Googling South African academic publications - search query generation methods.

Weideman, M.

Proceedings of the South African Institute of Computer Scientists and Information Technologists (SAICSIT). 30 Sept-1 October. East London, South Africa. 157-164.

Weideman, M. 2013. Googling South African academic publications - search query generation methods. Proceedings of the South African Institute of Computer Scientists and Information Technologists (SAICSIT). 30 Sept-1 October. East London, South Africa. 157-164.

Commercial websites need to rank well on search engines to ensure a high degree of exposure. This has become true even for academic webpages. Many universities store research outputs in institutional repositories. However, free-form Internet searching is still preferred by many students. This implies that academic publications should be findable via standard search engines. The purpose of this research was to determine the best type of query to lead to a high-ranking website containing the required abstract when searching for academic publications. a questionnaire was used to gather data on published research outputs. A variety of search queries were constructed for each output, and these queries were run to find research output abstracts online. An analysis of the results provided a variety of patterns when searching for known published academic content. The patterns were different for journal articles, conference papers, books and theses. Some of the abstracts were ranked highly on Google search result pages, with others not ranked among the first ten results. Overall the best results were provided by combining the author surname with the first sentence of the abstract text. It was concluded that the generation of search queries be alternated between the two most successful query types, rather than focusing on one type only.
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