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Searching the intranet: Corporate users and their queries

Dick Stenmark

Sparking Synergies: Bringing Research and Practice Together @ ASIST '05 (ASIS&T 2005)
Westin Charlotte, Charlotte, North Carolina, October 28 - November 2, 2005


By examining the log files from a corporate intranet search engine, we have analysed the actual web searching behaviour of real users in a real business environment. While building on previous research on public search engines, we apply an alternative session definition that we argue is more appropriate. Our results regarding session length, query construction and result page viewing confirm some of the findings from similar studies carried out on public search engines but further our understanding of web searching by presenting details on corporate users’ activities. In particular, we suggest that search sessions are shorter than previously suggested, search queries have fewer terms than observed for public search engines, and number of examined result pages is smaller than reported in other research. This suggests that information retrieval tools for intranet need to be designed differently.

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