The anthropology of online search strategy formation: A study of four countries

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This paper discusses the results of a survey sent to online searchers in four countries: the United Kingdom, the United States, Australia and Canada. The survey form provided a sample question and asked searchers to prepare a preliminary strategy for a search in the Sociological Abstracts database. American searchers depend on controlled vocabulary much more than British searchers. Australian searchers have created their own search pattern, while Canadian searchers have blended the American and British patterns. In reviewing results of the searches, over half of the citations retrieved were retrieved by more than one search. Australian searchers were more likely to retrieve items that no other search retrieved, while Canadian searchers had the highest overlap rate.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)59-63
Number of pages5
JournalMIS Quarterly: Management Information Systems
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1990

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Management Information Systems
  • Information Systems
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Information Systems and Management


Dive into the research topics of 'The anthropology of online search strategy formation: A study of four countries'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this