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Article
Publication date: 21 April 2020

Sumeer Gul, Sabha Ali and Aabid Hussain

The purpose of this study is to assess the retrieval performance of three search engines, i.e. Google, Yahoo and Bing for navigational queries using two important…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this study is to assess the retrieval performance of three search engines, i.e. Google, Yahoo and Bing for navigational queries using two important retrieval measures, i.e. precision and relative recall in the field of life science and biomedicine.

Design/methodology/approach

Top three search engines namely Google, Yahoo and Bing were selected on the basis of their ranking as per Alexa, an analytical tool that provides ranking of global websites. Furthermore, the scope of study was confined to those search engines having interface in English. Clarivate Analytics' Web of Science was used for the extraction of navigational queries in the field of life science and biomedicine. Navigational queries (classified as one-word, two-word and three-word queries) were extracted from the keywords of the papers representing the top 100 contributing authors in the select field. Keywords were also checked for the duplication. Two important evaluation parameters, i.e. precision and relative recall were used to calculate the performance of search engines on the navigational queries.

Findings

The mean precision for Google scores high (2.30) followed by Yahoo (2.29) and Bing (1.68), while mean relative recall also scores high for Google (0.36) followed by Yahoo (0.33) and Bing (0.31) respectively.

Research limitations/implications

The study is of great help to the researchers and academia in determining the retrieval efficiency of Google, Yahoo and Bing in terms of navigational query execution in the field of life science and biomedicine. The study can help users to focus on various search processes and the query structuring and its execution across the select search engines for achieving desired result list in a professional search environment. The study can also act as a ready reference source for exploring navigational queries and how these queries can be managed in the context of information retrieval process. It will also help to showcase the retrieval efficiency of various search engines on the basis of subject diversity (life science and biomedicine) highlighting the same in terms of query intention.

Originality/value

Though many studies have been conducted highlighting the retrieval efficiency of search engines the current work is the first of its kind to study the retrieval effectiveness of Google, Yahoo and Bing on navigational queries in the field of life science and biomedicine. The study will help in understanding various methods and approaches to be adopted by the users for the navigational query execution across a professional search environment, i.e. “life science and biomedicine”

Details

Data Technologies and Applications, vol. 54 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2514-9288

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Article
Publication date: 19 October 2010

Ashish Kathuria, Bernard J. Jansen, Carolyn Hafernik and Amanda Spink

Web search engines are frequently used by people to locate information on the Internet. However, not all queries have an informational goal. Instead of information, some…

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1198

Abstract

Purpose

Web search engines are frequently used by people to locate information on the Internet. However, not all queries have an informational goal. Instead of information, some people may be looking for specific web sites or may wish to conduct transactions with web services. This paper aims to focus on automatically classifying the different user intents behind web queries.

Design/methodology/approach

For the research reported in this paper, 130,000 web search engine queries are categorized as informational, navigational, or transactional using a k‐means clustering approach based on a variety of query traits.

Findings

The research findings show that more than 75 percent of web queries (clustered into eight classifications) are informational in nature, with about 12 percent each for navigational and transactional. Results also show that web queries fall into eight clusters, six primarily informational, and one each of primarily transactional and navigational.

Research limitations/implications

This study provides an important contribution to web search literature because it provides information about the goals of searchers and a method for automatically classifying the intents of the user queries. Automatic classification of user intent can lead to improved web search engines by tailoring results to specific user needs.

Practical implications

The paper discusses how web search engines can use automatically classified user queries to provide more targeted and relevant results in web searching by implementing a real time classification method as presented in this research.

Originality/value

This research investigates a new application of a method for automatically classifying the intent of user queries. There has been limited research to date on automatically classifying the user intent of web queries, even though the pay‐off for web search engines can be quite beneficial.

Details

Internet Research, vol. 20 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1066-2243

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Article
Publication date: 8 August 2016

Sabha Ali and Sumeer Gul

– The purpose of this paper is to highlight the retrieval effectiveness of search engines taking into consideration both precision and relative recall.

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1141

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to highlight the retrieval effectiveness of search engines taking into consideration both precision and relative recall.

Design/methodology/approach

The study is based on search engines that are selected on the basis of Alexa (Actionable Analytics for the web) Rank. Alexa listed top 500 sites, namely, search engines, portals, directories, social networking sites, networking tools, etc. But the scope of study is confined to only general search engines on the basis of language which was confined to English. Therefore only two general search engines are selected for the study . Alexa reports Google.com as the most visited website worldwide and Yahoo.com as the fourth most visited website globally. A total of 15 queries were selected randomly from PG students of Department of Library and Information Science during a period of eight days (from May 8 to May 15, 2014) which are classified manually into navigational, informational and transactional queries. However, queries are largely distributed on the two selected search engines to check their retrieval effectiveness as a training data set in order to define some characteristics of each type. Each query was submitted to the selected search engines which retrieved a large number of results but only the first 30 results were evaluated to limit the study in view of the fact that most of the users usually look up under the first hits of a query.

