Information seeking study

IST 331, Ritter

This lab brings a lot of IST issues together, that of human behavior, information technology, and as you will find, the use of computers to help in data analysis, and the need to do some analysis by hand none-the-less. This lab has several purposes. (a) It will get your group to start to think together. (b) It will allow you to think about how search engines work, and to see on a detailed level how users use them. (c) It will encourage you to think about how to analyse large datasets, and the care and feeding of data sets. (d) It allows you to do a study on some topic you get to choose. For example, what do you think are the interesting question(s) that can be asked about how people search the web? (e) You can see the relation between (raw) data and the published works that arise from it.

Each group should write up about a 5 page but no more than 7 page summary noting:

  1. What research question did you choose to study with this data set, and why you choose that or those questions. You need to reference at least two of the readings. (Introduction)
  2. What did you do with the dataset, how did you analyse it? (Method)
  3. What did you find? (Results)
  4. What do your findings mean, in a local sense about how people search using that search engine, and, more globally, what do your findings mean for search engines, the Web and the Internet, and any larger implications if you can see them. (Discussion and Conclusions)
  5. Compare your results with existing studies or litterature. (part of Intro and part of Conclusions)

    You might also note what you would do next, or what you could have done differently. This is not an invitation to apologise, but it is an invitation to provide lessons to people like you (for next year), and for me (even lessons for this year).

These sections correspond pretty closely to the standard format in psychology and natural science papers. You can ask me or the TA for help in any aspect of this project.

Your report must have a title, a group name, a list of group authors, page numbers, and a date. Sections need authors. It must cite at least two papers appropriately. Papers missing any of these will be returned without grading for late turn in.


Last updated 18 august 2014.