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Abstract

  1. Top of page
  2. Abstract
  3. INTRODUCTION
  4. RELATED STUDIES
  5. RESEARCH METHOD
  6. RESULTS OF DATA ANALYSIS
  7. DISCUSSION AND CONCLUSION
  8. Acknowledgements
  9. References
  10. APPENDIX A. DEMOGRAPHIC INFORMATION OF PARTICIPANTS

To understand users' multimedia needs and searching behaviors on the Web, this study observed and interviewed twenty college students' multimedia searching behaviors in Korea. By analyzing the data set of this study, the preliminary findings are presented in terms of needs and uses, searching sources, relevance criteria, and search barriers for multimedia resources. Participants searched multimedia resources with diverse needs and uses. With a wide variety of needs, participants were likely to search multimedia resources using search engines mostly because of their familiarity. Particularly, when they search multimedia for their entertainment, file quality and copyright were significant criteria for relevance judgment. Insufficient visual description and limited preview features were reported as major search barriers.


INTRODUCTION

  1. Top of page
  2. Abstract
  3. INTRODUCTION
  4. RELATED STUDIES
  5. RESEARCH METHOD
  6. RESULTS OF DATA ANALYSIS
  7. DISCUSSION AND CONCLUSION
  8. Acknowledgements
  9. References
  10. APPENDIX A. DEMOGRAPHIC INFORMATION OF PARTICIPANTS

With the advent of digital technologies, multimedia has become increasingly significant as information resources and communication venues in our everyday life. According to St. Jean, Rieh, Kim and Yang's study (2012), 25% of information activities on the Web among young adult users (18-24 years-old) are related to multimedia objects. It shows that, for a younger generation, such as college students, multimedia searching is one of everyday activities for their various needs. Multimedia, consisting primarily of three types, such as audio, video and image, has its own distinctive unique characteristics; accordingly, users have different needs, expectations, and seeking behaviors when they search and use multimedia. However, while there have been several lines of research on multimedia information seeking behaviors, there is a lack of studies which explore why and how people search multimedia on the Web and present a holistic understanding on the process of multimedia searching.

The purpose of this exploratory study is to examine multimedia needs and search behaviors on the Web among Korean college students, through qualitative research methods. Understandings of college students' multimedia seeking behaviors in view of needs and searching process would provide evidence which can be applied to designing multimedia information retrieval systems. Furthermore, the authors expect that the findings will promote future research agendas in the area of multimedia information seeking, which should receive more attention from researchers.

RELATED STUDIES

  1. Top of page
  2. Abstract
  3. INTRODUCTION
  4. RELATED STUDIES
  5. RESEARCH METHOD
  6. RESULTS OF DATA ANALYSIS
  7. DISCUSSION AND CONCLUSION
  8. Acknowledgements
  9. References
  10. APPENDIX A. DEMOGRAPHIC INFORMATION OF PARTICIPANTS

A line of research has analyzed the types of multimedia queries on Web search engines. The findings commonly demonstrated that multimedia searching is more complex than textual information searching. Ozmutlu, Spink and Ozmutlu (2003) pointed out that, while web searching was changing rapidly in terms of shorter query sessions and fewer query reformulation, more terms in a single query were used for multimedia searching. Similarly, Jansen, Spink and Pederson (2004) showed that multimedia searching was relatively complicated with a longer average query length and higher use of advanced search functions compared to general Web searching. Tjondronegoro, Spink, and Jensen (2009) analyzed search logs from 1997 to 2006 in terms of size, duration and structure of search queries as well as the topics for searching multimedia. They found that ‘people’ is the most popular type of multimedia search queries, and search categories have begun to change from entertainment to various human interests such as medical, sports and technology over time.

