City Research Online

Evaluation of web search for the information practitioner

MacFarlane, A. (2007). Evaluation of web search for the information practitioner. Aslib Proceedings; New Information Perspectives, 59(4/5), pp. 352-366. doi: 10.1108/00012530710817573


– The aim of the paper is to put forward a structured mechanism for web search evaluation. The paper seeks to point to useful scientific research and show how information practitioners can use these methods in evaluation of search on the web for their users.

– The paper puts forward an approach which utilizes traditional laboratory‐based evaluation measures such as average precision/precision at N documents, augmented with diagnostic measures such as link broken, etc., which are used to show why precision measures are depressed as well as the quality of the search engines crawling mechanism.

– The paper shows how to use diagnostic measures in conjunction with precision in order to evaluate web search.

Practical implications
– The methodology presented in this paper will be useful to any information professional who regularly uses web search as part of their information seeking and needs to evaluate web search services.

– The paper argues that the use of diagnostic measures is essential in web search, as precision measures on their own do not allow a searcher to understand why search results differ between search engines.

Publication Type: Article
Additional Information: This article is (c) Emerald Group Publishing and permission has been granted for this version to appear here Emerald does not grant permission for this article to be further copied/distributed or hosted elsewhere without the express permission from Emerald Group Publishing Limited.
Publisher Keywords: Worldwide web, Information searches, Retrieval performance evaluation, Search engines, Measurement
Subjects: Q Science > QA Mathematics > QA75 Electronic computers. Computer science
Z Bibliography. Library Science. Information Resources > Z665 Library Science. Information Science
Departments: School of Science & Technology > Computer Science > Human Computer Interaction Design
Related URLs:
SWORD Depositor:
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