Nicholas J. Belkin

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Nicholas J. Belkin
Fields Computer Science
Institutions Rutgers University
Known for Anomalous State of Knowledge for Information Retrieval
Notable awards Gerard Salton Award (2015)

Nicholas J. Belkin is a professor at the School of Communication and Information at Rutgers University. Among the main themes of his research are digital libraries; information-seeking behaviors; and interaction between humans and information retrieval systems. Belkin is best known for his work on human-centered Information Retrieval and the hypothesis of Anomalous State of Knowledge (ASK). Belkin realized that in many cases, users of search systems are unable to precisely formulate what they need. They miss some vital knowledge to formulate their queries. In such cases it is more suitable to attempt to describe a user's anomalous state of knowledge than to ask the user to specify her/his need as a request to the system.[1][2]

Belkin was the chair of SIGIR in 1995-99, and the president of American Society for Information Science and Technology in 2005.[3] In 2015, Belkin received the Gerard Salton Award.[4]


  1. ^ Belkin, N.J. "Anomalous states of knowledge as a basis for information retrieval". The Canadian Journal of Information Science, 5, 1980, pages 133-143. 
  2. ^ Belkin, N.J., Oddy, R.N., Brooks, H.M. "ASK for information retrieval: Part I. Background and theory". Journal of Documentation. 38: 61–71. doi:10.1108/eb026722. 
  3. ^ ASIS, Past presidents
  4. ^ Salton Award Lecture: People, Interacting with Information by Nicholas J. Belkin in SIGIR 2015

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