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Can You Find Me Now?: Re-examining Search Engines’ Capability to Retrieve Finding Aids on the World Wide Web

by Hymas, Peter E.

Abstract (Summary)
Five years have passed since Helen R. Tibbo and Lokman I. Meho conducted their study exploring how well six Web search engines retrieved electronic finding aids based on phrase and word searches of terms taken directly from the finding aids. This study similarly seeks to discover how well current search engines Google, Yahoo! Search, MSN Search, AOL Search, Excite, and Ask Jeeves retrieved finding aids chosen at random from 25 North American primary source repositories. In March 2005, approximately 27% of repositories listed at the “Repositories of Primary Resources” web site had at least four full finding aids online, a substantial increase from 8% in 2000. This study affirmed phrase searches yielding better retrieval results than word searches. Encouragingly, the retrieval rates for phrase and word searches within electronic finding aids were approximately 20% higher than Tibbo and Meho’s findings despite the existence of several billion more World Wide Web pages in 2005.
Bibliographical Information:

Advisor:Helen R. Tibbo

School:University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

School Location:USA - North Carolina

Source Type:Master's Thesis

Keywords:archives technological innovations internet browsers evaluation searching special collections

ISBN:

Date of Publication:07/15/2005

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