Conference PaperPDF Available

Information Overload: A Systematic Literature Review


Abstract and Figures

Information is essential in our society and for organizations. But the flood of information affects enterprises as well as individuals also in a negative way. This problem is usually referred as Information Overload. This paper summarizes the developments of the past years and gives a prospect to future researches in this field using the method of systematic literature review. A special focus is put on the problems of enterprises with information overload and how these can be solved by using modern approaches.
Content may be subject to copyright.
Information Overload: A Systematic Literature
Peter Melinat, Tolja Kreuzkam, and Dirk Stamer
University of Rostock, 18059 Rostock, Germany,
Abstract. Information is essential in our society and for organizations.
But the flood of information affects enterprises as well as individuals
also in a negative way. This problem is usually referred as Information
Overload. This paper summarizes the developments of the past years
and gives a prospect to future researches in this field using the method
of systematic literature review. A special focus is put on the problems
of enterprises with information overload and how these can be solved by
using modern approaches.
Key words: Information Overload, Information Overflow, Systematic
Literature Review
1 Motivation
The central aspect of modern economy is the creation, processing and sharing of
information and knowledge [6]. A steady flow of information ensures the quality
of products and increases the innovative strength. But the information flow be-
came a raging current as Webster pointed out [30]. The main advantage for an
enterprise is no longer just the access to information, but more the access to an
adequate information management. A central issue for this is the phenomena of
information overload.
Information overload causes several problems, e.g. psychological stress, mistakes
in decision making or disregarding of relevant information.
Especially in the past years the importance of this topic increased by the rise of
the social networks and mobile access to the internet. These networks allow a
steady access to information of the social environment, independent from time
or location.
Because of this it is important - from the economical side as well as from the
sociological side - to deal with the issue of information overload.
This paper was conducted to get an overview about the recent developments in
the field of information overload. For this the following research questions were
RQ1:How much activity in the field of information overload has there been since
RQ 2:What research topics are being investigated?
RQ 3:Who is active in this research area?
2 Peter Melinat, Tolja Kreuzkam, Dirk Stamer
RQ 4:What research approaches are being used?
RQ 5:Are there different definitions of information overload? Which?
RQ 6:What are the impacts on enterprises due to information overload?
RQ 7:What solutions were presented in prospect for these problems?
The goal is to see what topics are currently researched and to show what aspects
of information overload could be promising for future research.
But in the beginning, the idea of information overload and its related terms
need to be clarified. Then, in the following section, the procedure of systematic
literature review is described. The second last section presents the findings of the
analysis and put them into relation to the research question conducted above.
Finally the conclusion sums up the whole process of research analysis and what
future implications can be deduced from it.
2 Theoretical Background: Information Overload
The term overload is commonly understood as the circumstances, where a burden
is too strong for the carrying subject. This results in an inability of the subject
to work in its full potential or even makes the subject dysfunctional [2, 3]. This
interpretation seems to be shared across the most scientific sources and so it
should be accepted in this paper, too.
This does not apply to the other important part: information. Several interpre-
tations of this term can be made, depending on the point of view and the access
to the topic.
A precise definition of information is given by Klaus North, who defines infor-
mation as data combined with a semantic [19]. In other words: Information is
interpretable data. To interpret the information it is important for the receiver
to know the semantics. Otherwise it is just some data. This definition fits more
to daily experience and common understanding of information.
Another aspect of information is defined by the online business dictionary, where
information is defined as a form of data with the following four attributes [1]:
It is accurate and it is received in time.
It is organised to fulfil a purpose.
It has a context, which allows the receiver to assess its meaning and relevance.
It can help to improve the understanding and decrease the uncertainty.
This approach underlines the economical meaning of information. Especially the
focus to fulfil a goal and that it must be received timely indicates a strong will
to use the information. But in the common understanding information uses to
be information, even if its come to late. The only thing that changes is the value
of information. But it seems legit for an economical definition to define the term
in this way, because information without a value are useless in their perspective.
If the all these presented definitions for the term information show anything,
than it is that there are many different aspects of information.
But does information overload refer to different forms of phenomena as well
as information? Especially because one of the research questions is about the
Information Overload 3
different definitions of information overload, it can be helpful to determine the
phrase before.
Alvin Toffler stated that especially the steady flow of information is not as critical
as the speed these information appear for the person [28]. Toffler formulated this
in an attempt to illustrate the future of the seventies and especially through
the establishment of the internet, it seems to be more true than ever. This is
supported by another, more recent statement of Edmunds and Morris. They say,
that ”there cannot be many people who have not experienced the feeling of having
too much information[...]”[12]. Hence most people in the scientific community
seem to accept the general definition that information overload is the feeling
of too much information to be processed for the cognitive capacity of a person
[12, 13].
A typical synonym for information overload is the term information overflow.
Different papers show, that they are used equally and without any distinction
[18, 23].
The following section shows how a systematic literature review is structured,
how the research was conducted and which papers were selected for a further
3 Procedure of Systematic Literature Review
The goal of this paper is to review publications, that were released during
the past eight years. To do this, the systematic literature review according to
Kitchenham [16] was chosen. The advantage of this method is, that it is com-
pletely transparent and repeatable, because every step done by the authors, is
documented. Another point is, that the research is probably more objective, be-
cause the results do not base on one single conference, a specific author or the
tendencies of a single search engine. Through the approach the authors have to
fulfil the document search in a more comprehensive way. Furthermore this ap-
proach seems to fit well for the purpose of this paper, which is to get an overview
in the field of information overload.
