The context in which a search takes place affects the Information Retrieval (IR) process. It affects the searcher’s interaction with the IR system, his expectations and his decisions about the documents he retrieves. Therefore, knowing more about what features are important in a searcher’s context and what they are used for, can help design more useful and successful IR systems. This paper has three main contributions. It starts with a literature review on the definition of context and on context taxonomies (1). A systematic representation of context features and uses, based on related work, is then proposed (2) and used in a survey on the use of context features in IR (3). This analysis has concluded that interaction context is the most used category of features and Indexing and Searching are the tasks where context features are most employed. This work, an initial phase of a PhD research, provides a systematic review of what is being done in the area and proposes a taxonomy for IR.