Findings

The study estimated the precision and relative recall of Google and Yahoo. Queries using concepts in the field of Library and Information Science were tested and were divided into navigational queries, informational queries and transactional queries. Results of the study showed that the mean precision of Google was high with (1.10) followed by Yahoo with (0.88). While as, mean relative recall of Google was high with (0.68) followed by Yahoo with (0.31), respectively.

Research limitations/implications

The study highlights the retrieval effectiveness of only two search engines.

Originality/value

The research work is authentic and does not contain any plagiarized work.

Details

Online Information Review, vol. 40 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1468-4527

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Article
Publication date: 20 April 2012

Majdi A. Maabreh, Mohammed N. Al‐Kabi and Izzat M. Alsmadi

This study is an attempt to develop an automatic identification method for Arabic web queries and divide them into several query types using data mining. In addition, it…

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1082

Abstract

Purpose

This study is an attempt to develop an automatic identification method for Arabic web queries and divide them into several query types using data mining. In addition, it seeks to evaluate the impact of the academic environment on using the internet.

Design/methodology/approach

The web log files were collected from one of the higher institute's servers over a one‐month period. A special program was designed and implemented to extract web search queries from these files and also to automatically classify Arabic queries into three query types (i.e. Navigational, Transactional, and Informational queries) based on predefined specifications for each type.

Findings

The results indicate that students are slowly and gradually using the internet for more relevant academic purposes. Tests showed that it is possible to automatically classify Arabic queries based on query terms, with 80.6 per cent to 80.2 per cent accuracy for the two phases of the test respectively. In their future strategies, Jordanian universities should apply methods to encourage university students to use the internet for academic purposes. Web search engines in general and Arabic search engines in particular may benefit from the proposed classification method in order to improve the effectiveness and relevancy of their results in accordance with users' needs.

Originality/value

Studying internet web logs has been the subject of many papers. However, the particular domain, and the specific focuses on this research are what can distinguish it from the others.

Details

Program, vol. 46 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0033-0337

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Article
Publication date: 13 November 2020

Sadiat Adetoro Salau, F.P. Abifarin, J.A. Alhassan and S.J. Udoudoh

The purpose of this study was to evaluate the usability effectiveness of a webware for electronic theses and dissertations (ETDs) in Nigerian repositories. The webware…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this study was to evaluate the usability effectiveness of a webware for electronic theses and dissertations (ETDs) in Nigerian repositories. The webware (etdsearch.com.ng) is a web application system that curates ETDs from three sampled Federal government-owned universities. The system also links users to the repositories where the theses and dissertations are hosted.

Design/methodology/approach

The case study research strategy was adopted for the study. Sixty postgraduate students from three universities were randomly selected. A usability evaluation questionnaire based on the ISO 9241-11 framework was used to collect data after performing pre-defined queries/tasks based on the informational and transactional query models. The research questions were analysed using the median of the performance score (fx) of the three universities for each item evaluated, while the Kruskall–Wallis test by ranks was used to test the null hypothesis at a 5% level of significance.

Findings

The study answered two research questions and tested two null hypotheses on the usability effectiveness of the webware based on the informational and transactional queries. The participants found the ETD search system effectively useable. In addition, there was no significant difference in the opinions of the participants.

Research limitations/implications

The webware used simulated repositories as a feed bed for the ETDs in order to have control over the workability of the repositories. Thus, the results may differ slightly when “live” repositories are used.

Practical implications

The effectiveness of a webware that aggregates ETDs in Nigerian repositories will present libraries in Nigeria with evidence on how these systems work and can be improved upon.

Originality/value

There is a dearth of literature on practical usability studies of digital information systems in Nigerian libraries.

Details

Performance Measurement and Metrics, vol. 22 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1467-8047

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Article
Publication date: 21 March 2016

Haakon Lund and Susanne Ørnager

The purpose of this paper is to explore theoretically and empirically the understanding and implementation of an information taxonomy in the UN organization World Food…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to explore theoretically and empirically the understanding and implementation of an information taxonomy in the UN organization World Food Programme (WFP) by analysing users’ information behaviour and by establishing a minimum set of cross-silo metadata (taxonomy).

Design/methodology/approach

The study implies the use of both qualitative and quantitative methods. This includes desk review of key documents and interviews with information architecture staff from various WFP units; data collection carried out as semi-structured staff interviews in WFP; log analyses of search log-files from WFP intranet portal (WFPgo) from September to November 2013, the results were applied and a suggested taxonomy tested at workshops conducted for the staff in headquarters.

Findings

The results reveal an organization with a high demand for easier access to information and knowledge, greater internal collaborations and stronger links with various sources of knowledge. Staff participating in the various workshops pointed out that work processes as well as the human resources component cannot be left out of a solution development.