Other lines of research have focused on individual types of multimedia, and much research has been done in the area of image seeking behaviors. On one hand, there is research examining the needs and search behaviors of professional image users, such as art historians (Chen, 2001; Choi & Rasmussen, 2003) or photo journalists (Markkula & Sormunen, 2000; McCay-Peet & Toms, 2009), and professional and nonprofessional users who access photo libraries or archives (Conniss, Ashford, & Graham, 2000; Eakins, Briggs, & Burford, 2004). On the other hand, the majority of studies on image search in an everyday environment analyzed Web users' image search queries. Using search logs, Goodrum and Spink (2001) identified that image searching required more unique terms in queries compared to text searching. Cunningham, Bainbridge and Masoodian (2004) analyzed a set of questions posted to the visual arts category of a social Q&A site and presented that bibliographic information and contents categories were most described in users' questions. Cunningham and Masoodian (2006) also investigated everyday image search behaviors by analyzing college students' image needs descriptions and found that specific needs accounted for 70% of image search needs.

McPherson and Bainbridge (2001) analyzed the logs for a digital music library and Cunningham, Reeves and Britland (2003) examined music information needs and searching behaviors by interviewing people at CD stores and music sections of public libraries. Findings from these studies showed users were more likely to search music by keyword than by categorical browsing, keyword searching and browsing were interrelated with each other and the visual aspect of music CD was an important relevance criterion. Recently, Lee (2010) analyzed music-related questions posted on a social Q&A site and identified that users were likely to do known-item searches with using various access points.

As for research on video, Cunningham and Nichols (2008) analyzed everyday video seeking behaviors and needs among college students in New Zealand. The findings presented that people's moods or emotional states were most dominant motivations for searching video materials; top four materials of video searching were music, humor, movie and TV show, with YouTube being the most popular source of video materials. Huurnink, Holink and Rijke (2010) found that media professionals at an audiovisual archive were more likely to search videos by title and proper name, and there was a strong demand for short video clips rather than the entire videos. Yang and Marchionini (2004) interviewed two professors, one news video librarian and one video editor, in order to understand users' video relevance criteria. The criteria were categorized into textual, visual and implicit ones, and topicality was the most important criteria.

RESEARCH METHOD

  1. Top of page
  2. Abstract
  3. INTRODUCTION
  4. RELATED STUDIES
  5. RESEARCH METHOD
  6. RESULTS OF DATA ANALYSIS
  7. DISCUSSION AND CONCLUSION
  8. Acknowledgements
  9. References
  10. APPENDIX A. DEMOGRAPHIC INFORMATION OF PARTICIPANTS

In order to understand multimedia information needs and searching behaviors of college students, two phases of research process were conducted: data collection and data analysis.

First, the data collection was conducted from June 27, 2011 to July 11, 2011, and twenty college students were recruited in Korea. As shown in Appendix A, half of participants were women, and the average age was 21.65. The major disciplines of students were of a wide variety, ranging from Korean Literature to Civil Engineering. The participants were asked to perform three tasks from their own needs of individual types of multimedia, audio, video and image. When individual participants were conducting their searching, research assistants of this study recorded the entire searching process using a software package and interviewed them afterwards. The research assistants mainly asked the reasons on the aspects of needs, searching sources, relevance criteria and searching barriers. The entire processes of searching multimedia and interviews between participants and research assistants were recorded using Camtasia Studio 7, a video recording software package.

Second, for data analysis, transcription and coding procedures were performed. In the process of transcription, 60 individual multimedia searching processes were transcribed. Two research assistants transcribed the entire activities and interviews of individual participants. Then, the transcriptions were coded by two researchers of this study. The coding scheme was utilized according to the findings of Chung (2010).

RESULTS OF DATA ANALYSIS

  1. Top of page
  2. Abstract
  3. INTRODUCTION
  4. RELATED STUDIES
  5. RESEARCH METHOD
  6. RESULTS OF DATA ANALYSIS
  7. DISCUSSION AND CONCLUSION
  8. Acknowledgements
  9. References
  10. APPENDIX A. DEMOGRAPHIC INFORMATION OF PARTICIPANTS

The multimedia needs and searching from twenty participants were analyzed from four aspects: needs and uses, searching sources, relevance criteria, and searching barriers.

