Search engines and other large-scale information retrieval systems have proven to be an effective solution to the information overload caused by the scopious connectivity of the World Wide Web. However, the average user of such retrieval systems is not a search expert. Searching all relevant sources is a lot of work and regular users are not professionals with regard to formulating queries or locating the right information sources.
The long-term goal of À Propos is to develop an adaptive, personalized, just in time knowledge management environment for members of professional workgroups, which supports them in writing documents and test its usability in actual offices. While authors are writing, the À Propos system searches potentially relevant information to what is being written, and presents this information to the writers in a manner that is perceived as timely, non-intrusive, and trustworthy. Of course, users will be able to combine the system with active search operations of their own.