Testing the Accuracy of Information on the World Wide Web Using the AltaVista Search Engine
Subjects (LCSH):Web search engines
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Citation:Tschera Harkness Connell and Jennifer E. Tipple, "Testing the Accuracy of Information on the World Wide Web Using the AltaVista Search Engine," Reference & User Services Quarterly 38, no. 4 (1999): pp. 360-68
In this study we examine the accuracy of the World Wide Web for answering general ready-reference questions. We used the search engine AltaVista for this study. We gathered ready-reference questions over a two-week period and then searched on the Web for answers. We assigned accuracy values to each Web site retrieved, based on its relation to the required answer criteria. The average number of duplicate sites retrieved per search was 4.02. The percentage of dead links returned was 12.4 percent. The average number of times per search that a search was reworded and reentered (per search) because the first search retrieved no hits, was 1.77. Lastly, if an answer was found at all, there was a better chance of it being correct or mostly correct than wrong or mostly wrong
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