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Assignment Description: In Search Exercise #4, students will explore why search results differ using different information retrieval (IR) systems –

Assignment Description: In Search Exercise #4, students will explore why search results differ using different information retrieval (IR) systems –
search engines AND library databases.

Students will conduct a series of searches using the
SAME query on a topic provided by the instructor:

evaluation of wearable fitness devices

and compare the results of the search queries and analyze your findings.

Note: Search Exercise #4 meets
RU Core Goal ITR-aa – Understand the principles that underlie information systems.

See the step-by-step instructions below.


1. Submit the Query to Each IR System

Please search using the
SAME query:
evaluation of wearable fitness devices using the following (5) IR systems:
(Do not use Boolean operators, quotations, parentheses, etc.)

· Google (search engine; open web)

· Google Scholar (Google search engine for scholarly materials; open web)

·(ASP) (Rutgers University Libraries database; scholarly and peer-reviewed articles; deep web)

· (Search engine or library database of your choosing)

*Important! To access the Rutgers University Libraries databases, go to:




Links to an external site.

to view the list of Rutgers Libraries Indexes and Databases and then select the appropriate databases above (alphabetically). These “subscription” databases are restricted resources for Rutgers students, faculty, and staff only (free-of-charge). Please be aware that if students want to access these restricted resources off-campus, they must
log-in

Links to an external site.

using their
Rutgers NetID and Password.



2. Record Your Results


As you conduct a query for EACH search engine and library database,
capture the query results (lists) of the
first 10 retrieved items (copy-and-paste into a Word document). (Note: A search could result in thousands of ‘hits’ – only report on the first 10 results).

Also, compare each search engine’s and database’s search results for the first 10 retrieved times by filling in the
Table (below) to indicate whether there are ”
duplicate” results when comparing the different IR systems in the Table
. See the “Notes” underneath the Table for additional guidance. (Note: You will also analyze the search results, as outlined in “Part 3: Report Your Findings” below; but first you will need to capture and record your results.)

Important! The purpose of this exercise is not to find “matches” per se, but rather to understand how and why search results could possibly differ among different IR systems (search engines and databases) – even when the search query is exactly the same.

Please Note: Copy-and-paste the table below in a Word document for you to report your search results.

Notes for completing the table:

For
each cell in the table, row by row, indicate (using the appropriate letters), the following information:

·
a: number of duplicate items
Example: If Google and Google Scholar both retrieved/displayed two of the same search result items (i.e., SAME sites and URLS) in the first 10 results (but in different rankings), then enter a = 2 in the Google and Google Scholar cell in the table.

·
b: number of duplicate items in the same rank position
Example: If Google and Google Scholar both retrieved/displayed one of the same search result items in the same ranking – 3rd item in ranking – in the first 10 results, then enter b = 1 in the Google and Google Scholar cell in the table.
Note: b will not exceed a.

· Leave cells with ”
—- ” blank as shown.

· Do not include product “advertisements” as part of the first 10 search results when using the Google search engine.



3. Report Your Findings


Your report (
~ 8 pages which includes the lists of search results, the Table, your analysis, and conclusions) must include the following information in the SAME Word (.doc or .docx) document:

·
(Title) Search Exercise #4: Why Search Results Differ and Your Name (be sure to save the Word file as: Ex4_WhySearchResultsDiffer_YourName

·
(Sub-Title) Comparison of Search Results that includes the
comparison Table filled in with your findings (copy/paste the above table with the results typed in the table cells under this section of the report).

·
(Sub-Title) Retrieved Search Results from (5) IR Systems: copy-and-paste the
lists of the first 10 search results for
EACH search engine and database:

(put a sub-heading for each IR system listed below with the “lists” of search results underneath)
Google
Google Scholar
ACM Digital Library (ACMDL)
Academic Search Premier
(Your choice of search engine or database)

·
(Sub-Title) Analysis of IR Search Results: Explain the differences in the results.

· Why do you think there are so few duplicates in the results even though the search query was exactly the same?

· For each search engine and database, what did you notice in terms of the way each IR system does its crawling, indexing, and/or ranking?

(put a sub-heading for each IR system with your analysis underneath)
Google
Google Scholar
ACM Digital Library (ACMDL)
Academic Search Premier
(Your choice of search engine or database)

· What differences did you notice between search engines (open web) vs. databases (deep web) search processes and search results?

·
(Sub-Title) Overall Conclusions:

· What overall conclusions can you draw from the results you have obtained in this exercise pertaining to different IR systems and their processes?

· Would you use certain search engines or academic databases for different purposes? Explain.

· Do search engines or academic databases result in obtaining more relevant sources or sources of higher quality? Is one easier to use? Please explain.

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