The review process consists of 6 steps. In the first place the problems and research
questions should be formulated, which is already done in the motivation. The
next steps is the identification of papers. This means to develop constraints
for the research and workarounds for unexpected limitations. Of course, these
papers need to be refined some more, so that only relevant papers are part of the
review. This paper selection is the third step. For the research about information
overload both, the second and third step, are described in the later part of this
section. When the final group of papers is defined, data is collected. For the paper
at hand this step is not described any further, but in the appendix an extraction
of information from the papers can be found. Then the found information is
analysed and - according to the questions stated before - answers are given. This
leads to the final interpretation of the results. Both steps are topic of the fourth
and fifth section, while the fourth is more focused on the analytical part and the
4 Peter Melinat, Tolja Kreuzkam, Dirk Stamer
fifth is about interpretation. With this short description in mind, step two and
three can be started now.
The first point for this is to define the population and describe which parts of the
researched paper were examined for the analysis. Because the form of the papers
were highly heterogeneous several distinctions were done between those formats.
Of course every paper had a title, that was considered in the research, but after
the title the papers differ strongly. Some of them follow a research paper style
with an abstract and keywords, that were used directly for the research. Others
look like article in magazine. Those have no abstract or keywords, but instead a
short introduction of the topic, that is already part of the mainmatter. Of course
this does not state anything about the quality of papers, but for the literature
review they posed a challenge. Discussing this issue, the authors decided to see
those introductions in the same way as the abstracts of the regular papers.
To find papers for the literature review, it is necessary to define a search string
in order to be able to repeat the literature research getting the same results.
The string contains the constraints of the time frame as well as the reference
to the topic and synonyms for topic related synonyms. Because the goal of this
paper is to review the published articles in the recent years, the time frame was
limited to articles since 2006.
As stated before, one synonym for information overload is the term information
overflow. Because of this, both terms were used in the search.
The resulting search string was:
(Title OR Abstract OR Keywords) contain (”information overload” or
”information overflow”) between 2006-2013
To keep the number of papers manageable, it is necessary to integrate more
constrain for the search string. The central restriction was to find sources that
fit to the topic and are without charge. The following four sources are included:
AAMAS (Conference on Autonomous Agents and Multiagent Systems)
CACM (Communications of the Association of Computer Machinery)
CHI (Conference on Human-computer Interaction)
ECIS (The European Conference on Information Systems)
Most of the conferences allow to browse through their content. It shall be stated,
that the quality and usability of the search engines could hardly be seen as
adequate for this research. One of the problems was, that the search options
were not uniform and specific constraints could not be inserted into the engines.
For example not all did allow to set a wild card sign (as the ”*” in ”information
over*”). Because of this, it must be considered that several relevant papers could
not be found.
To counterbalance the disadvantages, the search process was divided into two
steps. In the first step the search string was adapted to requirements of the
different search engines.
Furthermore, two different search engines were used in the first step. The first
one( brought up 26 papers, while the second one
Information Overload 5
( showed 33 publications. But in the results
of the second engine 9 complete magazines were included, which could not be
considered as articles. But even after this there were difference in the results. 22
papers were presented by both search engines, while 2 papers were only presented
by and 4 only by In total 28 papers were seen as
relevant after the first research step.
Another problem was caused by the search engine(
aspecis/default5.asp), that was used to find the ECIS articles. This engine
did not allow to search just in the title and the abstract and it was not clear
if the whole paper or just the title was regarded. Still, 3 research papers were
considered as result of the first research step.
For the publications of AAMAS no working search engine could be found. Be-
cause of this, it was necessary to search by hand through the 105 available
The engine for CHI ( allowed most of the nec-
essary limitations and brought up 101 papers for the first research step.
After the step of population the intervention takes place. Goal of this is to
refine the results, that were found during the population. For this research, that
meant to put the titles and abstracts(or article introductions) into an Excel
Sheet and searched for relevant phrases as information,overload or overflow.
When a text contained one or more of these phrases, it was read by the research
group and decided, if it is worth to be considered in this analysis. Especially the
term information is very often represented, but the priority was to find relevant
papers. Through this method, it was possible to reduce the number from 247 to
17 final papers. A visualisation can be seen in figure 1.
Fig. 1. Number of papers before and after refinement
These 17 papers were considered as suitable to be examined for answering the
research questions. For this, a comprehensive analysis was conducted in the
following section.
6 Peter Melinat, Tolja Kreuzkam, Dirk Stamer
4 Conduction and Results of the Analysis
In the beginning seven research questions were phrased. In the following part
these are connected to the 17 identified papers. For this, the papers were read
and analysed to fulfil the tasks.
RQ 1: How much activity in the field of information overload has
there been since 2006?
Fig. 2. Distribution of papers in the time from 2006 - 2013
The number of publications in the field of information overload shows that there
is little but steady activity (see figure 3.1). In average, 2.125 papers were pub-
lished per year from 2006 to 2013. The first three examined years showed a
straight decrease from two publications in 2006 to zero papers in 2008. After
this, from 2009 until 2011, even a little hype could be identified where the num-
ber of publications increased. 12 of the 17 researched papers were conducted in
this time frame. In the years of 2012 and 2013, this trend could not be continued
and the numbers of released papers reduced again to 1 publication per year.
Based on this data, it can be stated that the activity in this field is low and only
small number of researchers are active in this field. Nevertheless, the range of
topics is wide and different aspects are touched in this field.
RQ 2: What research topics are being investigated?
The field of information overload includes several topics and so do the papers.
There are different aspects which should be considered for the classification of
the papers.
One form of classification is to determine whether the papers try to identify
or communicate a new problem, resulting from information overload, or if they
Information Overload 7
offer an solution for the existing problems. These topics again can be subdivided
by the aspect they are focused on, as the organization of people, technological
improvements or other methods.
In order to answer this research question, the authors decided for the following
five groups:
Concepts, which present usually a general idea how to handle information
Solutions, that aim to implement a general concept or at least construct a
framework for an implementation.
