Searching for Information on the Web: A Guideline for Effective Searching

Searching for Information on the Web: A Guideline for Effective Searching

Fadhilah Mat Yamin (Universiti Utara Malaysia, Malaysia) and T. Ramayah (Universiti Sains Malaysia, Malaysia)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-61350-198-6.ch012
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To date, the World Wide Web (WWW) is the most popular environment for information searching and retrieval. One of the steps in searching for information on the web is by entering a query to the search system and reformulating the queries. There are many challenges and issues in formulating effective queries. Effective queries will produce relevant document that matches the user information need. The discussion of this chapter will be focusing on how to apply both breadth and depth search query formulation strategies for effective searching on the web. The discussion will be based on a selected search task. At the end of the chapter, a recommendation for a step-by-step searching procedure will be presented as a guideline for effective searching.
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To date WWW (also known as web) has been one of the main sources of information for Internet users which includes professionals, students, household, clerk, and others (Large, Tedd and Hartley, 2001). The web provides information that serve many purposes including research (Herring, 2001; Downs and Friedman, 1999), entertainment (Spink, Bateman, & Jasen, 1998; Park, 2009), getting travelling information (Gursoy & McCleary, 2004), business (Spink et. al., 1998) etc. The popularity of the web as a source of information is evident by the increase in Internet users world wide. Figure 1 shows the growth of Internet users from December 1995 until December 2007 as published by Internet World Stats (2008). The graph shows that in 2007 the Internet user has increased to 1,319 million compared to 16 million when it was first popularized in 1995 (Xiaoming & Kay, 2004).

Figure 1.

Internet growth from 1995-2007 (Source: Internet World Stats, 2008 (

In Malaysia, the Internet usage has also increased from approximately 3 million in 2000 to 13 million in 2007 (Figure 2). According to Telekom Malaysia (TM) Bhd General Manager of Strategic Development Division, Dr Fadhlullah Suhaimi Abdul Malek, the increment of Internet user in Malaysia is expected to reach 10 billion in 2012 (Internet World Statistics, 2007). His view is based on the trend of Internet users in the last three years as Malaysia moved towards advanced information, communications and multimedia services.

Figure 2.

Malaysia Internet usage and population growth (2000-2007) (Source: Internet World Stats, 2008 (

The Malaysian Government has also taken additional steps to promote Internet use in education, public, and private sector. These efforts can be seen from the statistics of Internet access location as published by Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC, 2008) that showed Internet access from school is the second highest (27.8%) after Internet access from place of work (54.5%). The survey also revealed that the most popular activity on the Internet was getting information (94.4%) followed by communication by text (84.7%) (Table 1). In 2006, the figure was 84.5% and 80.7% respectively. This shows that Internet has become one of the main sources of information among Internet users in Malaysia.

Table 1.
Activity on the Intern
Getting Information40.5%84.5%94.4%
Communication by text99.6%80.7%84.7%
Financial Activities14.6%23.6%31.8%
Public Services12.7%12.0%29.2%
e-Government transactions--19.8%
Online stock trading--5.9%
Source: Malaysia Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC), Household Use of the Internet Survey 2008

