ForthcomingWeb Searching
Public Searching of the Web

Amanda Spink and Jim Jansen

To be published in the Information Science and Knowledge Management Series

  Web Search: Public Searching of the Web, co-authored by Drs. Amanda Spink and Bernard J. Jansen, is one of the first manuscripts that address the human – system interaction of Web searching in a thorough and complete manner. The authors provide an examination of Web searching from multiple levels of analysis, from theoretical overview to detailed study of term usage, and integrate these different levels of analysis into a coherent picture of how people locate information on the Web using search engines.

photo of Amanda SpinkDrawing primarily on their own research and work in the field, the authors present the temporal changes in, the growth of, and the stability of how people interact with Web search engines. Drs. Spink and Jansen present results from an analysis of multiple search engine data sets over a six year period, giving a firsthand account of the emergence of Web searching. They also compare and contrast their findings to the results of other researchers in the field, providing a valuable biographic resource.

This research is directly relevant to those interested in providing information or services on the Web, along those who research and study the Web as an information resource. Graduate students, academic and corporate researchers, search engine designers, information architects, and search engine optimizers will find the book of particular benefit.

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Foreword – Tefko Saracevic
Section I: The Context of Web Search
1. Technological, Social and Organizational Context
2. Human Information Behaviour and Human Computer Interaction Context
3. Research Design
SectionII: How People Search the Web
4. Search Terms
5. Search Queries
6. Search Sessions
Section III: Subjects of Web Search
7. E-Commerce Web Searching
8. Medical and Health Web Searching
9. Sexually-Related Web Searching
10. Multimedia Searching
Section IV: Conclusion
11. Key Findings, Trends, Further Research and Conclusions
Subject Index
Author Index

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Research Award

URG Project Title: Modeling Multitasking Web Search

Multitasking is the human ability to handle the demands of multiple tasks. People often multitask and information task switch when using information retrieval (IR) technologies as they look for information on more than one topic over single or multiple search episodes. Multitasking information seeking and searching behaviors are currently poorly understood and such user behavior has little support from current Web/IR technologies.

The proposed research will model users’ multitasking Web search interactions and identify Web/IR system requirements to support multitasking search. We will conduct an empirical investigation of the multitasking search behaviors by 40 students who engage in Web/IR technologies interactions through a controlled experiment, observations, interviews, search log analysis and search diaries. This timely and innovative project will be used to model Web users’ multitasking information behavior. A critical need exists for studies that enhance theoretical and behavioral models to include multitasking information behavior. The project will also fund a graduate student research assistant. The study results will have implications for the design of Web /IR systems and interfaces, and further research.