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Analysis of PubMed User Sessions Using a Full-Day PubMed Query Log: A Comparison of Experienced and Nonexperienced PubMed Users.

Yoo I, Mosa AS - JMIR Med Inform (2015)

Bottom Line: Previous studies examined the effects of domain expertise/knowledge on search performance using PubMed.To test our hypotheses, we measured how successful information retrieval was (at retrieving relevant documents), represented as the decrease rates of experienced and nonexperienced users from a session length of 1 to 2, 3, 4, and 5.The decrease rate (from a session length of 1 to 2) of the experienced users was significantly larger than that of the nonexperienced groups.

View Article: PubMed Central - HTML - PubMed

Affiliation: Department of Health Management and Informatics, School of Medicine, University of Missouri, Columbia, MO, United States. yooil@health.missouri.edu.

ABSTRACT

Background: PubMed is the largest biomedical bibliographic information source on the Internet. PubMed has been considered one of the most important and reliable sources of up-to-date health care evidence. Previous studies examined the effects of domain expertise/knowledge on search performance using PubMed. However, very little is known about PubMed users' knowledge of information retrieval (IR) functions and their usage in query formulation.

Objective: The purpose of this study was to shed light on how experienced/nonexperienced PubMed users perform their search queries by analyzing a full-day query log. Our hypotheses were that (1) experienced PubMed users who use system functions quickly retrieve relevant documents and (2) nonexperienced PubMed users who do not use them have longer search sessions than experienced users.

Methods: To test these hypotheses, we analyzed PubMed query log data containing nearly 3 million queries. User sessions were divided into two categories: experienced and nonexperienced. We compared experienced and nonexperienced users per number of sessions, and experienced and nonexperienced user sessions per session length, with a focus on how fast they completed their sessions.

Results: To test our hypotheses, we measured how successful information retrieval was (at retrieving relevant documents), represented as the decrease rates of experienced and nonexperienced users from a session length of 1 to 2, 3, 4, and 5. The decrease rate (from a session length of 1 to 2) of the experienced users was significantly larger than that of the nonexperienced groups.

Conclusions: Experienced PubMed users retrieve relevant documents more quickly than nonexperienced PubMed users in terms of session length.

No MeSH data available.


Percentages of experienced and nonexperienced users per session length (# of queries per session).
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figure5: Percentages of experienced and nonexperienced users per session length (# of queries per session).

Mentions: Figure 5 shows the histogram of the proportion of the experienced and nonexperienced users for the various session lengths (the number of queries in a session). Technically, the users in the figure indicate sessions. Because a user may have multiple sessions, a set of sessions that is performed by the same user cannot be matched with a specific (integer number of) session length, meaning that each session is independently treated in the analysis. For both of the groups, the proportion of users significantly decreased as the number of sessions increased. For experienced users, the session length ranged from 1 to 308 (an extreme outlier) with an average of 2.85 queries per session (SD 4.24, median 1). For nonexperienced users, session length ranged from 1 to 8522 (an extreme outlier) with an average of 2.7 (SD 11.61, median 2). As the standard deviation values indicate, session length variation of nonexperienced sessions was higher than that of experienced sessions. Figure 5 clearly shows the difference between experienced users and nonexperienced users in terms of session length. While for users whose session length was 1 (ie, an ideal IR), the percentage of experienced users was higher than that of nonexperienced users (25,365/42,055, 60.31% vs 331,337/700,547, 47.30%), for users whose session length was 2 or 3, the percentage of the experienced group was lower than that of the nonexperienced group. This session length difference indicates that experienced users completed their searches earlier than nonexperienced users.


Analysis of PubMed User Sessions Using a Full-Day PubMed Query Log: A Comparison of Experienced and Nonexperienced PubMed Users.

Yoo I, Mosa AS - JMIR Med Inform (2015)

Percentages of experienced and nonexperienced users per session length (# of queries per session).
© Copyright Policy - open-access
Related In: Results  -  Collection

License 1 - License 2
Show All Figures
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC4526974&req=5

figure5: Percentages of experienced and nonexperienced users per session length (# of queries per session).
Mentions: Figure 5 shows the histogram of the proportion of the experienced and nonexperienced users for the various session lengths (the number of queries in a session). Technically, the users in the figure indicate sessions. Because a user may have multiple sessions, a set of sessions that is performed by the same user cannot be matched with a specific (integer number of) session length, meaning that each session is independently treated in the analysis. For both of the groups, the proportion of users significantly decreased as the number of sessions increased. For experienced users, the session length ranged from 1 to 308 (an extreme outlier) with an average of 2.85 queries per session (SD 4.24, median 1). For nonexperienced users, session length ranged from 1 to 8522 (an extreme outlier) with an average of 2.7 (SD 11.61, median 2). As the standard deviation values indicate, session length variation of nonexperienced sessions was higher than that of experienced sessions. Figure 5 clearly shows the difference between experienced users and nonexperienced users in terms of session length. While for users whose session length was 1 (ie, an ideal IR), the percentage of experienced users was higher than that of nonexperienced users (25,365/42,055, 60.31% vs 331,337/700,547, 47.30%), for users whose session length was 2 or 3, the percentage of the experienced group was lower than that of the nonexperienced group. This session length difference indicates that experienced users completed their searches earlier than nonexperienced users.

Bottom Line: Previous studies examined the effects of domain expertise/knowledge on search performance using PubMed.To test our hypotheses, we measured how successful information retrieval was (at retrieving relevant documents), represented as the decrease rates of experienced and nonexperienced users from a session length of 1 to 2, 3, 4, and 5.The decrease rate (from a session length of 1 to 2) of the experienced users was significantly larger than that of the nonexperienced groups.

View Article: PubMed Central - HTML - PubMed

Affiliation: Department of Health Management and Informatics, School of Medicine, University of Missouri, Columbia, MO, United States. yooil@health.missouri.edu.

ABSTRACT

Background: PubMed is the largest biomedical bibliographic information source on the Internet. PubMed has been considered one of the most important and reliable sources of up-to-date health care evidence. Previous studies examined the effects of domain expertise/knowledge on search performance using PubMed. However, very little is known about PubMed users' knowledge of information retrieval (IR) functions and their usage in query formulation.

Objective: The purpose of this study was to shed light on how experienced/nonexperienced PubMed users perform their search queries by analyzing a full-day query log. Our hypotheses were that (1) experienced PubMed users who use system functions quickly retrieve relevant documents and (2) nonexperienced PubMed users who do not use them have longer search sessions than experienced users.

Methods: To test these hypotheses, we analyzed PubMed query log data containing nearly 3 million queries. User sessions were divided into two categories: experienced and nonexperienced. We compared experienced and nonexperienced users per number of sessions, and experienced and nonexperienced user sessions per session length, with a focus on how fast they completed their sessions.

Results: To test our hypotheses, we measured how successful information retrieval was (at retrieving relevant documents), represented as the decrease rates of experienced and nonexperienced users from a session length of 1 to 2, 3, 4, and 5. The decrease rate (from a session length of 1 to 2) of the experienced users was significantly larger than that of the nonexperienced groups.

Conclusions: Experienced PubMed users retrieve relevant documents more quickly than nonexperienced PubMed users in terms of session length.

No MeSH data available.