Quality and relevance of domain-specific search : A case study in mental health

Date

2006

Authors

Tang, Tim
Craswell, Nick
Hawking, David
Griffiths, Kathleen
Christensen, Helen

Journal Title

Journal ISSN

Volume Title

Publisher

Kluwer Academic Publishers

Abstract

When searching for health information, results quality can be judged against available scientific evidence: Do search engines return advice consistent with evidence based medicine? We compared the performance of domain-specific health and depression search engines against a general-purpose engine (Google) on both relevance of results and quality of advice. Over 101 queries, to which the term 'depression' was added if not already present, Google returned more relevant results than those of the domain-specific engines. However, over the 50 treatment-related queries, Google returned 70 pages recommending for or against a well studied treatment, of which 19 strongly disagreed with the scientific evidence. A domain-specific index of 4 sites selected by domain experts was only wrong in 5 of 50 recommendations. Analysis suggests a tension between relevance and quality. Indexing more pages can give a greater number of relevant results, but selective inclusion can give better quality.

Description

Keywords

Keywords: Depression; Domain specific search; Focused crawling; Mental health

Citation

Source

Information Retrieval

Type

Journal article

Book Title

Entity type

Access Statement

License Rights

DOI

10.1007/s10791-006-7150-5

Restricted until

2037-12-31