ASIST AM 03 2003 START ConferenceManager    

Priming the Query Specification Process

Elaine G. Toms and Luanne Freund

Presented at ASIST 2003 Annual Meeting -- Humanizing Information Technology: From Ideas to Bits and Back (ASIST AM 03 2003), Westin Long Beach, Long Beach, California, October 20 - 23, 2003


As part of a large project to develop tools that aid users with the search process, we are testing ways of priming the query specification process. In this paper we test the use of questions as a technique. Using a within-subjects design 48 people interacted with a modified Google interface to solve four information problems in four domains. Participants were encouraged to enter half the problems in question or statement format and the other half using keywords. While results are not definitive, they suggest that the typical search box is a barrier to the creation of enriched queries.

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