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Information seeking: an overview of web tracking and the criteria for tracking software

Ina Fourie (Department of Information Science, University of Pretoria, South Africa)
Theo Bothma (Department of Information Science, University of Pretoria, South Africa)

Aslib Proceedings

ISSN: 0001-253X

Article publication date: 29 May 2007

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Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this article is to alert researchers to software for web tracking of information seeking behaviour, and to offer a list of criteria that will make it easier to select software. A selection of research projects based on web tracking as well as the benefits and disadvantages of web tracking are also explored.

Design/methodology/approach

An overview of the literature, including clarification of key concepts, a brief overview of studies of web information seeking behaviour based on web tracking, identification of software used, as well as the strengths and short‐comings noted for web tracking is used as a background to the identification of criteria for the selection of web tracking software.

Findings

Web tracking can offer very valuable information for the development of websites, portals, digital libraries, etc. It, however, needs to be supplemented by qualitative studies, and researchers need to ensure that the tracking software will collect the data required.

Research limitations/implications

The criteria is not applied to any software in particular.

Practical implications

The criteria can be used by researchers working on web usage and web information seeking behaviour to select suitable tracking software.

Originality/value

Although there are many reports on the use of web tracking (also reported in this article), nothing could be traced on criteria for the evaluation of web tracking software.

Keywords

Citation

Fourie, I. and Bothma, T. (2007), "Information seeking: an overview of web tracking and the criteria for tracking software", Aslib Proceedings, Vol. 59 No. 3, pp. 264-284. https://doi.org/10.1108/00012530710752052

Publisher

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Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2007, Emerald Group Publishing Limited