Multitasking during Web search sessions

Amanda Spink, Minsoo Park, Bernard Jansen, Jan Pedersen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

109 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

A user's 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.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)264-275
Number of pages12
JournalInformation Processing and Management
Volume42
Issue number1 SPEC. ISS
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2006
Externally publishedYes

Fingerprint

multiple stress
Multitasking
World Wide Web
Search engines
search engine
information retrieval
Information retrieval systems
Information retrieval
transaction
Switches
Web search
Query

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Computer Science Applications
  • Information Systems
  • Library and Information Sciences

Cite this

Multitasking during Web search sessions. / Spink, Amanda; Park, Minsoo; Jansen, Bernard; Pedersen, Jan.

In: Information Processing and Management, Vol. 42, No. 1 SPEC. ISS, 01.2006, p. 264-275.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Spink, Amanda ; Park, Minsoo ; Jansen, Bernard ; Pedersen, Jan. / Multitasking during Web search sessions. In: Information Processing and Management. 2006 ; Vol. 42, No. 1 SPEC. ISS. pp. 264-275.
@article{a69771fddef843029d2cf75aa9bf2e50,
title = "Multitasking during Web search sessions",
abstract = "A user's 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.",
author = "Amanda Spink and Minsoo Park and Bernard Jansen and Jan Pedersen",
year = "2006",
month = "1",
doi = "10.1016/j.ipm.2004.10.004",
language = "English",
volume = "42",
pages = "264--275",
journal = "Information Processing and Management",
issn = "0306-4573",
publisher = "Elsevier Limited",
number = "1 SPEC. ISS",

}

TY - JOUR

T1 - Multitasking during Web search sessions

AU - Spink, Amanda

AU - Park, Minsoo

AU - Jansen, Bernard

AU - Pedersen, Jan

PY - 2006/1

Y1 - 2006/1

N2 - A user's 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.

AB - A user's 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.

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=23744469391&partnerID=8YFLogxK

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/citedby.url?scp=23744469391&partnerID=8YFLogxK

U2 - 10.1016/j.ipm.2004.10.004

DO - 10.1016/j.ipm.2004.10.004

M3 - Article

VL - 42

SP - 264

EP - 275

JO - Information Processing and Management

JF - Information Processing and Management

SN - 0306-4573

IS - 1 SPEC. ISS

ER -