The sorting techniques: A tutorial paper on card sorts, picture sorts and item sorts

Gordon Rugg, Peter McGeorge

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

133 Citations (Scopus)


Although sorting techniques (e.g. card sorts) are widely used in knowledge acquisition and requirements acquisition, they have received little formal attention compared to related techniques such as repertory grids and laddering. This paper briefly describes the main sorting techniques, then provides a detailed tutorial on one variety (repeated single-criterion sorts), using a worked example. Guidelines for choice and sequencing of techniques are given, both in relation to varieties of sorting technique and in relation to other techniques. It is concluded that the sorting techniques are a valuable part of the elicitor's methodological toolkit.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)80-93
Number of pages14
JournalExpert Systems
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - May 1997


  • sorting
  • card sorts
  • repertory grids
  • laddering
  • Personal Construct Theory

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