I mentioned in a previous post that I duplicated the research conducted in the Usmani et al. article:
Usmani, T., Pant, D., Bhatt, A. K. (2012). A comparative study of Google and Bing search engines in context of precision and relative recall parameter. International Journal on Computer Science and Engineering, 4(1), 21-34. (read it online!).
I wanted to explain in detail how I cam up with the search terms that I used in my research. First, let’s take a look at the terms that Usmani et al. tested:
In their article, the authors offer no explanation as to why they chose these particular searches. To me, they focus too much on computer science and Indian topics. Further, the searches do not relate to one another as they get more complex. For example, in Q2, economics, search engines, and evaluation of the computer world do not relate directly to one another.
I figured I could do much better than that. Why not test out searches that are on popular topics, or topics that are important to my library’s patrons? Why not make them relate to one another to see if there is a pattern? Here’s what I came up with:
The first thing you will notice is that I have 6 queries instead of 5. That’s because I wanted an even balance between the “popular” searches and the “patron searches.” The popular searches, Q4-6, were derived from Google Zeitgeist for 2012 and Bing’s Top Searches of 2012 Report. Among the top pop culture searches were American Idol and Hunger Games, and for travel Hong Kong was the most popular.
For the patron searches, I used statistics gathered from the UCR Library’s website searches and my experience in staffing the reference desk at our Rivera Library. Our website tracks every search entered into our search box, and so I found that the top search was, by a huge margin, JSTOR. Here’s a list of the top searches on the UCR library website: