The received wisdom a few years ago (in AltaVista days) was that
searches were very naive and overwhelmingly consisted of a single
My list of 30000 query terms for Southampton repositories has an
average length of 3.6 terms, so it would definitely appear that
things are getting more specific.
I would guess that a way to tell would be to look at the number of
items returned by each query.
On 27 Oct 2006, at 15:48, Sally Morris (Chief Executive) wrote:
> I had an interesting conversation with Google folks earlier this
> year about searches in Google Scholar. They said that the majority
> of searches were for very specific search terms but not (as far as
> I can recall) for precise article titles, nor for individual authors
> Perhaps, once again, physics is different?
> Sally Morris, Chief Executive
> Association of Learned and Professional Society Publishers
> South House, The Street, Clapham
> Worthing, West Sussex, BN13 3UU, UK
> Tel: +44 (0) 1903 871 686
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> Website: www.alpsp.org
> ----- Original Message ----- From: "C.Oppenheim"
> <[log in to unmask]>
> To: <[log in to unmask]>
> Sent: Friday, October 27, 2006 3:11 PM
> Subject: Re: Known-Item vs. Open-Ended Search, OA, OAI and Google
>> I remember Cliff Lynch or Michael Lesk (can't remember which)
>> speaking at a conference a few years ago saying that the majority
>> of searches ran on Arxiv were for an author, rather than a subject
>> or for a known item.
>> I wonder if any current repositories keep track of the search
>> strategies used by people using their repositories.
>> Professor Charles Oppenheim
>> Department of Information Science
>> Loughborough University
>> Leics LE11 3TU
>> Tel 01509-223065
>> Fax 01509-223053
>> e mail [log in to unmask]
>> ----- Original Message ----- From: "Leslie Carr"
>> <[log in to unmask]>
>> To: <[log in to unmask]>
>> Sent: Friday, October 27, 2006 3:06 PM
>> Subject: Re: Known-Item vs. Open-Ended Search, OA, OAI and Google
>>> On 27 Oct 2006, at 13:06, Stevan Harnad wrote:
>>>> Andy's informal test is a good demonstration that google is
>>>> *already* just about good
>>>> enough for "known-item searching" (i.e., where I know the
>>>> reference I want, and am just
>>>> looking for an OA version of it on the web).
>>>> But the real question is: What proportion of a researcher's
>>>> searching and search-needs
>>>> consist of known-item searching? What about open-ended searches
>>>> on topics, keywords,
>>>> boolean text items, etc.?
>>> Although I can't determine the true proportion "KI search : OE
>>> search", anyone with a repository can find an approximation to it.
>>> Just filter out all the items in the logs which come from Google
>>> (the string '.google.' appears in the referer field). I have
>>> created a file
>>> of 30000 google searches that led to either the ECS or the
>>> Southampton repositories over a 6-week period last year.
>>> The vast majority (>99%) of these appear to be open ended
>>> searches (although it may be difficult to differentiate between a
>>> focused OE search and a known item search).
>>> It should be possible to revisit Andy's experiment and to use
>>> these terms as real OE search queries that historically resolved
>>> to an eprint via Google.
>>> We could then look at the ranking of the eprint that was
>>> delivered via Google and compare it to the ranking within the
>>> OpenDOAR CSE. That should tell us something more about the
>>> behaviour of Google with respect to the literature in repositories.
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