Beyond logs and surveys: In-depth measures of people's web use skills

Eszter Hargittai*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

115 Scopus citations


Finding information on the Web can be a much more complex search process than previously experienced on many pre-Web information retrieval systems given that finding content online does not have to happen via a search algorithm typed into a search field. Rather, the Web allows for a myriad of search strategies. Although there are numerous studies of Web search techniques, these studies often limit their focus to just one part of the search process and are not based on the behavior of the general user population, nor do they include information about the users. To remedy these shortcomings, this project looks at how people find information online in the context of their other media use, their general Internet use patterns, in addition to using information about their demographic background and social support networks. This article describes the methodology in detail, and suggests that a mix of survey instruments and in-person observations can yield the type of rich data set that is necessary to understand in depth the differences in people's information retrieval behavior online.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1239-1244
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of the American Society for Information Science and Technology
Issue number14
StatePublished - Dec 2002

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Software
  • Information Systems
  • Human-Computer Interaction
  • Computer Networks and Communications
  • Artificial Intelligence


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