Multitasking during Web search sessions
A users single session with a Web search engine or information retrieval (IR) system may consist of seeking information on single or multiple topics, and switch between tasks or multitasking information behavior. Most Web search sessions consist of two queries of approximately two words. However, some Web search sessions consist of three or more queries. We present findings from two studies. First, a study of two-query search sessions on the AltaVista Web search engine, and second, a study of three or more query search sessions on the AltaVista Web search engine. We examine the degree of multitasking search and information task switching during these two sets of AltaVista Web search sessions. A sample of two-query and three or more query sessions were filtered from AltaVista transaction logs from 2002 and qualitatively analyzed. Sessions ranged in duration from less than a minute to a few hours. Findings include: (1) 81% of two-query sessions included multiple topics, (2) 91.3% of three or more query sessions included multiple topics, (3) there are a broad variety of topics in multitasking search sessions, and (4) three or more query sessions sometimes contained frequent topic changes. Multitasking is found to be a growing element in Web searching. This paper proposes an approach to interactive information retrieval (IR) contextually within a multitasking framework. The implications of our findings for Web design and further research are discussed.
Impact and interest:
Citation counts are sourced monthly from and citation databases.
These databases contain citations from different subsets of available publications and different time periods and thus the citation count from each is usually different. Some works are not in either database and no count is displayed. Scopus includes citations from articles published in 1996 onwards, and Web of Science® generally from 1980 onwards.
Citations counts from theindexing service can be viewed at the linked Google Scholar™ search.
Full-text downloads displays the total number of times this work’s files (e.g., a PDF) have been downloaded from QUT ePrints as well as the number of downloads in the previous 365 days. The count includes downloads for all files if a work has more than one.
|Item Type:||Journal Article|
|Keywords:||Web search engine, information retrieval|
|Subjects:||Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > INFORMATION AND COMPUTING SCIENCES (080000) > INFORMATION SYSTEMS (080600) > Computer-Human Interaction (080602)|
|Divisions:||Past > QUT Faculties & Divisions > Faculty of Science and Technology|
|Copyright Owner:||Copyright 2006 Elsevier|
|Copyright Statement:||Reproduced in accordance with the copyright policy of the publisher.|
|Deposited On:||26 Jul 2006 00:00|
|Last Modified:||29 Feb 2012 13:25|
Repository Staff Only: item control page