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Web search strategies and retrieval effectiveness: an empirical study

Ford, N., Miller, D. and Moss, N. (2002) Web search strategies and retrieval effectiveness: an empirical study. Journal of Documentation, 58 (1). pp. 30-48. ISSN 0022-0418

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This paper reports the results of a study funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Board which sought to investigate links between Web search strategies and retrieval effectiveness. A total of 68 students, enrolled on masters programmes in librarianship, information management and information systems, searched for two topics using the AltaVista search engine. Logs of the resultant 341 queries, along with relevance judgements for over 4,000 retrieved items, were analysed using factor analysis and regression. The differing but complementary types and strengths of evidence produced by these two forms of analysis are discussed and presented. Retrieval effectiveness was associated positively with best-match searching and negatively with Boolean searching. The implications of these findings for Web searching are discussed.

Item Type: Article
Institution: The University of Sheffield
Academic Units: The University of Sheffield > Faculty of Social Sciences (Sheffield) > Information School (Sheffield)
Depositing User: Information Studies
Date Deposited: 24 Mar 2009 12:54
Last Modified: 13 May 2009 16:55
Published Version: http://dx.doi.org/10.1108/00220410210425395
Status: Published
Publisher: Emerald Group Publishing Limited
Refereed: Yes
Identification Number: 10.1108/00220410210425395
URI: http://eprints.whiterose.ac.uk/id/eprint/8120

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