Evaluations, which deal with a concept or a solution and try to verify or
falsify an approach.
Experiments, that aim, similar as evaluations, to verify or falsify a concept.
Examples, which are illustrating an approach and have always a second group
the example applies to.
Fig. 3. Topics of the papers
To show the whole coverage of the papers, each paper can be assigned to two of
these groups. The distribution can be seen in figure 3.2. Evaluations were usually
connected to a solution or a concept they aimed to examine. Only in one case the
evaluation was connected to an example [21]. Most papers dealt with a concept
(11), or an evaluation (7) of existing concepts or solutions. Six publications were
about the creation of a solution, while 3 examined existing solutions or concepts
with experiments.
Furthermore, there were several recurring topics. For example, many papers dealt
with the questions of filtering information. Most of these suggest to integrate the
users in this filtering process, to let them rate the information and filter it based
on that [9, 17, 21, 29, 31].
Another topic that was often part of the paper is the processing of information,
to make them clearer for recipient [8, 14].
8 Peter Melinat, Tolja Kreuzkam, Dirk Stamer
Nevertheless, even with the sophisticated process to search for paper, an essen-
tial part of the papers have only a distant relation to the topic of information
overload. One for example was about the creation of a pragmatic web [24], an-
other one about the reuse of knowledge in knowledge management systems [9].
Still they were kept for the further steps of analysis, because their input can still
RQ 3: Who is active in this research area?
Fig. 4. The distribution of papers according to the nationality of the publishing insti-
This questions aims to identify, if there are research networks, with an higher
amount of publications in the field of information overload, or if the activity in
this field is the same about the whole research community. Another goal is the
identification of active research teams by the university and their nationality, to
make the reasons for a higher (or lower) activity more transparent. In case of co-
operation between different institutes the papers were referred to the institution
with the most authors in the paper.
Without considering differences between the first, second and further co-authors,
48 persons were identified as authors. A small number of them work in the in-
dustrial sector, but by far the most are employed at universities or other research
Most of the papers were committed from scientists at the Palo Alto Research
Center(USA) and the Naval Posgraduate School in Monterey (USA), who both
have 2 published papers. At the Palo Alto Research Center, the author of both
papers was Peter J. Denning, while Ed H. Chi and his team released their papers
for the Naval Postgradute School in Monterey.
These numbers show, that there are no scientists who wrote far more papers
than anyone else. In general, the distribution is very even among all authors.
But this does not apply on the nationality of the publishing institutions. It can
Information Overload 9
be examined that about 50% of the papers were published from institutions
in the United States of America, while other nations released only one or two
publications. The whole distribution of papers by the nationalities can be seen
in figure 3.3.
Several reasons for this can be imagined. One could be that the researched
conferences are biased. If, for example, three of the four analysed conference
were held in the US, this could be an easy reason for the overweight of US
papers. But indeed, the opposite is true. Three of the four conferences are usually
held in Europe. Hence the reason for the higher activity in the US is probably
determined by something else, for example a special interest in the topic.
Another fact is that selected conferences seems to be focused on Europe and
the USA. Only two contributions were sent in from somewhere else (Israel and
South Korea). An interesting question for this is if these imbalances had any
influence towards the research process.
RQ 4:What research approaches are being used?
For a comprehensive analysis it is not only crucial to see the active people and
their results, but it is also important to see how they got their results and which
methods were used for the knowledge acquisition. During this project, three
main groups for research approaches were found:
Theoretical Work
Empirical Work
Case Study
When authors create a new theory and substantiate it by referenced literature,
the paper is considered as a theoretical work. The other side of the spectrum is
marked by the Case Study. These papers include a practical implementation of
ideas and verify or falsify constructed theories. The strong practical alignment
usually leads to a less theoretical focus.
But of course, there are also papers which cannot easily be put in any of these
two categories because they focus on a theoretical point of view as well as a prac-
tical one. This combination can be a theoretical examination that is proved (or
disproved) by an experiment. These kind of papers were categorised as Empirical
The distribution of research approaches shows that a majority of researchers
uses the form of empirical work for their conduction.
In the section before, it was asked if the national overweight of the USA and
the concentration of the western hemisphere affects the form of research. And
indeed, there is a shift of papers coming from the US. While about 60% of the
theoretical and 62,25% of the empirical work comes from there, they published
25% of the case studies. But considering the small amount of papers, this can
be also just a coincidence.
10 Peter Melinat, Tolja Kreuzkam, Dirk Stamer
Fig. 5. Distribution of papers according to national affiliation
RQ 5:Are there different definitions of information overload? Which?
As stated in the first section, the term information overload has a long history
and there are several ways to define this term. Five definitions could be examined
during analysis process. Some of them were formal and gave a proper descrip-
tion of the phenomena, others were some type of example. One of these formal
definitions is given by Whelan and Teigland, when they state:
The dilemma of having more information than one can assimilate [5] or being
burdened with a large supply of information, only some of which is relevant
[12], is generally what is meant by information overload.” [31]
This definition shows different aspects, as the general problem of humans to
process more than a limited number of information, and the effort to separate
the valuable information from the unnecessary. The same is supported by Ot-
terbacher [21].
A more concise definition is given by Sevinc and D’Ambra, who say
Information overload occurs as the volume of information received by the
individual surpasses their ability to process it” ([15, 25, 27] according to [26])
Perhaps this definition is not as accurate as the one by Whelan and Teigland,
but it shows the main idea of information overload. Another aspect is brought
in by Lampe et al., who specify information overload as a problem of the indi-
vidual [17]. But as stated before, there are also papers which define the term of
information overload by example.
