Question types and intermediary elicitations

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


In the context of online question-answering services, an intermediary clarifies the user's needs by eliciting additional information. This research proposes that these elicitations will depend on the type of question. In particular, this research explores the relationship between three constructs: question types, elicitations, and the fee that is paid for the answer. These relationships are explored for a few different question typologies, including a new kind of question type that we call Identity. It is found that the kinds of clarifications that intermediaries elicit depend on the type of question in systematic ways. A practical implication is that interactive question-answering services - whether human or automated - can be steered to focus attention on the kinds of clarification that are evidently most needed for that question type. Further, it is found that certain question types, as well as the number of elicitations, are associated with higher fees. This means that it may be possible to define a pricing structure for question-answering services based on objective and predictable characteristics of the question, which would help to establish a rational market for this type of information service. The newly introduced Identity question type was found to be especially reliable in predicting elicitations and fees.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)289-304
Number of pages16
JournalJournal of the Association for Information Science and Technology
Issue number2
StatePublished - 1 Feb 2016

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2015 ASIS&T.

ASJC Scopus subject areas

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


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