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Towards a definition of serendipity in information behaviour

Finding something unexpected and very relevant is a moment of wow!

“Serendipitous or accidental discovery of information has often been neglected in information behaviour models, which tend to focus on information seeking, a more goal-directed behaviour. (…) By including serendipity in information behaviour models, the frameworks arrived at should help further research in this area. A working definition of serendipity in information behaviour is a starting point for other researchers to investigate related questions in the area.”

Naresh Kumar Agarwal ~ Information Research Vol. 20.3

What is serendipity? A workshop report

Great to see such an important concept researched.

“On 16th June 2010, a workshop took place at Dundee Contemporary Arts with the aim of gaining an initial understanding of the nature of serendipity. This workshop involved 3 groups of interdisciplinary researchers and academics generating examples from their work or everyday lives that they deemed to be serendipitous. These examples, along with any patterns identified, were then discussed with the larger group. It was proposed that serendipitous events are unexpected, with the specific serendipitous outcomes unintended. It was also proposed that serendipitous outcomes are clear and positive, always resulting in a change in the head (and sometimes in a change in the world). It was also suggested that while some serendipitous connections might be recognised immediately, others might only be recognised after some time, or might not be recognised at all.”

(Stephann Makri & Ann Blandford ~ Information Research Vol. 16 no. 3)