Originality/value

There has been little research carried out on current taxonomy projects in corporate environments and international emergency response organizations and few has touched on how knowledge organization systems can enhance or constrain staff’s ability to access online content.

Details

Aslib Journal of Information Management, vol. 68 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2050-3806

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Article
Publication date: 9 April 2019

Aabid Hussain, Sumeer Gul, Tariq Ahmad Shah and Sheikh Shueb

The purpose of this study is to explore the retrieval effectiveness of three image search engines (ISE) – Google Images, Yahoo Image Search and Picsearch in terms of their…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this study is to explore the retrieval effectiveness of three image search engines (ISE) – Google Images, Yahoo Image Search and Picsearch in terms of their image retrieval capability. It is an effort to carry out a Cranfield experiment to know how efficient the commercial giants in the image search are and how efficient an image specific search engine is.

Design/methodology/approach

The keyword search feature of three ISEs – Google images, Yahoo Image Search and Picsearch – was exploited to make search with keyword captions of photos as query terms. Selected top ten images were used to act as a testbed for the study, as images were searched in accordance with features of the test bed. Features to be looked for included size (1200 × 800), format of images (JPEG/JPG) and the rank of the original image retrieved by ISEs under study. To gauge the overall retrieval effectiveness in terms of set standards, only first 50 result hits were checked. Retrieval efficiency of select ISEs were examined with respect to their precision and relative recall.

Findings

Yahoo Image Search outscores Google Images and Picsearch both in terms of precision and relative recall. Regarding other criteria – image size, image format and image rank in search results, Google Images is ahead of others.

Research limitations/implications

The study only takes into consideration basic image search feature, i.e. text-based search.

Practical implications

The study implies that image search engines should focus on relevant descriptions. The study evaluated text-based image retrieval facilities and thereby offers a choice to users to select best among the available ISEs for their use.

Originality/value

The study provides an insight into the effectiveness of the three ISEs. The study is one of the few studies to gauge retrieval effectiveness of ISEs. Study also produced key findings that are important for all ISE users and researchers and the Web image search industry. Findings of the study will also prove useful for search engine companies to improve their services.

Details

The Electronic Library , vol. 37 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0264-0473

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Article
Publication date: 11 November 2014

Mildred Coates

The purpose of this paper is to examine two research questions: What search engine queries lead users to the Auburn University electronic theses and dissertations (AUETDs…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to examine two research questions: What search engine queries lead users to the Auburn University electronic theses and dissertations (AUETDs) collection? Do these queries vary for users in different locations and, if so, how?

Design/methodology/approach

Search engine queries used to locate the AUETDs collection were obtained from Google Analytics and were separated into groups based on user location. These queries were assigned to empirically derived categories based on their content.

Findings

Most local users’ queries contained person names, variants for thesis or dissertation, and variants for Auburn University. Over a third were queries for the AUETDs collection, while the remainder were seeking theses and dissertations from specific Auburn researchers. Most out-of-state users’ queries contained title and subject keywords and appeared to be seeking specific research studies. Queries from users located within the state but outside of the local area were intermediate between these groups.

Practical implications

Over two-thirds of visits to the AUETDs collection were made by search engine users which reinforces the importance of having repository content indexed by search engines such as Google. The specificity of their queries indicates that full-text indexing will be more helpful to users than metadata indexing alone.

Originality/value

This is the first detailed analysis of search engine queries used to locate an ETDs collection. It may also be the last, as query content for the major search engines is no longer available from Google Analytics.

Details

Library Hi Tech, vol. 32 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0737-8831

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Article
Publication date: 16 November 2015

Chirag Shah, Chathra Hendahewa and Roberto González-Ibáñez

The purpose of this paper is to investigate when and how people working in collaboration could be benefitted by an exploratory search task, specifically focussing on team…

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842

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to investigate when and how people working in collaboration could be benefitted by an exploratory search task, specifically focussing on team size and its effect on the outcomes of such a task.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper investigates the effects of team sizes on exploratory search tasks using a lab study involving 68 participants – 12 individuals, ten dyads, and 12 triads. In order to assess various factors during their exploratory search sessions, an evaluation framework is synthesized using relevant literature. The framework consists of measures for five groups of quantities relevant to exploratory search: information exposure, information relevancy, information search, performance, and learning.

Findings

The analyses on the user study data using the proposed framework reveals that while individuals working alone cover more information than those working in teams, the teams (dyads and triads) are able to achieve better information coverage and search performance due to their collaborative strategies. In many of the measures, the triads are found to be even better than the dyads, demonstrating the value of adding a collaborator to a search process with multiple facets.

Originality/value

The findings shed light on not only how collaborative work could help in achieving better results in exploratory search, but also how team sizes affect specific aspects – information exposure, information relevancy, information search, performance, and learning – of exploratory search. This has implications for system designers, information managers, and educators.

Details

Aslib Journal of Information Management, vol. 67 no. 6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2050-3806

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Article
Publication date: 7 July 2011

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.

Downloads
4227

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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