Complete Chapter List

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Table of Contents
Nor Aziah Alias, Sulaiman Hashim
Nor Aziah Alias, Sulaiman Hashim
Chapter 1
Nor Aziah Alias, Sulaiman Hashim
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Design and Development Research in Instructional Technology
Chapter 2
Sonja A. Irlbeck, Nan Thornton
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Defining Research Problems: Processes for Beginning Researchers
Chapter 3
Haziah Jamaludin, Hairani Wahab, Suzana Hamzah
The focus of this chapter is on the evaluation of the existing printed materials provided to learners of a distance learning program. From the... Sample PDF
Conducting Needs Analysis in Preparation towards the Development of Electronic Self-Instructional Materials (e-SIM)
Chapter 4
Despina Varnava-Maroucho
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First Year Students’ Conceptions of Learning: A Phenomenographic Research
Chapter 5
Kimberely Fletcher Nettleton, Lesia Lennex
What happens when technology, culture, and education intersect? How does culture of place impact technology communication? How does this affect... Sample PDF
Technodiversity: Lessons Learned from a Diversity Exchange
Chapter 6
Marcelo Maina
This chapter presents a research that adopted the Design and Development Research (DDR) approach for the development and validation of a... Sample PDF
Developing a Method for the Design of Sharable Pedagogical Scenarios
Chapter 7
Sulaiman Hashim
This finding has two direct implications. First, the empirically proven design principle used in the design and development of the web-based... Sample PDF
Design and Evaluation of a Web-Based Learning Module on Computer Networking
Chapter 8
Cameron Richards
Online social networking and related Web 2.0 technologies have taken the world of Internet users by storm in recent years. However beyond the use of... Sample PDF
Using a Design Research Approach to Investigate the Knowledge-Building Implications of Online Social Networking and Other Web 2.0 Technologies in Higher Education Contexts
Chapter 9
Afendi Hamat, Mohamed Amin Embi
This chapter presents a look at a qualitative methodology employed to solve a research problem concerning the design of course management systems.... Sample PDF
Qualitative Investigation for Educational Technology: A Lesson on the Presentation of Methodology
Chapter 10
Xavier Thayalan, Faridah Noor
Despite positive aspects of online forums, very little is made known of the practical issues of using online forums for data collection and... Sample PDF
Qualitative Research Dilemma in the Study of Blog Forums: Practical Issues
Chapter 11
Shalin Hai-Jew
The work of an instructional designer is highly dependent on an instructional technology substrate, at every phase of the instructional design work... Sample PDF
An Instructional Design “Use Case”: Instructional Technologies for Developer Stakeholders
Chapter 12
Fadhilah Mat Yamin, T. Ramayah
To date, the World Wide Web (WWW) is the most popular environment for information searching and retrieval. One of the steps in searching for... Sample PDF
Searching for Information on the Web: A Guideline for Effective Searching
Chapter 13
Shalin Hai-Jew
Most tools for instructional technology research, design, and development are specific and short-term. They are non-fictional (real) or based fully... Sample PDF
“The Proffer”: Using Scenarios for Instructional Technology Planning
Chapter 14
S. Johan Coetzee, Alistair Smart
From this case study a process was developed that the instructional designer can easily upscale or downscale for use during consultations with... Sample PDF
Rapid Implementation of E-Learning using a Technology Design Model
Chapter 15
Serge Gabarre, Cécile Gabarre
Mobile learning is more than a trend that follows today’s lifestyle. Learning on the go with mobile internet offers advantages that were not even... Sample PDF
A Step by Step Guide to Design and Delivery of Mobile Learning Content
Chapter 16
Yingsoon Goh, Saiful Nizam Warris, Hasiah Mohamed, Norlina Mohd Sabri
Teaching Mandarin language to non-native learners requires lots of efforts and excellent resources in order to assist learners in their learning... Sample PDF
Instructional Technology Design of Smart Malay-Mandarin Dictionary (SMMD) to Support Vocabulary Acquisition in Teaching Chinese as a Foreign Language
Chapter 17
Wan Zumusni Wan Mustapha
The rapid growth of e-learning in the education world poses a growing demand for online training for lecturers to master web-based applications in... Sample PDF
The Art and Science of Designing and Developing an Online English Language Training Module for Adult Learners
Chapter 18
Vickneasvari Krishnasamy, Toh Seong Chong, Irfan Naufal Umar
The MCI pupils performed significantly better than the MOI pupils in the multimedia instruction. The high-ability pupils also performed... Sample PDF
Design and Development of a Multimedia Constructivist Learning Environment to Affect the Achievement of Chemistry Learners
Chapter 19
Johan Eddy Luaan, Sabariah Shariff, Zulkifli Mohamed
The change in teaching techniques which applies information technology brings about a paradigm shift in our country’s educational system. However... Sample PDF
Using WEDPI Learning Package to Upgrade Teacher’s Skills on Information Technology
Chapter 20
Cécile Gabarre, Serge Gabarre
With the development of call centers to handle customer services, many tour operators have adopted the technique of recruitment by simulation where... Sample PDF
Designing, Developing and Evaluating Professional Language and Intercultural Competencies with Phone Simulations
Chapter 21
Shalin Hai-Jew, Beth A. Montelone, Lisa C. Freeman
Public health is a demanding field that draws from a number of disciplines: medicine, veterinary medicine, nutrition, nursing, law enforcement... Sample PDF
Globalizing and Localizing: Creating an Introductory Public Health Course and Online Learning Environment (A Case Study)
Chapter 22
Muhammad Sabri Sahrir
The use of digital game-based learning is a new trend of instructional practices in different fields of knowledge. The research and studies related... Sample PDF
Formative Evaluation of an Arabic Online Vocabulary Learning Games Prototype: Lessons from a Malaysian Higher Learning Institution Experience
Chapter 23
Tina L. Heafner, Teresa Petty, Richard Hartshorne
In this qualitative research study, the authors explore the use of the Remote Observation of Graduate Interns (ROGI) as a tool for expanding online... Sample PDF
Moving Beyond Four Walls: The Expanding Online Teacher Preparation Classroom
Chapter 24
Sopiah Abdullah, Nyet Moi Siew, Merza Abbas
Robust as they are, the existing instructional design prescriptions (Reigeluth, 1983; 1999) which are content-based, expository- and... Sample PDF
The Effectiveness of an Inquiry-Based Computer-Simulated Lesson in Physics
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