Tales from the field: Search strategies applied in web searching

Iris Xie, Soohyung Joo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Scopus citations


In their web search processes users apply multiple types of search strategies, which consist of different search tactics. This paper identifies eight types of information search strategies with associated cases based on sequences of search tactics during the information search process. Thirty-one participants representing the general public were recruited for this study. Search logs and verbal protocols offered rich data for the identification of different types of search strategies. Based on the findings, the authors further discuss how to enhance web-based information retrieval (IR) systems to support each type of search strategy.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)259-281
Number of pages23
JournalFuture Internet
Issue number3
StatePublished - 2010

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
We thank the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee for its Research Growth Initiative program for generously funding the project, and Tim Blomquist and Marilyn Antkowiak for their assistance on data collection. We also appreciate the constructive comments and suggestions offered by the anonymous reviewers.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2010 by the authors; licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland.


  • IR system design
  • Search strategies
  • Search tactics
  • Web environment

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Computer Networks and Communications


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