Multimedia Needs and Uses

The categories of multimedia needs and uses can be distinguished into four categories, such as informational needs, illustration, entertainment, and download.

First, participants tend to search for multimedia, especially image and video, for informational needs. Participants needed to acquire information from the images and videos. Moreover, as participants were inquisitive about things, they needed to examine them through multimedia resources.

“… I need to check out the amusement park before we go there … I just wanted to see what it looks like first …”11 (P10, image searching)

“. I needed to know the atmosphere of the discussion competition I was preparing.”(P13, video searching)

“. I wanted to see his pictures because everybody talked about him.”(P7, image searching)

Second, illustrational needs were found particularly in image searching contexts. Participants expressed their needs to search appropriate images which would be able to demonstrate the concept.

“… I had to present the topic of melformin in class, so I needed to have images showing it well …” (P2, image searching)

Third, participants were likely to search multimedia resources for entertainment needs in terms of image, audio and video respectively.

“. I needed to see him because he is my favorite actor.” (P8, image searching)

“. I wanted to listen to this music. it came out recently.”(P9, audio searching)

“. (on YouTube) I just clicked this because I wanted to listen to this music.”(P11, video searching)

Fourth, it was found that when participants tended to own multimedia resources for entertainment needs, they expressed their queries with file extensions such as song title mp3.

“. I wanted to own the song file, so I just typed in the title of song and mp3. Then usually, personal blogs contain those files without any copyright restrictions.” (P13, audio searching)

Multimedia Searching Sources

Users tend to search multimedia using their usual search engines, portals, and personal blogs. While participants used mostly a single search engine (NAVER, Nate, Google, etc.) for multimedia searching, they used a P2P service (BitTorrent) for video, a file sharing site for audio and an image web site for image.

The primary reasons for using specific sources for multimedia searching could be categorized into five groups such as:

  • (1)
    Popular, familiar and easy to use
  • (2)
    Coverage of contents and updated contents
  • (3)
    Good searching capability
  • (4)
    No copyright restriction
  • (5)
    Professional site for video, audio(music) and image

First, participants selected search engines based on the familiarity and the popularity of search engines or simply because it had been the first page of own their browsers.

“… since it is always there on the first page …” (P1)

“… I've always used it and it is easy to use …” (P4)

“… everyone uses this … that's why I'm using it too …” (P8)

Second, the quantity and the quality of contents were recognized for multimedia searching sources.

“… I guess the contents of this engine are huge …” (P7)

Third, the capability of searching sources was realized as a selection reason for multimedia searching sources.

“… it's because it gives me good results all the time …” (P7)

Fourth, copyrights issues were recognized.

“… I use this because I can download images without any copyright problems …” (P5, image searching)

Multimedia Relevance Criteria

When participants needed to select some out of the entire search results, some relevance criteria were used in terms of topicality, first ranked result, file quality, and popularity.

First, the topicality was recognized one of primary relevance criteria for multimedia.

“… I clicked it because it looked like what I wanted …” (P8, image searching)

Second, participants indicated that since specific multimedia was ranked first, they selected it first.

“… it was on the first, I guess it got to be good one …” (P1, audio searching)

Third, the file quality was used as a relevance criterion.

“… I usually look at the file size. If the size is big, then I click it because it is going to be good quality …” (P15, audio searching)

Fourth, the popularity was recognized one of primary criteria for relevance judgment.

“… people saw it a lot. I guess I needed to try, too …” (P1, audio searching)

Fifth, a few of participants preferred professional sites to general search engines for better contents.

“… I know this site contains a lot of good image and all (images) are professional …” (P9)

Multimedia Searching Barriers

Participants were asked whether there were any barriers while they were search multimedia. The barriers for multimedia searching were placed into three categories: file quality, insufficient visual description and quality, and limited preview feature.

