Towards Understanding Complex Known-Item Requests on Reddit

Florian Maximilian Meier, Toine Bogers, Maria Gäde, Line Ebdrup Thomsen

Research output: Contribution to book/anthology/report/conference proceedingArticle in proceedingResearchpeer-review

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Abstract

Given the important role of search engines in our everyday lives, a better understanding of the information needs that guide our information seeking behavior is essential. Known-item needs form a particular type of information need and occur when a user has a limited but concrete description of an existing object and would like to (re-)find it. Most studies of know-item needs have focused on the short query representations of these needs as they occur in search engine logs. In this article, we focus on richer, more complex known-item need representations posted to six dedicated Reddit discussion forums in the casual leisure domain. An analysis of 462 known-item requests from these subreddits revealed 33 different relevance aspects of items in a variety of different domains. Some of these aspects are highly domain-specific, while others are broadly applicable across domains. The domain %of the item sought also has a strong influence on the length of the known-item requests. Our findings can be used to prioritize efforts to help existing search engines better support known-item needs, both by highlighting which aspects are easier to classify automatically and by determining which information sources should be added to a search engine's index.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of the 32nd ACM Conference on Hypertext and Social Media (HT '21)
EditorsOwen Conlan
PublisherAssociation for Computing Machinery
Publication date2021
Pages143-154
ISBN (Electronic)978-1-4503-8551-0
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2021
Event32nd ACM Conference on Hypertext and Social Media - Virtual, United States
Duration: 30 Aug 20212 Sep 2021
https://dl.acm.org/doi/proceedings/10.1145/3465336

Conference

Conference32nd ACM Conference on Hypertext and Social Media
LocationVirtual
Country/TerritoryUnited States
Period30/08/202102/09/2021
Internet address

Keywords

  • known-item needs
  • information needs
  • re-finding
  • complex search
  • relevance
  • casual leisure search
  • Reddit

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