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You have e-mail, what happens next? Tracking the eyes for genre.

Clark, Malcolm; Ruthven, Ian; Holt, Patrik O'Brian; Song, Dawei; Watt, Stuart


Malcolm Clark

Ian Ruthven

Patrik O'Brian Holt

Dawei Song

Stuart Watt


This paper reports on an approach to the analysis of form (layout and formatting) during genre recognition recorded using eye tracking. The researchers focused on eight different types of e-mail, such as calls for papers, newsletters and spam, which were chosen to represent different genres. The study involved the collection of oculographic behavior data based on the scanpath duration and scanpath length based metric, to highlight the ways in which people view the features of genres. We found that genre analysis based on purpose and form (layout features, etc.) was an effective means of identifying the characteristics of these e-mails. The research, carried out on a group of 24 participants, highlighted their interaction and interpretation of the e-mail texts and the visual cues or features perceived. In addition, the ocular strategies of scanning and skimming, they employed for the processing of the texts by block, genre and representation were evaluated.


CLARK, M., RUTHVEN, I., HOLT, P.O'B., SONG, D. and WATT, S. 2014. You have e-mail, what happens next? Tracking the eyes for genre. Information processing and management [online], 50(1), pages 175-198. Available:

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Aug 28, 2013
Online Publication Date Sep 28, 2013
Publication Date Jan 31, 2014
Deposit Date Mar 23, 2015
Publicly Available Date Mar 23, 2015
Journal Information processing and management
Print ISSN 0306-4573
Electronic ISSN 1873-5371
Publisher Elsevier
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 50
Issue 1
Pages 175-198
Keywords Genre; Eyetracking; Email; Scan paths
Public URL


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