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Abstract

Details

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

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Article

Joachim Griesbaum, Nadine Mahrholz, Kim von Löwe Kiedrowski and Marc Rittberger

– The purpose of this paper is to get a first approximation of the usefulness of online forums with regard to information seeking and knowledge generation.

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to get a first approximation of the usefulness of online forums with regard to information seeking and knowledge generation.

Design/methodology/approach

This study captures the characteristics of knowledge generation by examining the pragmatics and types of information needs of posted questions and by investigating knowledge related characteristics of discussion posts as well as the success of communication. Three online forums were examined. The data set consists of 55 threads, containing 533 posts which were categorized manually by two researchers.

Findings

Results show that questioners often ask for personal estimations. Information needs often aim for actionable insights or uncertainty reduction. With regard to answers, factual information is the dominant content type and has the highest knowledge value as it is the strongest predictor with regard to the generation of new knowledge. Opinions are also relevant, but in a rather subsequent and complementary way. Emotional aspects are scarcely observed. Overall, results indicate that knowledge creation predominantly follows a socio-cultural paradigm of knowledge exchange.

Research limitations/implications

Although the investigation captures important aspects of knowledge building processes, the measurement of the forums’ knowledge value is still rather limited. Success is only partly measurable with the current scheme. The central coding category “new topical knowledge” is only of nominal value and therefore not able to compare different kinds of knowledge gains in the course of discussion.

Originality/value

The investigation reaches out beyond studies that do not consider that the role and relevance of posts is dependent on the state of the discussion. Furthermore, the paper integrates two perspectives of knowledge value: the success of the questioner with regard to the expressed information need and the knowledge building value for communicants and readers.

Details

Aslib Journal of Information Management, vol. 67 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2050-3806

Keywords

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Article

Lars Michael Wendt, Joachim Griesbaum and Ralph Kölle

In the context of social media marketing, so called viral stealth videos (VSVs) often attract as much or even more attention than videos that directly advertise products…

Abstract

Purpose

In the context of social media marketing, so called viral stealth videos (VSVs) often attract as much or even more attention than videos that directly advertise products (product advertising video (PAV)). However, beyond this, the product or brand-related impact of such videos is not so clear. In this context, the purpose of this paper is to investigate brand perception of PAVs and VSVs in YouTube.

Design/methodology/approach

The research design is based on an examination of comments of six VSVs and six PAVs on YouTube. Therefore, the content of 1,080 posts was analyzed to capture the topic, the attitude toward the video and the pragmatic intent of posts.

Findings

Results indicate that there are strong differences with regard to users ' perception of the two analyzed video type segments. The content of VSVs is clearly recognized as positive more often than the content of PAVs. In contrast, only PAVs evoke substantial brand awareness but receive rather mixed results with regards to brand assessment.

Research limitations/implications

As a whole, the study is widely descriptive and of explorative value. Nevertheless, the research design can be estimated as a first step to measure the brand-related impact of online videos. Ideally, the data generated in the investigation should be combined with traffic and conversion data of the brands’ websites to get an encompassing picture of the marketing related impact of the investigated online videos.

Practical implications

Seen from a marketers’ perspective, one can recommend PAVs over VSVs as there are hardly any brand-related impacts of VSVs visible in online communication. PAVs are perceived less positively but they are able to evoke brand awareness at least.

Originality/value

According to the authors’ knowledge this investigation is one of only a few studies that analyzes real online communication in the context of video-based online marketing.

Details

Aslib Journal of Information Management, vol. 68 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2050-3806

Keywords

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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

Dirk Lewandowski

The purpose of this paper is to compare five major web search engines (Google, Yahoo, MSN, Ask.com, and Seekport) for their retrieval effectiveness, taking into account…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to compare five major web search engines (Google, Yahoo, MSN, Ask.com, and Seekport) for their retrieval effectiveness, taking into account not only the results, but also the results descriptions.

Design/methodology/approach

The study uses real‐life queries. Results are made anonymous and are randomized. Results are judged by the persons posing the original queries.

Findings

The two major search engines, Google and Yahoo, perform best, and there are no significant differences between them. Google delivers significantly more relevant result descriptions than any other search engine. This could be one reason for users perceiving this engine as superior.

