Where Do All These Search Terms Come From? – Two Experiments in Domain-Specific Search

  • Daniel HienertEmail author
  • Maria Lusky
Conference paper
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 10193)


Within a search session users often apply different search terms, as well as different variations and combinations of them. This way, they want to make sure that they find relevant information for different stages and aspects of their information task. Research questions which arise from this search approach are: Where do users get all the ideas, hints and suggestions for new search terms or their variations from? How many ideas come from the user? How many from outside the IR system? What is the role of the used search system? To investigate these questions we used data from two experiments: first, from a user study with eye tracking data; second, from a large-scale log analysis. We found that in both experiments a large part of the search terms has been explicitly seen or shown before on the interface of the search system.


Search terms Search process Session Social sciences Digital library Interactive information retrieval 



This work was partly funded by the DFG, grant no. MA 3964/5-1; the AMUR project at GESIS. The authors thank the focus group IIR at GESIS for fruitful discussions and suggestions.


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.GESIS – Leibniz Institute for the Social SciencesCologneGermany

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