As a representative of this second group, Hong defined information overload as
the incoming of too many items of communication, ”e.g. email messages sent
by colleagues and friends, news stories related to topics of interest, new tweets
posted to Twitter, and status updates in Facebook and LinkedIn” [14]. In this
quasi endless stream of information, people are facing the problem to lose their
overview [10, 14].
Another form of overwhelming is the steady change of information, as in the
internet or social networks in particular. Cherubini et al. refer to this as Facebook
fatigue [8].
Information Overload 11
In general, it has to be stated that all the definitions that were made are quite
similar. All of them focus on the overload of impressions caused by the influence
of different media. But the social networks brought a new kind of this overload,
where the change of information is the critical factor, not only the information
flow itself.
RQ 6:What are the impacts on enterprises due to information over-
Several problems caused by information overload can be determined. But which
of them especially affect enterprises? Of course those who affect the whole society,
have an impact on the enterprises, too.
To start with a very general aspect, information overload causes the victim to
need more time for the consumption of the information [7, 10]. These higher time
costs of course affect enterprises, too. Furthermore, the people do not concentrate
on the given information and block reception. To avoid this, they try to filter
the information and try to delegate their responsibilities [10].
On the psychological level, this results in a negative assessment of the own work
and competences [11]. And even mental illness can be caused by an overload.
Especially the phenomena of burnout is often connected to the steady flow of
information [4].
Finally the whole decision making process can be influenced by information
overload. People base their decisions on the wrong information or are not able
to separate the valuable information from the unnecessary [24]. Additionally
there is no time to examine information for its verisimilitude. Hence the made
decisions have a lower quality [21, 31].
But not only decision making is affected, even the general work flows suffer from
the information overload. The regular check for news disrupts the processes
and distracts the people. Because of this, the employees time is wasted and the
quality of their work shrinks [26]. A special problem in this field is the E-Mail
Overload, a form of information overload, caused by the receipt of too many
E-Mails [26]. For enterprises, this means that the employees are not able to read
every forwarded mail carefully and ignore important details [26, 29].
Furthermore, the overload affects the processes in an enterprise, too. An example
for this is the feedback of end-consumer for App developers. The online market
places for these applications offer a feedback-portal for the users, where they can
suggest software improvement. A problem for the developers, because they have
to extract the important facts for future development[20].
RQ 7:What solutions were presented in prospect for these problems?
The problems, stated in the question before, are serious and there is no perfect
solution for them. Nevertheless, several strategies were conducted and may offer
relief from the problems of information overload. These strategies can be divided
into strategies for the private environment and strategies for the enterprises.
12 Peter Melinat, Tolja Kreuzkam, Dirk Stamer
On the personal level, many problems of information overload are inflicted by
the use of social networks (e.g. Twitter or Facebook). Possible solutions for this
would be to rate the importance of information by its relevance. One way to
capture this relevance could be to use human filters as the personal sphere of
contacts in the network [31]. Furthermore, the own postings can be analysed to
create a profile of relevant topics each user. This profile again can be used for
the relevance assessment [7]. Another form of social filters is the assessment by
a jury. This jury can be completely open (as the ranking of customer review
in online marketplaces) or exclusive for a specific group of people (as in many
online communities). This may help to integrate a social navigation into the
portal [21]. Whelan and Teigland state that there are people with a special
information literacy, who are faster at rating information. Hence it is important
to integrate those people as information hubs [31]. This can be an important
advantage for enterprises.
Other methods for the organizations can be reduce the number of unnecessary
messages. Especially the overload of E-Mails reduces the productivity of em-
ployees. An internal policy about E-mail etiquette may helps to reduce this [31].
This can also include to tag E-Mails according to their purpose. Based on this
tag, everybody has the opportunity to rate the relevance for themselves [29].
The same procedure applies to other cases as well, for example to show the spe-
cific skills of a person to the whole community [17]. Furthermore, this helps to
identify experts in a field who act as human filters and enable the reuse of in-
formation and knowledge [9]. Another technical solution is offered by Schoop et
al., who suggest to make sources of information machine-parsable, to use com-
puters for an adequate supply with information at the right time [24]. Smart
push notifications can play an important role in this. These notification publish
information, but they act dynamically according to defined Conditions of Inter-
est(CoI) and aim to supply the user with valuable information at the right time
But there are not only the technical solutions. The right management plays a
key-role to counter information overload. Especially the support of the users self-
esteem [26], motivation [4] and commitment management are important methods
After all, it can be stated that the solution strategies depend on four factors
The topical content of an information (What?)
The sender of the information (Who?)
The way the information is transferred (How?)
The time of the transfer (When?)
A typical problem of specific solutions is that they do not focus on all the of these
facts. E.g., spam guidelines usually only look for the sender of an information.
This may work for a specific task, but an holistic application against information
overload should include all relevant factors [14].
These answers show, that there is no easy way out of the problems caused by
information overload, but there are several approaches that offer promising solu-
Information Overload 13
tions. Now the last part for this research is about the interpretation of findings
for the research questions and give a prospect for future developments.
5 Conclusion
This research started with the definition of the fundamental terms information,
overload and information overload. After this, the process of this literature review
was explained and it was shown what conferences were examined. During the
first steps of analysis 17 papers were considered as relevant for the topic. These
papers were used to answer the 7 research questions.
But what are the implications of these answers? And can there be made any
prospects or maybe even suggestions for future research projects in the field of
Information Overload?
For the answer of these question the findings need to be put in a context and
connected to each other.
It was found that there is a certain research community in the field of information
overload, that publishes in average about two papers per year. Most members of
this community work in the United States of America. This bias can be the result
of a different cultural perception of the topic or a specific funding by enterprises
or governmental institutions.
