Knowledge in the head and on the web: using topic expertise to aid search

Geoffrey B Duggan, Stephen J Payne

Research output: Chapter or section in a book/report/conference proceedingChapter in a published conference proceeding

47 Citations (SciVal)
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The importance of background knowledge for effective searching on the Web is not well understood. Participants were given trivia questions on two topics and asked to answer them first using background knowledge and second by searching on the Web. Knowledge of a topic predicted search performance on that topic for all questions and, more importantly, for questions for which participants did not already know the answer. In terms of process, greater topic knowledge led to less time being spent on each Webpage, faster decisions to give up a line of inquiry and shorter queries being entered into the search engine. A more complete theory-led understanding of these effects would assist workers in a whole range of Web-related professions.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationCHI '08 Proceedings of the SIGCHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems
Place of PublicationNew York
PublisherAssociation for Computing Machinery
Number of pages10
ISBN (Electronic)9781605580111
Publication statusPublished - 2008


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