Project Name: An Open Source Environment to construct Information Services for Children

Abbreviation: PuppyIR

Start date: April 1, 2009

End date: April 1, 2012

Project Description:
PuppyIR is an FP7 project (INFSO-IST-231507) that that will help children search the Internet safely and successfully by the design of an Open-Source platform of child-friendly information services.

Consortium members are: University of Twente, University of Glasgow, University of Strathclyde, Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, AMC/Emma Kinderziekenhuis, Vereniging Openbare Bibliotheken, Atos Origin and Technical University Delft.

Coordination and contact: Franciska de Jong

The Project Website is:


Open positions in PuppyIR at partner institutes:

Department Computing Science, University of Glasgow,
Intelligence & Information Retrieval group, KU Leuven


As adults we are keen to help children maximize their full potential. Developing children’s abilities to find and understand information is key their development as young adults. The Internet offers children exciting new ways to meet people, learn about different cultures and develop their creative potential. However, children’s ability to use the Internet is severely hampered by the lack of appropriate search tools.

Most Information Retrieval (IR) systems are designed for adults: they return information in a form that is unsuitable for children, present information in lists that children find difficult to manage and make it difficult for children to identify the relevant parts. Worse, almost all Internet search engines confront children with inappropriate material.

PuppyIR will provide a suite of components that can be used by system designers to tailor IR systems for their specific needs. PuppyIR will develop new interaction paradigms that allow children to express their information needs simply and have results presented in an intuitive way. It will develop Information Services that can summarise content for children, moderate information for children, help children safely build social networks and intelligently aggregate for presentation to children. PuppyIR will also contribute to the evaluation of children’s IR systems by the development of child-centered evaluation methods.

PuppyIR will be a multi-layered architecture: system designers can choose from several interaction paradigms and information services to construct their own system. As PuppyIR is Open-Source it will be extensible for new information sources, new information services and new languages.

PuppyIR offers a package for designers to construct usable IR systems for children and the opportunity for children to fully exploit the Internet.


The following HMI-member(s) is/are coordinator of this Project

Franciska de Jong



The following ShowCases are associated with this Project



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