Furthermore, it has to be stated, that a large majority of papers came from
countries that are part of the western hemisphere [22]. This may indicates, that
other cultural spheres are not affected as the western culture or, more likely
in the opinion of the authors, that there are barriers for researchers from other
cultures to participate in the selected conferences. E.g. all conferences are held in
Europe or Northern America - this probably reduces the chance for researchers
from other parts of the world to participate.
The researched topics were mostly concepts, solutions or validations of those
through evaluations or experiments. Papers, that presented technical solutions,
were mostly published from institutions in the USA, which may indicates, that
the institutes have an higher interest to solve problems of information overload,
while others are more interested to phrase theories and evaluate models or solu-
But in general it can be stated, that the interpretation of the term information
overload is widely the same. Each of the found definitions sees information over-
load as a state, where the input of information is to high for the capabilities of
the affected person. The moment this point is reached, depends on the abilities
of the person to interact with information.
The problems resulting from information overload are numerous, but especially
the higher effort of employees to separate valuable information from others, is a
widely recognized issue. This stress even leads to mental health issues.
Solutions for these problems can be technologies or organizational structures,
which help to filter incoming information or help people to identify interesting
information. There are many forms of these solutions. But most papers only
concentrate on one of these aspects. Hence they were focused either on the right
14 Peter Melinat, Tolja Kreuzkam, Dirk Stamer
management of people affected by information overload or the technology these
people use. But no paper combined management and technology aspects to a
comprehensive method or showed how these approaches can be combined.
There are no disputes about the meaning of information overload and the prob-
lems are defined and accept throughout the whole community. Still there is just
a little group of active researchers. This group need to grow, especially because
the problems caused by information overload are not going to be easier. As al-
ready stated, it seems to be necessary to combine technological approaches with
management approaches to formulate a more comprehensive model to counter
information overload.
Acknowledgments. The work presented in this paper was supported within
the project KOSMOS (Konstruktion und Organisation eines Studiums in Offe-
nen Systemen) funded by the BMBF (Federal Ministry of Education and Re-
search, Germany) and the European Social Funds of the European Union.
Further References
[1] Business Web:, De-
cember 2014.
[2] Cambridge Dictornaries. Web:, January
[3] Oxford Dictornaries. Web:, January
[4] Daniel Beverung, Marion Wittchen, and Jrg Becker. Where are the par-
ticipants? including motivational aspects into theorizing and design in is
research. ECIS, 2011.
[5] H. Butcher. Meeting Managers Needs. Aslib, 1998.
[6] Manuel Castells. The rise of the network society: The information age:
Economy, society, and culture, volume 1. Wiley. com, 2011.
[7] Jilin Chen, Rowan Nairn, and Ed H. Chi. Speak little and well: Recom-
mending conversations in online social streams. CHI, 2011.
[8] Mauro Cherubini, Alejandro Gutierrez, Rodrigo de Oliveira, and Nuria
Oliver. Social tagging revamped: Supporting the users need of self-
promotion through persuasive techniques. CHI, 2010.
[9] Dursun Delen and Suliman Al-Hawamdeh. A holistic framework for knowl-
edge discovery and management. CACM, 2009 3.
[10] P. J. Denning. Infoglut. CACM, 2006.
[11] P. J. Denning. The profession of managing time. CACM, 2011.
[12] Angela Edmunds and Anne Morris. The problem of information overload
in business organisations: A review of the literature. Int. J. Inf. Manag.,
20(1):17–28, February 2000.
[13] Martin J Eppler and Jeanne Mengis. The concept of information overload:
A review of literature from organization science, accounting, marketing, mis,
and related disciplines. The information society, 20(5):325–344, 2004.
Information Overload 15
[14] Lichan Hong, Gregorio Convertino, Bongwon Suh, Ed H. Chi, and Sanjay
Kairam. Feedwinnower: Layering structures over collections of information
streams. CHI, 2010.
[15] Q. Jones, G. Ravid, and S. Rafaeli. Information overload and the message
dynamics of online interaction spaces: A theoretical model and empirical
exploration. Information Systems Research, 2004.
[16] Barbara Kitchenham. Procedures for performing systematic reviews. Tech-
nical report, 2004.
[17] Cliff Lampe, Erik Johnston, and Paul Resnick. Follow the reader: Filtering
comments on slashdot. CHI, 2007.
[18] Danielle H Lee and Peter Brusilovsky. Fighting information overflow with
personalized comprehensive information access: A proactive job recom-
mender. In Autonomic and Autonomous Systems, 2007. ICAS07. Third
International Conference on, pages 21–21. IEEE, 2007.
[19] Klaus North. Wissensorientiere Unternehmensf¨uhrung: Wertsch¨opfung
durch Wissen 5. Auflage. Gabler Verlag, 2011.
[20] Jeungmin Oh, Jae-Gil Lee, Daehoon Kim, Junehwa Song, and Uichin Lee.
Facilitating developer-user interactions with mobile app review digests.
CHI, 2013.
[21] Jahna Otterbacher. ”helpfulness” in online communities: A measure of
message quality. CHI, 2009.
[22] Richard E Porter and Edwin R McDaniel. Communication between cultures.
Wadsworth Publishing Company, 8th, international edition edition, 2013.
[23] Reijo Savolainen. Filtering and withdrawing: strategies for coping with
information overload in everyday contexts. Journal of Information Science,
33(5):611–621, 2007.
[24] Mareike Schoop, Aldo de Moor, and Jan L.G. Dietz. The pragmatic web:
A manifesto. CACM, 2006.
[25] U. Schultze and B. Vandenbosch. Information overload in a groupware
environment: Now you see it, now you dont. Journal of Organisational
Computing and Electronic Commerce, 1998.
[26] Goturk Sevinc and John D’Ambra. The influence of self-esteem and locus
control on perceived e-mail overload. ECIS, 2010.