First, the file quality was recognized as a primary barrier for multimedia searching.

“… it was okay, but the video quality was bad …” (P18, video searching)

Second, the topicality of the searched image was used for relevancy judgment, but the visual description of images was realized as one of the barriers.

“… I wish that it could contain more details …” (P20, image searching)

Third, the limited preview feature was found as a barrier. Especially for videos, participants realized that they needed to see the entire video file before they made a selection.

“… I had to watch the whole video to know whether it was or not … it took time …” (P11, video searching)

DISCUSSION AND CONCLUSION

  1. Top of page
  2. Abstract
  3. INTRODUCTION
  4. RELATED STUDIES
  5. RESEARCH METHOD
  6. RESULTS OF DATA ANALYSIS
  7. DISCUSSION AND CONCLUSION
  8. Acknowledgements
  9. References
  10. APPENDIX A. DEMOGRAPHIC INFORMATION OF PARTICIPANTS

To understand multimedia needs and searching, this study examined the searching processes of twenty college students in Korea. There were a wide variety of multimedia needs and uses. Participants searched multimedia resources with various purposes, from getting information to entertainment, as Tjondronegoro, Spink, and Jensen (2009) identified. However, slight distinctive characteristics were identified depending on the types of multimedia resources. While for entertainment needs, three types of multimedia were sought, for informational needs, the types of image and video were sought, rather than the type of audio. In addition, downloading activities were interrelated to entertainment needs. While most participants use Web search engines or portals (Korean search engines) for searching multimedia, for video, as Cunningham and Nichols (2008) showed, YouTube was identified as the dominant searching source. Overall, participants selected multimedia sources based on familiarity, contents, search capability, and copyrights. Particularly, participants were concerned with copyrights issues, because they needed to save multimedia resources in their local drives for later uses. This trend was found to be more related to the needs of entertainment. As participants judge relevance among the entire search results, they tend to focus on the rank, topicality, file quality, and popularity. Among these criteria, the topicality was pointed out by Yang and Marchionini (2004) in the context of video professionals. When users had multimedia needs for entertainment, the file quality and popularity were considered more important than others. In addition, participants reported file quality, insufficient visual description, and limited preview features as major barriers. For audio and video, limited preview features were considered a major barrier for multimedia uses and it confirmed the finding by a previous study that users were more likely to see relevant short clips rather than the entire videos (Huurnink, Holink, & Rijke, 2010).

Future studies can be directed to investigate the distinctive characteristics of multimedia needs and searching depending on the types of multimedia and lead to an information behavior model for multimedia resources.

Acknowledgements

  1. Top of page
  2. Abstract
  3. INTRODUCTION
  4. RELATED STUDIES
  5. RESEARCH METHOD
  6. RESULTS OF DATA ANALYSIS
  7. DISCUSSION AND CONCLUSION
  8. Acknowledgements
  9. References
  10. APPENDIX A. DEMOGRAPHIC INFORMATION OF PARTICIPANTS

We would like to deeply thank Hyerim Cho and HyeJin Yoon for data collection and transcription of participants' searching processes.

  • 1

    The authors translated the transcripts originally written in Korean.

