Sensemaking tools for understanding research literatures: design, implementation and user evaluation

Victoria Uren, Simon Buckingham Shum, Michelle Bachler, Gangmin Li

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This paper describes the work undertaken in the Scholarly Ontologies Project. The aim of the project has been to develop a computational approach to support scholarly sensemaking, through interpretation and argumentation, enabling researchers to make claims: to describe and debate their view of a document's key contributions and relationships to the literature. The project has investigated the technicalities and practicalities of capturing conceptual relations, within and between conventional documents in terms of abstract ontological structures. In this way, we have developed a new kind of index to distributed digital library systems. This paper reports a case study undertaken to test the sensemaking tools developed by the Scholarly Ontologies project. The tools used were ClaiMapper, which allows the user to sketch argument maps of individual papers and their connections, ClaiMaker, a server on which such models can be stored and saved, which provides interpretative services to assist the querying of argument maps across multiple papers and ClaimFinder, a novice interface to the search services in ClaiMaker.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)420-445
Number of pages26
JournalInternational Journal of Human-Computer Studies
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - May 2006


  • modelling interfaces
  • user studies
  • search interfaces


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