Dr. Madden and I have published a paper in TEL
Mansourian, Y. and Madden, A. D. (2007). Methodological approaches in web search research. The Electronic Library. Vol. 25 No. 1, pp. 90-101.
Purpose – This paper seeks to review the methodologies employed by researchers working in the field of information seeking on the web. It aims to present an overall picture of the research methods used in the area, in a way that will be of value to anyone seeking to design research-based studies of web searching. Design/methodology/approach – A review of the past 11 years of research on information seeking on the web was carried out. The paper focuses mainly on the methodological approaches adopted by researchers, but, where relevant, studies of different aspects of user interaction with web-based search tools are considered. Findings – The area is growing fast and the number of studies has been increasing steadily. A variety of research methods was employed in the studies reviewed here. However, the emphasis to date has been on quantitative rather than qualitative methods. The paper argues that a better balance is needed between these two approaches. Research limitations/implications – Web search research comprises a wide range of related studies, making it difficult for the authors to carry out a comprehensive review. Nevertheless, limiting its focus to methodological aspects of the existing research, this paper provides a useful overview. Originality/value – The paper provides a useful starting-point to any researcher new to web search research, enabling them quickly to achieve an overview of the methodological approaches adopted to date.