Finding Nutrition Information on the Web: Coverage vs. Authority

Doran, Susan G. and Ycaza, Samuel de and Eastman, Caroline M. and Jansen, Bernard J. Finding Nutrition Information on the Web: Coverage vs. Authority., 2005 . In 68th Annual Meeting of the American Society for Information Science and Technology (ASIST), Charlotte (US), 28 October - 2 November 2005. [Conference paper]


Download (367kB) | Preview

English abstract

The ability of different types of web sites to provide relevant information in response to queries in the area of nutrition is investigated here. Nutrition related queries from users of the Excite search engine were posed to a number of nutrition Web sites in order to assess whether or not topical matches were found. The queries were also submitted to four general-purpose search engines. Surrogate users were used to assess the actual relevance of topical matches. Matches were retrieved for about 36% of the queries on the nutrition sites; the range for different sites went from a low of 8.6% to a high of 68.6%. For the general search engines, matches were retrieved for about 92% of the queries. Almost all of the topical matches in both cases were judged relevant.

Item type: Conference paper
Keywords: search engine results ; relevancy ; nutrition web sites
Subjects: H. Information sources, supports, channels. > HQ. Web pages.
L. Information technology and library technology > LS. Search engines.
L. Information technology and library technology > LC. Internet, including WWW.
Depositing user: Norm Medeiros
Date deposited: 08 Mar 2006
Last modified: 02 Oct 2014 12:02


Aguillo, I. (2000). A new generation of tools for search, recovery and quality evaluation of World Wide Web medical resources. Online Information Review, 2. Retrieved February 15, 2002, from Emerald database

Atlas, M. C. (2001) First-year students’ impressions of the Internet. Medical Reference Services Quarterly, 20, 11-25.

Barnas, G. P. & Kahn, C. E. (1999) Assessing consumer’s interest in Internet-based health information. AMIA’99. American Medical Informatics Association.

Doran, S. G. (2002). Nutrition information retrieval by web users. Masters thesis. Department of Computer Science and Engineering, University of South Carolina, Columbia, South Carolina.

Doran, S. G., Eastman, C. M., & Jansen, B. J. (2003) Nutritional information on the Web: An analysis of information sought and information provided. Proceedings of the 2003 IRMA International Conference, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, May 18-21, 2003, (pp. 106-108).

Eysenbach, G. & Kohler, C. (2002) How do consumers search for and appraise health information on the World Wide Web? Qualitative study using focus groups, usability tests, and in-depth interviews. BMJ 24, 573-7.

Fallis, D. & Fricke. M. (2002) Indicators of accuracy of consumer health information on the Internet: a study of indicators relating to information for managing fever in children in the home. Journal of the American Medical Informatics Association 9, 73-9.

Jansen, B. J., & Pooch, U. (2001). Web user studies: a review and framework for future work. Journal of the American Society for Information science and Technology, 52(3), 235-246.

McCray, A. T., Loane, R. F., Browne, A. C. & Bangalore, A. (1998) Terminology issues in user access to Web-based medical information. AMIA’98. American Medical Informatics Association.

McLeod. S. D. (1998) The quality of medical information on the Internet: a new public health concern. Archives of Ophthalmology, 116, 1663.

Pew Internet & American Life. 2002. Vital decisions: How Internet users decide what information to trust when they or their loved ones are sick. Pew Internet & American Life Project Report 2002.

Pew Internet & American Life. 2003. Internet health resources: Health searches and e-mail have become more commonplace, but there is room for improvement in searches and overall Internet access. Pew Internet & American Life Project Report 2003.

Reih, S. Y. (2002). Judgment of information quality and cognitive authority in the web. Journal of the American Society for Information Science and Technology, 53(2), 145-161.

Saracevic, T. (1975). Relevance: a review of and a framework for thinking on the notion of information science. Journal of the American Society for Information Science, 26, (pp. 321 - 343), 1975.

Spink, A., Yang, Y., Jansen, J., Nykanen, P., Lorence, D. P., Ozmutlu, S., & Ozmutlu, H. C. (2004) A study of medical and health queries to web search engines. Health Information and Libraries Journal, 21, 44-51.

Tufts. (2005). Tufts nutrition navigator [Web site]. Retrieved January 2005, from

Zeman, F. J. (1983). Clinical nutrition and dietetics. New York: Macmillan.


Downloads per month over past year

Actions (login required)

View Item View Item