Recommendations for reporting context in studies of web browsing behaviour

Authors: 

Kirstie Hawkey
Melanie Kellar

Author Addresses: 

Faculty of Computer Science
Dalhousie University
6050 University Ave.
PO Box 15000
Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada
B3H 4R2

Abstract: 

The study of web browsing behaviour is a relatively young and developing researching domain. Research in this area is complicated by the fact that the Web and its user population are constantly growing and evolving. This can make it difficult for researchers to evaluate previous work in the proper context, particularly when detailed information about the user population, experimental methodology, and results is not presented. Therefore, we present eight categories of contextual information that, when not reported, make it difficult to replicate the work, make comparisons between current work and the reported work, and build upon this reported work to advance the field. We have conducted a survey of recently published papers that studied user behaviour on the Web and examined the contextual information currently reported.

Tech Report Number: 
CS-2004-16
Report Date: 
November 8, 2004
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