World Wide Web Search Optimization for Physician Term Paper

Pages: 52 (14250 words)  ·  Bibliography Sources: ≈ 165  ·  File: .docx  ·  Level: College Senior  ·  Topic: Education - Computers

¶ … Wide Web is available around the world today, and consists of billions of pages of information and several pages are being added every second. As a result, billions of users are increasingly turning to the Web for answers, as well as recreation, shopping and even education. In addition, the healthcare community is increasingly turning to the World Wide Web to obtain information and to provide it to their peers and patients as well. One of the unfortunate consequences of the enormity of the amount of information that is available on the Web is the inability of many search engines to identify the precise information desired by the user. Indeed, a simple search might result in hundreds or even thousands (or tens of thousands) or irrelevant or spam-filled matches that only serve to delay the user in reaching the desired information. The purpose of the study was to identify current methods that optimize the World Wide Web for research purposes in general and for the research needs of the healthcare community in general and physicians in particular. To this end, a review and meta-analysis of the relevant literature and related studies is followed by a summary of the research, conclusions and recommendations in the concluding chapter.

Table of Contents

Chapter 1: Introduction

Statement of the Problem

Purpose of Study

Importance of Study

Overview of Study

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Chapter 2: Review of Related Literature

Chapter 3: Methodology

Description of the Study Approach

Data-gathering Method and Database of Study

Chapter 4: Data Analysis

Chapter 5: Summary, Conclusions and Recommendations

World Wide Web Search Optimization for Physician Research

Chapter 1:


Term Paper on World Wide Web Search Optimization for Physician Assignment

By any measure, researchers today enjoy a wide range of advantages compared to just a few years ago, and computer-based innovations continue to be introduced on virtually a daily basis. The so-called "Age of Information," though, was made possible by the introduction of the World Wide Web. For instance, Burnett and Marshall report that, "The 1990s saw the rise of the Internet (variously described as the Infobahn, the Information Highway, the Net, the Matrix, or the Web), mostly due to the establishment of the World Wide Web (WWW) as the user friendly multimedia portion of the Internet. The Web part of the Internet enabled access to increasing amounts of information and data and new possibilities for interaction" (2002, p. 1). Not surprisingly, healthcare practitioners have embraced the World Wide Web in the delivery of professional services of all types, including so-called "telemedicine." According to Miller, Hillman and Given (2004), the results of 1,200 physician responses to a Deloitte Research/Fulcrum Analytics questionnaire concerning office-based physician use of the Internet and other information technology determined that about half of medical doctors in the United States are currently using, or are prepared to use, information technology for clinical care purposes. Although many of the physician respondents voiced concerns about the privacy considerations involved in using email to communicate with their patients, the survey also showed that ". . . policies aimed at increasing physician it use for clinical management should be tailored to specific segments of the physician it user spectrum, rather than using a 'one-size-fits-all' policy approach" (Miller et al., 2004, p. 72).

Moreover, physicians are increasingly relying on the World Wide Web to help provide their patients with healthcare communications that may be superior to text-based guidance only. In this regard, Thompson, Dorsey, Miller and Parrott (2003) report that, "One strength of this communication medium is that health messages can be delivered to receivers through multiple communication channels such as text, graphics, photos, animations, audio, and video. These nontext channels may be more accessible and understandable by people with low health literacy than text-based messages alone" (p. 596). In this environment, identifying opportunities to improve the ability of healthcare professionals in general and physicians in particular has assumed new importance and relevancy, issues that also form the problem considered by this study which is discussed further below.