References

  1. Top of page
  2. Abstract
  3. INTRODUCTION
  4. RELATED STUDIES
  5. RESEARCH METHOD
  6. RESULTS OF DATA ANALYSIS
  7. DISCUSSION AND CONCLUSION
  8. Acknowledgements
  9. References
  10. APPENDIX A. DEMOGRAPHIC INFORMATION OF PARTICIPANTS
  • Chen, H. (2001). An analysis of image retrieval tasks in the field of art history. Information Processing and Management, 37, 701720.
  • Choi, Y. & Rasmussen, E.M. (2003). Searching for images: The analysis of users' queries for image retrieval in American history. Journal of the American society for Information Science and Technology, 54(6), 498511.
  • Chung, E. (2010). A preliminary examination on the multimedia information needs and Web searches of college students in Korea. Journal of the Korean Library and Information Society. 44(4), 95114.
  • Conniss, L. R., Ashford, A. J., & Graham, M. E. (2000). Information seeking behavior in image retrieval: VISOR I final report. Newcastle: Institute for Image Data Research.
  • Cunningham, S.J., Bainbridge, D.,& Masoodian, M. (2004). How people describe their image information needs: A grounded theory analysis of visual art queries. Proceedings of the Joint Conference for Digital Libraries, 4748.
  • Cunningham, S.J., & Masoodian, M. (2006). Looking for a picture: An analysis of everyday image information searching. Proceedings of the Joint Conference for Digital Libraries, 198199.
  • Cunningham, S.J., & Nichols, D.M. (2008). How people find videos. Proceedings of the Joint Conference for Digital Libraries, 201210.
  • Eakins, J. P., Briggs, P., & Burford, B. (2004). Image retrieval interfaces: A user perspective. In P. Enser, Y. Kompatsiaris, N.E. O'Connor, A. F. Smeaton, & A.W.M. SMeulders (Eds.), Lecture Note in Computer Science: Vol. 3115. Image and Video Retrieval (pp. 628637). Berlin, Germany: Springer-Verlag.
  • Goodrum, A., & Spink, A. (2001). Searching for multimedia: analysis of audio, video and image Web queries. World Wide Web Journal, 3(4), 249254.
  • Huurnink, B., Holink, L., van den Heuvel, W., & de Rijke, M. (2010). Search behavior of media professionals at an audiovisual archive: A transaction log analysis. Journal of the American Society for Information Science and Technology, 61(6), 11801197.
  • Jansen, B.A., Spink, A., & Pederson, J. (2004). An analysis of multimedia searching on AltaVista. Proceedings of the 5th ACM SIGMM International Workshop on Multimedia Information Retrieval, 186192.
  • Lee, J.H. (2010). Analysis of users' needs and information features in natural language queries seeking music information. Journal of the American Society for Information Science and Technology, 61(5), 10251045.
  • Markkula, M. & Sormunen, E. (2000). End-user searching challenges indexing practices in the digital newspaper photo archive. Information Retrieval, 1(4), 259285.
  • McCay-Peet, L. & Toms, E. (2009). Image use within the work task model: Images as information and illustration. Journal of the American Society for Information Science and Technology, 60(12), 24162429.
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APPENDIX A. DEMOGRAPHIC INFORMATION OF PARTICIPANTS

  1. Top of page
  2. Abstract
  3. INTRODUCTION
  4. RELATED STUDIES
  5. RESEARCH METHOD
  6. RESULTS OF DATA ANALYSIS
  7. DISCUSSION AND CONCLUSION
  8. Acknowledgements
  9. References
  10. APPENDIX A. DEMOGRAPHIC INFORMATION OF PARTICIPANTS
Table  . 
No.AgeMajorYearSex
122BusinessSophomoreFemale
223PharmacyJuniorFemale
321Manufacturing EngineeringFreshmanFemale
422Computer ScienceSophomoreFemale
526International Trade and BusinessSeniorFemale
623English LiteratureSophomoreMale
723Dental Laboratory Science and EngineeringFreshmanMale
822Chemical EngineeringFreshmanMale
922Industrial DesignFreshmanMale
1023CivilEngineeringFreshmanMale
1125EconomicsJuniorMale
1223EconomicsJuniorMale
1323Library andInformationScienceSeniorFemale
1420Computer EngineeringFreshmanMale
1522Korean LiteratureJuniorFemale
1624SociologyJuniorMale
1724PoliticsSeniorFemale
1823Elementary SchoolJuniorMale
1921EconomicsSophomoreFemale
2023BusinessSophomoreFemale