[27] C. Speier, J.S. Valacich, and I. Vessey. The influence of task interruption on
individual decision making: An information overload perspective. Decision
Sciences, 1999.
[28] Alvin Toffler. Future shock. Amereon Ltd., New York, 1970.
[29] Manas Tungare and Manuel A. Perez-Quinones. You scratch my back and
i’ll scratch yours: Combating email overload collaboratively. CHI, 2009.
[30] Frank Webster. Theories of the information society. Routledge, 2007.
[31] Eoin Whelan and Robin Teigland. Managing information overload; exam-
ining the role of the human filter. ECIS, 2011.
... Social media is becoming the most compelling way for individuals to communicate with each other, especially among young people (Erkan and Evans 2016). While social media undoubtedly provides many advantages to users, researchers are now more closely challenging the negative effects of social media (Abram 2008;Anic et al. 2019;Bright et al. 2015;Melinat et al. 2014). At the users' level, information overload (Ding et al. 2017;Lee et al. 2016), system overload (Rodriguez et al. 2014;Shin and Shin 2016), privacy concern (Anic et al. 2019;Eastlick et al. 2006), fatigue Yeh et al. 2018), and anxiety (Dhir et al. 2018;Mac Callum et al. 2014) are some of the factors negatively affect the adoption of social media. ...
... Fatigue and anxiety are leading factors discussed to study negative usage of social media (Chen et al. 2011). Beyond fatigue and anxiety, RQ2 examines the most studied factors affecting negative usage of social media, which are system overload (Melinat et al. 2014), information overload (Lee et al. 2016;Melinat et al. 2014), social overload (McCarthy andSaegert 1978), and privacy concern (Anic et al. 2019). RQ1 and RQ2 together examine the overall process of negative adoption and usage. ...
... Humans have limited cognitive processing capacities, and consequently, when they are overloaded with information, their quality of decision-making suffers (Rodriguez et al. 2014). Melinat et al. (2014) define that information overload is the requirement for information processing that is greater than the ability to process. Information overload is defined as accepting large amounts of information per unit of time and has limited capabilities to process this information (Lee et al. 2016). ...
Full-text available
As social media use continues to increase, consumers are beginning to experience social media fatigue leading to concern among marketers about the efficacy of the channel. This research examines social media fatigue through a stressor–strain–outcome model to better understand how consumers cope with this phenomenon and how it impacts adoption behaviors. Data were collected from 452 valid WeChat users through questionnaires and analyzed using SEM with PLS. The results show that information overload, social overload, and privacy concerns significantly affect social media fatigue; system function overload and social overload affect the user’s negative behavior through the mediation of fatigue, not anxiety. Social overload and private concern significantly affect anxiety and fatigue, and anxiety further significantly affect negative usage behavior.
... One of the objectives of this study is to identify the research topic discussed in the article, whether the article is trying to explain the general idea of information security behaviour in the smartphone context or try to apply the approach to the participant in the research. In order to address the research questions, the researcher identifies the classification of the topic into four (4) categories, as shown in table 1 (Melinat, P., Kreuzkam, T., & Stamer, D., 2014). The four categories are: Presenting the general idea of information security behaviour in smartphone context. ...
Information such as bank access, password, and location data stored in the smartphone has become the primary target for cybercriminals. As the users are frequently stated as the weakest link in the information security chain, therefore, there is a need to investigate users' security behavior in the smartphone context. Using the systematic literature review approach, a total of 48 research articles were analyzed to summarizes the developments of Information Security literature on smartphone users. The findings suggest, Qualitative Approach are most adopted approach and Protection Motivation Theory is the most adopted theory in this field. Keywords: Smartphone user; Information Security; Security Behaviour; Literature review. eISSN: 2398-4287 © 2022. The Authors. Published for AMER ABRA cE-Bs by E-International Publishing House, Ltd., UK. This is an open-access article under the CC BY-NC-ND license ( Peer-review under the responsibility of AMER (Association of Malaysian Environment-Behavior Researchers), ABRA (Association of Behavioral Researchers on Asians), and cE-Bs (Centre for Environment-Behavior Studies), Faculty of Architecture, Planning & Surveying, Universiti Teknologi MARA, Malaysia
... (Li, 2008;You & Zhang, 2009;Hwang & Kim, 2017;Mutiso & Kamau, 2013;Melinat, Kreuzkam, & Stamer, 2014;Luo, Li, & Chen, 2018 (Davies, 2007;Souza, Rissatti, Rover, & Borba, 2019;The Association of Chartered Certified Accountants, 2009;Mutiso & Kamau, 2013;Oberholster, Koornhof, & Vorster, 2015;Sukotjo & Soenarno, 2018 (Subramanian, Insley, & Blackwell, 1993;Courtis, 1995;Smith & Taffler, 2000;Sydserff & Weetman, 2002;Rutherford, 2003;Smith, Jamil, & Johari, 2006;Li, 2008;Bloomfield, 2008;Hrasky & Smith, 2008;Smith, Dong, & Ren, 2011;Dempsey, Harrison, Luchtenberg, & Seiler, 2012;Abdul Rahman, 2014;Lo, Ramos, & Rogo, 2017;Prince, 2017;Asay, Libby, & Rennekamp, 2018 (Subramanian, Insley, & Blackwell, 1993;Smith & Taffler, 2000;Li, 2008;Bloomfield, 2008;Hrasky & Smith, 2008;Smith, Dong, & Ren, 2011;Dempsey, Harrison, Luchtenberg, & Seiler, 2012;Abdul Rahman, 2014;Lo, Ramos, & Rogo, 2017;Asay, Libby, & Rennekamp, 2018 (Courtis, 1995;Sydserff & Weetman, 2002;Rutherford, 2003;Smith, Jamil, & Johari, 2006;Prince, 2017;Soepriyanto, Tjokroaminoto, & Zudana, 2021 (Subramanian, Insley, & Blackwell, 1993;Sydserff & Weetman, 2002;Rutherford, 2003;Smith, Jamil, & Johari, 2006;Davies, 2007;Bloomfield, 2008 (Smith & Taffler, 1992;Courtis, 1995;Subramanian, Insley, & Blackwell, 1993;Clatworthy & Jones, 2001;Rutherford, 2003;Li, 2008;Merkl-Davies & Brennan, 2007;Abdul Rahman, 2014;Ajinaa, Laouitib, & Msollic, 2016 ...