Statement of the Problem

The World Wide Web is currently comprised of billions of Web pages, with several more being added every second, that are readily searchable and represent an enormous and valuable resource for the healthcare profession. There also exists a "dark" or "invisible" Web, though, that requires more sophisticated search techniques to access (Pedley, 2001). Moreover, the software engineers who developed the search algorithms that allow Web users to search for relevant material have focused on functionality from their perspective rather than what the people who are actually using these search engines may need. According to Diaper and Stanton (2004), "The core of the problem is the historical separation of software engineering and human-computer interaction. Many task analysis methods were developed by researchers with a psychological background, and these methods and their outputs often do not integrate well with those of software engineering" (p. 30). This point is also made by Welborn and Kasten (2003) who emphasize, "There is still an enormously tacit aspect in determining exactly what a given application should do. There are practices that guide technologists regarding how they should go about finding out what they need; however, the actual description of what an end user wants the application to do involves business people communicating with technologists across a significant language gulf" (p. 89). In response to these constraints in the use of the Web, a growing number of search algorithms have been developed that help fine-tune the types of site matches that are delivered to Web users. According to Jeh and Widom (2003), "Recent web search techniques augment traditional text matching with a global notion of 'importance' based on the linkage structure of the web, such as in Google's PageRank algorithm" (p. 1).

The trend toward providing Web users with the opportunity to more precisely hone in on what they specifically need while avoiding thousands and thousands of irrelevant sites and spam messages is clear, but the process remains under development in many way. For instance, Jeh and Widom add that, "For more refined searches, this global notion of importance can be specialized to create personalized views of importance -- for example, importance scores can be biased according to a user-specified set of initially-interesting pages" (p. 1). In reality, there are a number of constraints involved in providing a truly personalized search capability with the technology available today. According to Jeh and Widom, "Computing and storing all possible personalized views in advance is impractical, as is computing personalized views at query time, since the computation of each view requires an iterative computation over the Web graph" (2003, p. 1).

Therefore, innovations such as the Unified Modeling Language (UML) have been introduced in an effort to bridge the gulf between user accessibility, ease of use and relevancy of search results and Web site design. According to Yang and Lu (2005), "Unified Modeling Language is a standard language for specifying, visualizing, constructing and documenting the artifacts of software systems, as well as for business modeling and other non-software systems" (p. 3). In this regard, Welborn and Kasten add, "There are some development approaches, such as the methods used with the Unified Modeling Language that facilitate bridging the gulf, but generally it takes knowledgeable people working together to make effective applications" (p. 89). Although it is reasonable to posit that both software engineers and physicians are "knowledgeable people," there remains a fundamental need to identify ways to improve the ability of these disciplines to communicate with each other and to develop superior approaches to searching the World Wide Web to provide meaningful results in a timely fashion without being forced to wade through hundreds or thousands of unrelated or only tangentially relevant Web sites to find what is desired.

Purpose of Study

The purpose of the study was to identify current methods that optimize the World Wide Web for research purposes in general and for the research needs of the healthcare community and physicians in particular. In support of this purpose, it was the goal of the study to improve the quality of the search results based on implicit and explicit feedback by filtering the irrelevant search results based on information contained in user profiles.

Importance of Study

There is so much information available on the World Wide Web today that it is like trying to drink from a fire hose. Following the introduction of the Internet and World Wide Web in the closing years of the 20th century, a number of approaches have been experimented with in an effort to identify superior techniques to search for relevant information while weeding out what was irrelevant or insufficiently relevant to include in search results. In this regard, Welborn and Kasten (2003) advise, "Over the years, there have been many approaches to modeling and design, but it appears that the clearly preferred approach is object-oriented design, with the design expressed in the Unified Modeling Language" (p. 214). According to Welborn and Kasten, the return on investment for learning UML is well worthwhile: "Object-oriented design is a discipline that must be learned, and UML is a language… [END OF PREVIEW] . . . READ MORE

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APA Style

World Wide Web Search Optimization for Physician.  (2009, December 20).  Retrieved October 30, 2020, from

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"World Wide Web Search Optimization for Physician."  20 December 2009.  Web.  30 October 2020. <>.

Chicago Style

"World Wide Web Search Optimization for Physician."  December 20, 2009.  Accessed October 30, 2020.