classroom Search Companion”. In International Conference of the Cross-Language Evaluation Forum for European Languages (CLEF 2022). Online. DOI:10.1007/978-3-031-13643-6_5

Maria Soledad Pera, Monica Landoni, Emiliana Murgia, THeo Huibers. 2022. “Let’s Learn from Children: Scaffolding to Enable Search as Learning in the Educational Environment”. In 3rd International Workshop on Investigating Learning During Web Search (IWILDS 2022), at SIGIR 2022.

Maria Soledad Pera, Monica Landoni, Emiliana Murgia, Theo Huibers, and Jerry Alan Fails. 2022. “6th KidRec Workshop: Information Retrieval Systems for Children in the COVID-19 Era”. In Proceedings of the 21th ACM International Conference on Interaction Design and Children (IDC 2022).

Monica Landoni, Emiliana Murgia, Theo Huibers, and Maria Soledad Pera. 2021. “Ethical Implications for Children’s Use of Search Tools in an Educational Setting”. In International Journal of Child-Computer Interaction- Special Issue: Ethics in CCI, Volume 32, June 2022, 100386. DOI:10.1016/j.ijcci.2021.100386.

Maria Soledad Pera, Monica Landoni, Emiliana Murgia, Theo Huibers, Jerry Alan Fails. 2022. “6th KidRec Workshop: Information Retrieval Systems for Children in the COVID-19 Era”. In proceedings of IDC ‘22: Interaction Design and Children.

Monica Landoni, Mohammad Aliannejadi, Theo Huibers, Emiliana Murgia, and Maria Soledad Pera. 2022. “Have a Clue! The Effect of Visual Cues on Children’s Search Behavior in the Classroom”. Short paper in Proceedings of the 2022 Conference on Human Information Interaction and Retrieval (CHIIR ‘22). ACM, 301-305 pp. DOI:10.1145/3498366.3505845.

Garrett Allen, Ashlee Milton, Katherine Landau Wright, Jerry Alan Fails, Casey Kennington, and Maria Soledad Pera. 2022. “Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious: Why Using the “Right” Readability Formula in Children’s Web Search Matters”. Full paper to appear in Proceedings of the 44th European Conference on Information Retrieval (ECIR ‘22).

Garrett Allen, Jie Yang, Maria Soledad Pera and Ujwal Gadiraju. 2021. “Using Conversational Artificial Intelligence to Support Children’s Search in the Classroom”. Presented at CUI@CSCW ‘21 Workshop.

Lawrence Spear, Ashlee Milton, Garrett Allen, Amifa Raj, Michael Green, Michael D. Ekstrand, and Maria Soledad Pera. 2021. “Baby Shark to Barracuda: Analyzing Children’s Music Listening Behavior”. In Proceedings of the 15th ACM Conference on Recommender Systems (RecSys 2021 Late-Breaking Results).

Monica Landoni, Theo Huibers, Mohammad Aliannejadi, Emiliana Murgia, and Maria Soledad Pera. 2021. “Getting to Know You: Search Logs and Expert Grading to Define Children’s Search Roles in the Classroom”. In Proceedings of the 2nd International Conference on Design of Experimental Search & Information REtrieval Systems (DESIRES).

Brody Downs, Maria Soledad Pera, Katherine Landau Wright, Casey Kennington, Jerry Alan Fails. 2021. “KidSpell: Making a difference in spellchecking for children”. International Journal of Child-Computer Interaction. DOI:10.1016/j.ijcci.2021.100373.

Theo Huibers, Monica Landoni, Emiliana Murgia, and Maria Soledad Pera. 2021. “IR for Children 2000-2020: Where Are We Now?”. In Proceedings of the 44th International ACM SIGIR Conference on Research and Development in Information Retrieval (SIGIR 2021). ACM, 2689-2692 pp. DOI:10.1145/3404835.3462822.

Ashlee Milton, Garrett Allen, and Maria Soledad Pera. 2021. “To Infinity and Beyond! Accessibility is the Future for Kids’ Search Engines”. In Proceedings of the IR for Children 2000-2020: Where Are We Now? Workshop co-located with the 44th International ACM SIGIR Conference on Research and Development in Information Retrieval.

