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Internet Usage Transaction Log Studies: The Next Generation (SIG USE)

Bernard Jim Jansen, Soo Young Rieh, Amanda Spink, Peiling Wang, Dietmar Wolfram

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


Abstract

The availability of large transaction logs of Internet-based search tools has produced a wealth of research over the past ten years on search patterns for public search engines, vendor database products, and institutional search services. Much of the early research dealt with describing observed regularities in querying and browsing behaviors. Findings of these studies have revealed--with notable regularity across search tools--that users do not engage in lengthy search sessions, submit brief queries, and do not browse extensively. With many studies now having uncovered the presence of search and browsing regularities, what’s next for Internet user research? Panel members will discuss how they see research developing on these fronts in the near future. The panel members will also engage in a dialogue with audience members to develop an agenda for advancing the state of Internet use transaction log research.

Issues to be covered include:

Standardization of variables studied – At present, different researchers define search process events differently (e.g., session, query term, query modification).

Integration of information needs and seeking theory - Transaction log analysis studies are now moving beyond descriptive analysis. How well do existing theoretical models fit in this environment?

Generalization of observed behaviors – What do observed regularities and power laws tell us about user audiences?

Integration of study findings into search practice and system design – How can findings best be translated into practice, whether for system design or service development?

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