... Given the novelty of the pandemic, its impact on everyone's lives, and the information overload (Melinat et al., 2014) regarding this topic, people have placed special attention on the COVID-19 related topics covered by the media, and each of these news items has represented a new piece of the "puzzle" they were trying to solve in their minds in order to orient themselves. At the same time, previous studies (Camaj, 2019) have shown that the people's information processing is influenced by two different types of objectives: the accuracy goals (those that meet the need to reach the correct conclusions) or the directional goals (those that meet the need to reach the preferred conclusions). ...
Full-text available
In times of crisis, the media play a crucial role in offering people information and updates related to the ongoing events. Thus, the media implicitly shape public opinion on the issues they cover and, as a result, influence public attitudes and behaviors. In this context, this paper aims at analyzing the media coverage of the COVID-19 pandemic. Specifically, by means of quantitative content analysis (N=1511) conducted on both television and online news stories released during March 18-31 2020, this study sheds light on the agenda-setting effects of the media and the phenomenon known as intermedia agenda-setting. Main results show that, in spring 2020, both television and online news stories extensively covered COVID-19 topics, focusing on domestic issues such as decisions taken by the authorities in order to manage the pandemic, effects of the virus, and statistics. Furthermore, results show a relatively high intermedia agenda-setting effect within the Romanian media environment. Content published online (either in the form of social media content or online stories) is frequently "borrowed" and cited in both online and television news stories, leading us to the idea that digital media might have become mainstream information sources.
... This leads to two main open issues. First of all, to the socalled information overload problem (Melinat et al. 2014): faced with such a volume of information, users are often unable to discriminate between relevant and non-relevant one. Secondly, to the information disorder problem (Wardle and Derakhshan 2017): the current online ecosystem is polluted with different types of non-genuine information, the so-called dis-, mis-, and mal-information. ...
Full-text available
Social media allow to fulfill perceived social needs such as connecting with friends or other individuals with similar interests into virtual communities; they have also become essential as news sources, microblogging platforms, in particular, in a variety of contexts including that of health. However, due to the homophily property and selective exposure to information, social media have the tendency to create distinct groups of individuals whose ideas are highly polarized around certain topics. In these groups, a.k.a. echo chambers, people only "hear their own voice,” and divergent visions are no longer taken into account. This article focuses on the study of the echo chamber phenomenon in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic, by considering both the relationships connecting individuals and semantic aspects related to the content they share over Twitter. To this aim, we propose an approach based on the application of a community detection strategy to distinct topology- and content-aware representations of the COVID-19 conversation graph. Then, we assess and analyze the controversy and homogeneity among the different polarized groups obtained. The evaluations of the approach are carried out on a dataset of tweets related to COVID-19 collected between January and March 2020.
... Effective educational campaigns with respect to the plastics problem, and the measures required to tackle it, need to persevere as these were found to be effective tools in raising awareness and influencing (partly) behaviours ( Heidbreder et al., 2019 ). But, information overload is also important to be considered ( Melinat et al., 2014 ). To know the effect of one's own actions, one needs to know both the effect of the act itself -for example using plastics, disposing plastics, etc. -and how the plastics were produced. ...
Full-text available
The plastic system is burdened with many inefficiencies that have been exposed, and exacerbated, by the outbreak of the coronavirus (SARS-CoV2) pandemic in December 2019, widely known as COVID-19, and which threaten society's commitment to transition to a sustainable plastics economy. This perspective aims to depict the structural and systemic inefficiencies of the plastics system, and illuminate: (a) the vulnerability of the recycling sector to macroeconomic – particularly to oil price – shocks; (b) the economics of the recycling system; (c) the political dimensions of the plastics sector. It emphasises that is unwise to think about plastics recycling as an insular and linear problem, due to the complexity and interconnectedness of different parts of the plastic system that affect and are affected by the intertwined processes, stakeholders and values. That said, the transition to a sustainable plastics system requires an integrated, knowledge-based systems approach that interrogates the dynamics and causal-effect relationships of the interconnected challenges. This analytical scrutiny can indicate where interventions are needed in the plastics systems towards creating transformational change.
... Various overlapping definitions of IO exist (Melinat et al. 2014). RS address the field of consumer research. ...
Full-text available
Business success in e-commerce depends on customer perceived value. A customer with high perceived value buys, returns, and recommends items. The perceived value is at risk whenever the information load harms users' shopping experience. In e-grocery, shoppers face an overwhelming number of items, the majority of which is irrelevant for the shopper. Recommender systems (RS) enable businesses to master information overload (IO) by providing users with an item ranking by relevance. Prior work proposes RS with short personalized rankings (top-k). Given large order sizes and high user heterogeneity in e-grocery, top-k RS are insufficient to diminish IO in this domain. To fill this gap and raise business performance, this paper introduces an RS with a personalized long ranking (top-N). Undertaking a randomized field experiment, the paper establishes the merit of shifting from top-k to top-N rankings. Specifically, the proposed RS reduces IO by 29.4% and lowers users' search time by 3.3 seconds per item. The field experiment also reveals a 7% uplift in revenue due to the top-N ranking. Substantial benefits for the customer and the company highlight the business value of top-N rankings as a new design requirement for recommender systems in e-grocery.
