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ERIC Number: ED438784
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1999-Nov-1
Pages: 14
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: N/A
Factors Influencing Web Search Strategies.
White, Marilyn Domas; Iivonen, Mirja
This paper studies the influence of question-related variables (closed/open and predictable/unpredictable) on a Web user's choice of search strategy in the initial stage of a search. Search strategies considered include direct address, subject directory, and search engine. Objectives were to determine the adaptiveness of Web users in choosing an initial strategy in searching the Web based on type of question, strategies they used in the initial stages of the search, and the relationship between perception of level of difficulty of the question and question-related variables. Subjects 54 Finnish and American adult students averaging about 2.5 years of Web searching. Data were gathered via a questionnaire asking for decisions about 16 questions of 4 types: closed/predictable source; closed/unpredictable source; open/predictable source; and open/unpredictable source. Participants not only indicated a fairly high degree of familiarity with their initial search options and used multiple search strategies, but also said they were influenced in their choice of an initial search strategy by question-related variables. Choice of initial search strategy varied significantly across types of questions. The participants seemed to be matching the capabilities of the search strategies with the requirements of the question. They agreed to a large extent on the level of difficulty they attached to each question, and level of difficulty was closely related to type of question. (Author/MES)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Finland; United States