Mohammad Aliannejadi, Emiliana Murgia, Monica Landoni, Theo Huibers, and Maria Soledad Pera. 2021. “Right Way, Right Time: Towards a Better Comprehension of Young Students’ Needs when Looking for Relevant Search Results”. Short paper in Proceedings of the 2021 Conference on User Modeling, Adaptation and Personalization (UMAP ‘21). ACM, 95-100 pp. DOI:10.1145/3450613.3456843.

Garrett Allen, Benjamin L Peterson, Dhanush kumar Ratakonda, Mostofa Najmus Sakib, Jerry Alan Fails, Casey Kennington, Katherine Landau Wright, and Maria Soledad Pera. 2021. “Engage!: Co-designing Search Engine Result Pages to Foster Interactions”. In Proceedings of Interaction Design and Children (IDC ‘21’). ACM, pp 583-587.

Monica Landoni, Theo Huibers, Emiliana Murgia, Mohammad Aliannejadi, and Maria Soledad Pera. 2021. “Somewhere over the Rainbow: Exploring the Sense for Relevance in Children”. Short paper in Proceedings of the European Conference on Cognitive Ergonomics 2021 (ECCE 2021). ACM, 1-5 pp. DOI:10.1145/3452853.3452885.

Casey Kennington, Jerry Alan Fails, Katherine Landau Wright, and Maria Soledad Pera. 2021. “Spellchecking for Children in Web Search: a Natural Language Interface Case-study”. In Proceedings of the First Workshop on Bridging Human-Computer Interaction and Natural Language Processing. ACL, 6 pp.

Garrett Allen, Brody Downs, Aprajita Shukla, Casey Kennington, Jerry Alan Fails, Katherine Landau Wright, and Maria Soledad Pera. 2021. “BiG-BERT: Classifying Educational Web Resources for Kindergarten-12th Grades”. Short paper in Proceedings of the 43rd European Conference on Information Retrieval (ECIR ‘21). ACM, pp 176-184.

Mohammad Aliannejadi, Monica Landoni, Theo Huibers, Emiliana Murgia, and Maria Soledad Pera. 2021. “Children’s Perspective on How Emojis Help Them to Recognise Relevant Results: Do Actions Speak Louder Than Words?”. Short paper in Proceedings of the 2021 Conference on Human Information Interaction and Retrieval (CHIIR ‘21). ACM, 301-305 pp. DOI:10.1145/3406522.3446058.

Ashlee Milton, Oghenemaro Anuyah, Lawrence Spear, Katherine Landau Wright, and Maria Soledad Pera. 2020. “A Ranking Strategy to Promote Resources Supporting the Classroom Environment”. Long Paper in Proceedings of the 2020 IEEE/WIC/ACM International Joint Conference on Web Intelligence and Intelligent Agent Technology (WI-AIT ‘20). IEEE/WIC/ACM, to appear.

Monica Landoni, Maria Soledad Pera, Jerry Alan Fails, Emiliana Murgia, Natalia Kucirkova and Theo Huibers. 2020. “4th KidRec – What does Good Look Like: From Design, Research, and Practice to Policy”. In SIGIR Forum 54, 2 (December 2020).

Monica Landoni, Maria Soledad Pera, Emiliana Murgia, and Theo Huibers. 2020. “Inside Out: Exploring the Emotional Side of Search Engines in the Classroom”. Long paper in Proceedings of the 2020 Conference on User Modeling, Adaptation and Personalization (UMAP ‘20). ACM, 95-100 pp. DOI:10.1145/3340631.3394847.

Monica Landoni, Emiliana Murgia, Theo Huibers, and Maria Soledad Pera. 2020. “You’ve Got a Friend in Me: Children and Search Agents”. Poster paper in Proceedings of the 2020 Conference on User Modeling, Adaptation and Personalization (UMAP ‘20). ACM, 95-100 pp. DOI:10.1145/3386392.3397604.

Ashlee Milton and Maria Soledad Pera. 2020. “What Snippets Feel: Depression, Search, and Snippets”. Short paper in Proceedings of the 2020 Joint Conference of the Information Retrieval Communities in Europe (CIRCLE ‘20). ACM, 5 pp.

Brody Downs, Aprajita Shukla, Mikey Krentz, Maria Soledad Pera, Katherine Landau Wright, Casey Kennington, and Jerry Fails. 2020. “Guiding the selection of child spellchecker suggestions using audio and visual cues”. Proceedings of the Interaction Design and Children Conference. DOI:10.1145/3392063.3394390.

