Keeping and refinding information.. by Bruce, Jones and Dumais
Bruce H, Jones W, Dumais S. Keeping and re-finding information on the web: What do people do and what do they need? In: ASIST 2004: Proceedings of the 67th ASIST Annual Meeting. Chicago: Information Today; 2004:1-10.
This study, from the Keeping Found Things Found project, http://kftf.ischool.washington.edu/index.htm, focuses mainly on keeping and relocating info found on the Web, although e-mail is also mentioned. Researchers observed study participants and also administered a survey. They concluded that of the many methods people used to keep info, none had all the qualities users desired, and each user employed a variety of methods.
Those methods include bookmarking, copying the URL into a document or personal Web page, printing it out, e-mailing the URL to yourself with annotations, writing it on a post-it, and doing nothing. They varied in portability, providing multiple access points, and providing a reminder function.
In looking at refinding, the authors note that people were extremely successful, and often used methods such as searching or remembering the URL, which do not make use of the keeping techniques they employ.