Evaluating information seeking and use in the changing virtual world: The emerging role of Google Analytics

David J. Clark, David Nicholas, Hamid R. Mahmuei

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

21 Citations (Scopus)
1634 Downloads (Pure)

Abstract

The paper identifies changes that have occurred in the Web environment over the last decade which have gradually rendered server logs, once the preeminent source υf intelligence on usage and information-seeking behaviour, an ineffective, impractical, and uneconomic resource. It also looks at the implications of these changes for information professionals and publishers who have come to rely on this data to understand the behaviour of clients and customers in the virtual environment. Ubiquitous and expanding, Google Analytics generates statistics about a website’s traffic and traffic sources, albeit from a marketers’ perspective, is evaluated as a possible replacement; something which might plug the user knowledge gap which is worryingly opening up, or maybe even, put us in a better position overall. The paper is built on the knowledge and experience of evaluating server logs for more than a decade, mostly for publishers and libraries, and also on two recent projects where server log analysis was supplemented with Google Analytics.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)185-194
Number of pages10
JournalLearned Publishing
Volume27
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2014

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