Ashlee Milton and Maria Soledad Pera. 2020. “The Horror: Evaluating Information Retrieval Systems for Kids”. In Proceedings of the 4th International and Interdisciplinary Perspectives on Children & Recommender and Information Retrieval Systems (KidRec 2020), co-located with ACM IDC 2020.

Brody Downs, Oghenemaro Anuyah, Aprajita Shukla, Jerry Alan Fails, Maria Soledad Pera, Katherine Wright, and Casey Kennington. 2020. “KidSpell: A Child-Oriented, Rule-Based, Phonetic Spellchecker”. In Proceedings of the 12th Conference on Language Resources and Evaluation (LREC 2020).

Oghenemaro Anuyah, Ashlee Milton, Michael Green, and Maria Soledad Pera. 2019. “An empirical analysis of search engines response to web search queries associated with the classroom setting”. In Aslib Journal of Information Management (ASLIB 2019).

Theo Huibers, Monica Landoni, Maria Soledad Pera, Jerry Alan Fails, Emiliana Murgia, and Natalia Kucirkova. 2019. “What does good look like? Report on the 3rd International and Interdisciplinary Perspectives on Children & Recommender and Information Retrieval Systems (KidRec) at IDC 2019”. In SIGIR Forum 53, 2 (December 2019).

Monica Landoni, Davide Matteri, Emiliana Murgia, Theo Huibers, and Maria Soledad Pera. 2019. “Sonny, Cerca! evaluating the impact of using a vocal assistant to search at school”. In International Conference of the Cross-Language Evaluation Forum for European Languages (CLEF 2019).

Emiliana Murgia, Monica Landoni, Maria Soledad Pera, Theo Huibers. 2019. “When will the promises of search technology in the classroom come true?”. In Proceedings of the 12th annual International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation (ICERI 2019).

Jerry Alan Fails, Maria Soledad Pera, Oghenemaro Anuyah, Casey Kennington, Katherine Landau Wright, and William Bigirimana. 2019. “Query formulation assistance for kids: What is available, when to help & what kids want”. In Proceedings of the 18th ACM International Conference on Interaction Design and Children (IDC 2019).

Monica Landoni, Emmiliana Murgia, Theo Huibers, Maria Soledad Pera. 2019. “My Name is Sonny, How May I help You Searching for Information?”. In Proceedings of the 3rd International and Interdisciplinary Perspectives on Children & Recommender and Information Retrieval Systems (KidRec 2019), co-located with ACM IDC 2019.

Brody Downs, Tyler French, Katherine Landau Wright, Maria Soledad Pera, Casey Kennington, and Jerry Alan Fails. 2019. “Children and search tools: Evaluation remains unclear”. In Proceedings of the 3rd International and Interdisciplinary Perspectives on Children & Recommender and Information Retrieval Systems (KidRec 2019), co-located with ACM IDC 2019.

Brody Downs, Tyler French, Maria Soledad Pera, Katherine Landau Wright, Casey Kennington, and Jerry Alan Fails. 2019. “Searching for spellcheckers: What kids want, what kids need”. In Proceedings of the 18th ACM International Conference on Interaction Design and Children (IDC 2019) [Best Work–in–Progress (Poster)].

Oghenemaro Anuyah, Ion Madrazo Azpiazu, Maria Soledad Pera. 2019. “Using structured knowledge and traditional word embeddings to generate concept representations in the educational domain”. In Companion Proceedings of The 2019 World Wide Web Conference.

Oghenemaro Anuyah, Ion Madrazo Azpiazu, Nevena Dragovic, and Maria Soledad Pera. 2019. “Lightning Talk-Looking for the Movie Seven or Sven from the Movie Frozen?”. In Companion Proceedings of The 2019 World Wide Web Conference.

Jerry Alan Fails, Maria Soledad Pera, and Natalia Kucirkova. 2019. “Building community: Report on the 2nd international and interdisciplinary perspectives on children & recommender systems (kidrec) at IDC 2018”. In SIGIR Forum 52, 2 (December 2018).

Maria Soledad Pera, Jerry Alan Fails, Mirko Gelsomini, and Franca Garzotto. 2018. “Building Community: Report on KidRec Workshop on Children and Recommender Systems at RecSys 2017”. In SIGIR Forum 52, 1 (June 2018).