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What is Web Information Seeking Behavior

Handbook of Research on Web Log Analysis
Refers to information seeking behaviors that occur over the Web. Choo, Detlor & Turnbull (2000) identify four main modes of information seeking on the Web ranging from wayward browsing to goal-directed search (undirected viewing, conditioned viewing, informal search, and formal search) where each mode is characterized by predominant information seeking moves or activities (undirected viewing: starting and chaining; conditioned viewing: browsing and differentiating; informal search: differentiating, monitoring, and extracting; and formal search: monitoring and extracting).
Published in Chapter:
Tips for Tracking Web Information Seeking Behavior
Brian Detlor (McMaster University, Canada), Maureen Hupfer (McMaster University, Canada), and Umar Ruhi (University of Ottawa, Canada)
Copyright: © 2009 |Pages: 28
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-59904-974-8.ch013
This chapter provides various tips for practitioners and researchers who wish to track end-user Web information seeking behavior. These tips are derived in large part from the authors’ own experience of collecting and analyzing individual differences, task, and Web tracking data to investigate people’s online information seeking behaviors at a specific municipal community portal site ( The tips discussed in this chapter include: (1) the need to account for both task and individual differences in any Web information seeking behavior analysis; (2) how to collect Web metrics through deployment of a unique ID that links individual differences, task, and Web tracking data together; (3) the types of Web log metrics to collect; (4) how to go about collecting and making sense of such metrics; and (5) the importance of addressing privacy concerns at the start of any collection of Web tracking information.
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