In Web search we trust? Articulation of the cognitive authorities of Web searching

Publication Type:

Journal Article

Authors:

Isto Huvila

Source:

Information Research, Volume 18, Number 1 (2013)

URL:

http://informationr.net/ir/18-1/paper567.html#.UUKhEaWLNic

Abstract:

Introduction. People search for information on different search engines billions of times day all over the developed world. Not all Web resources are, however, equally authoritative and not all searches return equally authoritative results. Earlier studies have demonstrated the complexity of credibility assessments, but also simultaneously the existence of strong tendencies to uncritically accept the credibility of the information retrieved by a search engine. The success of a search is related, but not the same notion as the authority of the results. The aim of this paper is to analyse the articulated role of 'searching' as a possible source of cognitive authority in Web searching.

Method. A qualitative exploratory study based on the analysis of 805 search-related utterances harvested from the Web using Webometric Analyst.

Analysis. The data was analysed using constant comparative method. Results. Three types of cognitive authorities were identified: 1) people, 2) search (as an approach), and 3) search as an activity.

Conclusions. The findings indicate that searching incorporates cognitive authorities that are abstract, exercised and situational rather than static and nameable.

Body: 

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