... time or budget. Therefore, following those significant past literature review (Roetzel, 2019;Melinat, Kreuzkam, and Stamer, 2014;Eppler and Mengis, 2004;Edmunds and Morris, 2000), we may consider information overload as a state of a consumer feeling cognitively overloaded when facing excessive information in terms of time and financial budget, complexity of the problem, and redundancy and inconsistency in the information available. In our information age with large amount of information, both information search and information follow may cause information overload to the consumers (Roetzel, 2019). ...
Full-text available
The major objective of this research is to test if two types of information overload are different: Information overload from searching for the information someone needs to search, and information overload from following all the information someone needs to follow. These two types of information overload may be labelled information search overload and information follow overload, corresponding to the concepts of information search and information follow. Using the data of a survey from a sample of about 1600 respondents across 50 states in the United States, the research identified 2 items corresponding to information search overload and information follow overload, and ran analyses including correlation and logistic regression with the 2 items separately as the dependent variables, and with some other items about consumers’ activities involving information as independent variables. Results of the various analyses suggest that information search overload and information follow overload are different, especially in terms of how they associate with different variables of consumer activities involving information, therefore indicate as a preliminary research that we may separate the two types of information overload in our future research.
Full-text available
In sports, too little attention has been paid concerning why changes are important for personal development and who exactly should notice when a change in personal activities would be needed. People themselves do not necessarily recognize that their efforts and goals are not in good sync. When this happens, they make changes to their routines, when things go badly wrong, but at the same time they can be blind for their inefficient ways of working. Authors have created a framework to ease the issue to identify a need for change to achieve sports goals. The research focused into the forefront of change management: Identifying and acknowledging need(s) for change, especially in initial stages of individuals change needs detection phase. As result, we propose Identify, acknowledge, and make a courageous move framework. With these stages, one can elicit appropriate changes. The value of the study lies in an overall and profound examination of the initial stages of sport training related change management.
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Large-scale online communities need to manage the tension between critical mass and information overload. Slashdot is a news and discussion site that has used comment rating to allow massive participation while providing a mechanism for users to filter content. By default, comments with low ratings are hidden. Of users who changed the defaults, more than three times as many chose to use ratings for filtering or sorting as chose to suppress the use of comment ratings. Nearly half of registered users, however, never strayed from the default filtering settings, suggesting that the costs of exploring and selecting custom filter settings exceeds the expected benefit for many users. We recommend leveraging the efforts of the users that actively choose filter settings to reduce the cost of changing settings for all other users. One strategy is to create static schemas that capture the filtering preferences of different groups of readers. Another strategy is to dynamically set filtering thresholds for each conversation thread, based in part on the choices of previous readers. For predicting later readers' choices, the choices of previous readers are far more useful than content features such as the number of comments or the ratings of those comments. Author Keywords
Conference Paper
As users are interacting with a large of mobile apps under various usage contexts, user involvements in an app design process has become a critical issue. Despite this fact, existing apps or app store platforms only provide a limited form of user involvements such as posting app reviews and sending email reports. While building a unified platform for facilitating user involvements with various apps is our ultimate goal, we present our preliminary work on handling developers' information overload attributed to a large number of app comments. To address this issue, we first perform a simple content analysis on app reviews from the developer's standpoint. We then propose an algorithm that automatically identifies informative reviews reflecting user involvements. The preliminary evaluation results document the efficiency of our algorithm.
The growth of computers and communications during the last several decades has caused great concern about information overload, a state in which the amount of information that merits attention exceeds an individual's ability to process it. Paradoxically, technology has also been called upon to provide mechanisms that enable us to cope with the information glut that it has helped generate. Groupware constitutes such a technology. It simultaneously increases both the volume of communication that managers have to deal with and the degree of control they have over the information they consider. We investigated how information load, human processing capacity, and control over communication interact in a groupware mediated environment and the net effect of these factors on information overload. Our longitudinal study at a large insurance company provided evidence that both the amount of information and control over it increase with the adoption of a groupware technology. Information overload did not overtly manifest itself in this organization, leading to the possibility that humans' tendency toward selectivity protects them from being overwhelmed by information. This selectivity may, however, inhibit the potential positive effects that groupware was designed to deliver.
Interruptions are a common aspect of the work environment of most organizations. Yet little is known about how intemptions and their characteristics, such as frequency of occurrence, influence decision-making performance of individuals. Consequently, this paper reports the results of two experiments investigating the influence of interruptions on individual decision making. Interruptions were found to improve decision-making performance on simple tasks and to lower performance on complex tasks. For complex tasks, the frequency of interruptions and the dissimilarity of content between the pri-mary and interruption tasks was found to exacerbate this effect. The implications of these results for future research and practice are discussed.
This paper reviews the literature on the problem of information overload, with particular reference to business organisations. The literature reveals that although the problem of information overload has existed for many years, in recent years the problem has become more widely recognised and experienced. Both perceptions and the actual effects of information overload have been exacerbated by the rapid advances made in information and communication technology, although it is not clear cut as to whether the Internet has worsened or improved the situation. A theme stressed in the literature is the paradoxical situation that, although there is an abundance of information available, it is often difficult to obtain useful, relevant information when it is needed. Some solutions put forward to reduce information overload are: a reduction in the duplication of information found in the professional literature; the adoption of personal information management strategies, together with the integration of software solutions such as push technology and intelligent agents; and the provision of value-added information (filtered by software or information specialists). An emphasis is placed on technology as a tool and not the driver, while increased information literacy may provide the key to reducing information overload.