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A longitudinal study of World Wide Web users' information-searching behavior



A study of the “real world” Web information searching behavior of 206 college students over a 10-month period showed that, contrary to expectations, the users adopted a more passive or browsing approach to Web information searching and became more eclectic in their selection of Web hosts as they gained experience. The study used a longitudinal transaction log analysis of the URLs accessed during 5,431 user days of Web information searching to detect changes in information searching behavior associated with increased experience of using the Web. The findings have implications for the design of future Web information retrieval tools.