Research limitations/implications

The study is based on a user model where the user takes into account a certain amount of results rather systematically. This may not be the case in real life.

Practical implications

The paper implies that search engines should focus on relevant descriptions. Searchers are advised to use other search engines in addition to Google.

Originality/value

This is the first major study comparing results and descriptions systematically and proposes new retrieval measures to take into account results descriptions.

Details

Journal of Documentation, vol. 64 no. 6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0022-0418

Keywords

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Article

Judit Bar‐Ilan and Mark Levene

The aim of this paper is to develop a methodology for assessing search results retrieved from different sources.

Abstract

Purpose

The aim of this paper is to develop a methodology for assessing search results retrieved from different sources.

Design/methodology/approach

This is a two phase method, where in the first stage users select and rank the ten best search results from a randomly ordered set. In the second stage they are asked to choose the best pre‐ranked result from a set of possibilities. This two‐stage method allows users to consider each search result separately (in the first stage) and to express their views on the rankings as a whole, as they were retrieved by the search provider. The method was tested in a user study that compared different country‐specific search results of Google and Live Search (now Bing). The users were Israelis and the search results came from six sources: Google Israel, Google.com, Google UK, Live Search Israel, Live Search US and Live Search UK. The users evaluated the results of nine pre‐selected queries, created their own preferred ranking and picked the best ranking from the six sources.

Findings

The results indicate that the group of users in this study preferred their local Google interface, i.e. Google succeeded in its country‐specific customisation of search results. Live Search was much less successful in this aspect.

Research limitations/implications

Search engines are highly dynamic, thus the findings of the case study have to be viewed cautiously.

Originality/value

The main contribution of the paper is a two‐phase methodology for comparing and evaluating search results from different sources.

Details

Online Information Review, vol. 35 no. 6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1468-4527

Keywords

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Article

Jin Zhang, Wei Fei and Taowen Le

The purpose of this paper to investigate the effectiveness of selected search features in the major English and Chinese search engines and compare the search engines…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper to investigate the effectiveness of selected search features in the major English and Chinese search engines and compare the search engines’ retrieval effectiveness.

Design/approach/methodology

The search engines Google, Google China, and Baidu were selected for this study. Common search features such as title search, basic search, exact phrase search, PDF search, and URL search, were identified and used. Search results from using the five features in the search engines were collected and compared. One‐way ANOVA and regression analysis were used to compare the retrieval effectiveness of the search engines.

Findings

It was found that Google achieved the best retrieval performance with all five search features among the three search engines. Moreover Google achieved the best webpage ranking performance.

Practical implications

The findings of this study improve the understanding of English and Chinese search engines and the differences between them in terms of search features, and can be used to assist users in choosing appropriate and effective search strategies when they search for information on the internet.

Originality/value

The original contributions of this paper are that the Chinese and English search engines in both languages are compared for retrieval effectiveness. Five search features were evaluated, compared, and analysed in the two different language environments by using the discounted cumulative gain method.

Details

Online Information Review, vol. 37 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1468-4527

Keywords

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Article

Dirk Lewandowski

The purpose of this paper is to test major web search engines on their performance on navigational queries, i.e. searches for homepages.

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to test major web search engines on their performance on navigational queries, i.e. searches for homepages.

Design/methodology/approach

In total, 100 user queries are posed to six search engines (Google, Yahoo!, MSN, Ask, Seekport, and Exalead). Users described the desired pages, and the results position of these was recorded. Measured success and mean reciprocal rank are calculated.

Findings

The performance of the major search engines Google, Yahoo!, and MSN was found to be the best, with around 90 per cent of queries answered correctly. Ask and Exalead performed worse but received good scores as well.

Research limitations/implications

All queries were in German, and the German‐language interfaces of the search engines were used. Therefore, the results are only valid for German queries.

Practical implications

When designing a search engine to compete with the major search engines, care should be taken on the performance on navigational queries. Users can be influenced easily in their quality ratings of search engines based on this performance.

Originality/value

This study systematically compares the major search engines on navigational queries and compares the findings with studies on the retrieval effectiveness of the engines on informational queries.

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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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