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Article

Christiane Behnert and Dirk Lewandowski

The purpose of this paper is to demonstrate how to apply traditional information retrieval (IR) evaluation methods based on standards from the Text REtrieval Conference…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to demonstrate how to apply traditional information retrieval (IR) evaluation methods based on standards from the Text REtrieval Conference and web search evaluation to all types of modern library information systems (LISs) including online public access catalogues, discovery systems, and digital libraries that provide web search features to gather information from heterogeneous sources.

Design/methodology/approach

The authors apply conventional procedures from IR evaluation to the LIS context considering the specific characteristics of modern library materials.

Findings

The authors introduce a framework consisting of five parts: search queries, search results, assessors, testing, and data analysis. The authors show how to deal with comparability problems resulting from diverse document types, e.g., electronic articles vs printed monographs and what issues need to be considered for retrieval tests in the library context.

Practical implications

The framework can be used as a guideline for conducting retrieval effectiveness studies in the library context.

Originality/value

Although a considerable amount of research has been done on IR evaluation, and standards for conducting retrieval effectiveness studies do exist, to the authors’ knowledge this is the first attempt to provide a systematic framework for evaluating the retrieval effectiveness of twenty-first-century LISs. The authors demonstrate which issues must be considered and what decisions must be made by researchers prior to a retrieval test.

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Article

Dirk Lewandowski and Sebastian Sünkler

The purpose of this paper is to describe a new method to improve the analysis of search engine results by considering the provider level as well as the domain level. This…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to describe a new method to improve the analysis of search engine results by considering the provider level as well as the domain level. This approach is tested by conducting a study using queries on the topic of insurance comparisons.

Design/methodology/approach

The authors conducted an empirical study that analyses the results of search queries aimed at comparing insurance companies. The authors used a self-developed software system that automatically queries commercial search engines and automatically extracts the content of the returned result pages for further data analysis. The data analysis was carried out using the KNIME Analytics Platform.

Findings

Google’s top search results are served by only a few providers that frequently appear in these results. The authors show that some providers operate several domains on the same topic and that these domains appear for the same queries in the result lists.

Research limitations/implications

The authors demonstrate the feasibility of this approach and draw conclusions for further investigations from the empirical study. However, the study is a limited use case based on a limited number of search queries.

Originality/value

The proposed method allows large-scale analysis of the composition of the top results from commercial search engines. It allows using valid empirical data to determine what users actually see on the search engine result pages.

Details

Aslib Journal of Information Management, vol. 71 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2050-3806

Keywords

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Article

Sebastian Schultheiß and Dirk Lewandowski

In commercial web search engine results rankings, four stakeholder groups are involved: search engine providers, users, content providers and search engine optimizers…

Abstract

Purpose

In commercial web search engine results rankings, four stakeholder groups are involved: search engine providers, users, content providers and search engine optimizers. Search engine optimization (SEO) is a multi-billion-dollar industry and responsible for making content visible through search engines. Despite this importance, little is known about its role in the interaction of the stakeholder groups.

Design/methodology/approach

We conducted expert interviews with 15 German search engine optimizers and content providers, the latter represented by content managers and online journalists. The interviewees were asked about their perspectives on SEO and how they assess the views of users about SEO.

Findings

SEO was considered necessary for content providers to ensure visibility, which is why dependencies between both stakeholder groups have evolved. Despite its importance, SEO was seen as largely unknown to users. Therefore, it is assumed that users cannot realistically assess the impact SEO has and that user opinions about SEO depend heavily on their knowledge of the topic.

Originality/value

This study investigated search engine optimization from the perspective of those involved in the optimization business: content providers, online journalists and search engine optimization professionals. The study therefore contributes to a more nuanced view on and a deeper understanding of the SEO domain.

Abstract

Details

Aslib Journal of Information Management, vol. 71 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2050-3806

Content available

Abstract

Details

Online Information Review, vol. 39 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1468-4527

Content available

Abstract

Details

Aslib Journal of Information Management, vol. 66 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2050-3806

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Book part

Dirk Lewandowski

Purpose — The purpose of this chapter is to give an overview of the context of Web search and search engine related research, as well as to introduce the reader to the…

Abstract

Purpose — The purpose of this chapter is to give an overview of the context of Web search and search engine related research, as well as to introduce the reader to the sections and chapters of the book.

Methodology/approach — We review literature dealing with various aspects of search engines, with special emphasis on emerging areas of Web searching, search engine evaluation going beyond traditional methods and new perspectives on Web searching.

Findings — The approaches to studying Web search engines are manifold. Given the importance of Web search engines for knowledge acquisition, research from different perspectives needs to be integrated into a more cohesive perspective.

Research limitations/implications — The chapter suggests a basis for research in the field and also introduces further research directions.

Originality/value of paper — The chapter gives a concise overview of the topics dealt within the book and also shows directions for researchers interested in Web search engines.

Details

Web Search Engine Research
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78052-636-2

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Book part

Dirk Ahlers studied computer science at the Carl-von-Ossietzky-University Oldenburg, Germany. In 2005, he started working as a research assistant at the OFFIS Institute…

Abstract

Dirk Ahlers studied computer science at the Carl-von-Ossietzky-University Oldenburg, Germany. In 2005, he started working as a research assistant at the OFFIS Institute for Information Technology, Oldenburg where he conducted projects in mobility and geospatial retrieval. While working at OFFIS, he also pursued his PhD with a topic in geographic information retrieval. He is currently working at UNITEC, a private university in Tegucigalpa, Honduras where he researches potential for local search for the case of a country with little Web coverage, challenging informal address schemes, and uncertain location data. His research interests are geospatial Web information retrieval, search engines, location-based services, Web technology, mobility, and everything geo. E-mail: dirk@dhere.de

Details

Web Search Engine Research
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78052-636-2

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Abstract

Details

Web Search Engine Research
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78052-636-2

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Article

Dirk Lewandowski

The purpose of this paper is to measure the coverage of Google Scholar for Library and Information Science (LIS) journal literature as identified by a list of core LIS…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to measure the coverage of Google Scholar for Library and Information Science (LIS) journal literature as identified by a list of core LIS journals from a study by Schlögl and Petschnig.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper checked every article from 35 major LIS journals from the years 2004 to 2006 for availability in Google Scholar. It also collected information on the type of availability – whether a certain article was available as a PDF for a fee, as a free PDF or as a preprint.

Findings

The paper found that only some journals are completely indexed by Google Scholar, that the ratio of versions available depends on the type of publisher, and that availability varies a lot from journal to journal. Google Scholar cannot substitute for abstracting and indexing services in that it does not cover the complete literature of the field. However, it can be used in many cases to easily find available full texts of articles already identified using another tool.

Originality/value

The study differs from other Google Scholar coverage studies in that it takes into account not only whether an article is indexed in Google Scholar at all, but also the type of availability.

Details

Online Information Review, vol. 34 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1468-4527

Keywords

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