Retrieval performance of select search engines in the field of physical sciences

Shafi, S M; Ali, Sabha


The study aims to provide a systematic evaluation of the search engines on the basis of two information retrieval parameters (precision and relative recall) with reference to physical sciences. It employed ‘Web of Science’ to identify data (one to three word queries) of highly ranked authors who have contributed to the discipline of physical sciences. The three English language search engines (Google, Yahoo and Bing) were selected on the basis of ranking of ‘Alexa’ (Actionable Analytics for the Web). The study reveals that in all (one, two and three word) queries ‘Google’ obtained highest precision and relative recall followed by ‘Yahoo’ and ‘Bing’. It further shows that ‘Google’ and ‘Yahoo’ achieve the highest ‘precision’ and ‘relative recall’ due to their wide coverage. Bing once prominent one, however lags behind in retrieval effectiveness.


Search engines; Retrieval effectiveness; Precision and recall

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