I work at Google.
I write. I analyze. I experiment. I do field studies and I try to understand what makes Google users tick.
Why do they sometimes query Google for [ first ], and then not click on anything?
Why do some Google users only ask one query, while others can go on and on?
What's different about their search experiences?
Me, having fun in the Bahamas with a few friends. Yes, he's about 3m long.
How do Google users measure success? What constitutes failure? How can the search engine know in order to make the next time you search that much better?
Most recently, I've been focusing on what skills searchers need to have in
order to be effective searchers. Not surprisingly, just a few key skills can
make your searching MUCH better.
This page is my home-page site; a collection of resources I've created--papers, essays, lessons, links to videos.
To read my blog about how to be a better searcher: SearchResearch
"Digging In With Google" class at Palo Alto (Gunn High School) EdTech Summit (aka GAFE)
all about using Google Books to understand context. (July 11, 2015)
"Library of the Future" invited talk at the American Library Association (ALA), San Francisco, CA,
(June 29, 2015)
"What do you need to know? Learning and knowing in the Age of the Internet
Lecture presented at the EdTech Summit, Roseville, CA (Feb 7, 2015)
"Basics of Google Search Skills" (PDF)
Lecture presented at the Mitchell Park Library (Jan 8, 2015)
"Google Maps: What can you do? (PDF)
Lecture presented at the Mitchell Park Library (Jan 29, 2015)
Lecture presented at the Mitchell Park Library (Jan 15, 2015)
"Google Books" (PDF)
Lecture presented at the Mitchell Park Library (Jan 22, 2015)
My TEDx talk on "The Revolution in Asking and Answering Questions"
"So you think you know how to search? Advanced search skills for everyone" (Google presentation)
Lecture presented at Palo Alto Library (May 21, 2014)
Advanced Google Search Techniques for Investigative Reporting June 15, 2012. Investigative Reporters and Editors conference, Boston, MA
What does it mean to be literate in the Age of Google? February 28, 2012. Princeton Louis Clark Vanuxem Lecture.
Video of my presentation 88:21 TRT
Sensemaking III: What people do to search-for and organize complex information, Friday, January 20, 2012, 12:30PM.
Using Google Scholar and other web resources for education, Jan 6, 2012
YouTube video of the talk. 41:15 TRT
U Md Future
of Information Alliance, November 14, 2011.
my part is from 14:00 to 34:00
Search / Research as Literate Skills. Global Science Communication Fellows Workshop, Google, June 13, 2011.
The Future of Information Services, Services Sciences Innovation Institute (SRII), San Jose, April 1, 2011.
YouTube video of the talk
Why is search sometimes easy and sometimes hard?: Understanding serendipity and expertise in the mind of the searcher, 4th Human-Computer-Information-Retrieval workshop 2010, New Brunswick, NJ (Rutgers). August 22, 2010 (PDF)
So you think you know how to search? 20 things you probably ought to know, ISTE 2010 Google Exhibit presentation, Denver, CO (PDF) (June 27 & 28, 2010)
The mind of the researcher, AKLA keynote presentation (Anchorage, AK) (PDF 5.2Mb) (Mar 5, 2010)
Short tutorial on logs analysis for HCI, HCI Consortium Meeting, Snow Mountain Ranch, CO (Feb 25, 2010)
Finding what you seek: How Google users think about search (and how they actually search), UC Merced, KL 202, Invited lecture (part of "Mind, Science & Society" series, October 12, 2009)Large data sets change the way we think about HCI, HCIC Conference, Fraser, CO (Feb 6, 2009)
Advanced Google Search Skills, Santa Clara City Library (Feb 3, 2009)
Become a Super Internet Searcher Slides for RAFT Google Basic Search Skills, RAFT, San Jose, CA (Jan 29, 2009)
(Re)Searching with Google: Looking for the core of expertise (PDF 4.7 Mb) A talk given at UCSF library in the Lange Room. Topics: searcher behavior, definition of expert search behavior, the 6 dimensions of search expertise, a few examples of skills that expert searchers have. San Francisco, CA (Nov 7, 2008). The video for this talk can be seen here.
Search Strategies and Tactics: Internet search for teachers. (PPT 6.0 Mb) A 90 minute hands-on tutorial on search intended for teachers. Covers keyword choice, query refinement, other kinds of media, advanced operators (minus, site:, link:), credibility assessment. Presented at Google, Mountain View, CA (Sept 10, 2008)
Library Internet Search Skills presentation (PDF 3.5Mb) Basics of Internet Search. A hands-on class I give at Bay Area libraries, schools, etc. (2008)
How humans behave under high task interruption loads (PDF 1.1Mb) Presentation at FOO Camp in Sebastopol, CA
I often teach classes on how to use Google more effectively. (Google is easy to use now; but with a few tips, you can REALLY improve you ability to find things.)These are the materials I use. If you're a teacher and want to re-use some of these materials, feel free! You might drop me a line to let me know what you're doing, but really, use with abandon!
Lesson plans for teaching search: Search education lesson plans. (16 different lessons on how to search--at beginning, intermediate and advanced levels of difficulty)
Basic class: "So you think you know how to search? Search basics for everyone" (Google presentation)
Intermediate class: Intermediate Internet Search Skills (PDF; covers topics between basic and advanced!)
Advanced class: Advanced Search Techniques: Slides (PDF, 5.6Mb; has a good problem set; research literacy; overview of different Google content types; assessing web page credibility)
Practicum class: Practicum for search for teachers... (PDF, 2.6Mb; advanced problem set; review of CSEs, Alerts, search web history, Toolbar)
Teacher's class: Search Strategies and Tactics: Internet search for teachers. (PPT 6.0 Mb; A 2 hour hands-on tutorial on search intended for teachers. Covers keyword choice, query refinement, other kinds of media, advanced operators (minus, site:, link:), credibility assessment. All in 2 hours. Whew!)
Web Credibility: How do you learn to tell if something is credible or not on the web? Web Credibility (PDF 3.1Mb; a 2 hour hands-on class for teachers).
Search for Librarians: Top 12 Things You Need to Know
(PDF, 3.4Mb; covers 12 short lessons on different methods for search. 1 hour class. Posted: October 14, 2009)
Advanced search: Advanced Internet Search, Santa Clara City Library (Santa Clara) (Oct 17, 2008)
Advanced search for librarians: Advanced Search for Librarians, AKLA (Anchorage, AK) (Mar 6, 2010)
New Search Education Site: Newer Google site for Search Education. (1/1/2014)
If you're attending one of classes at RAFT, please fill out this form... Click here to fill out the form
Why research skills matter in education (2016) The ability to do fast, accurate research really matters.
When we misread (2016) You might think you're an expert reader. Think again. We all misread...
What causes someone to start searching? (2016) Curiosity might be the motivator,
Diving the Channel Islands (1997) Diving the Channel islands as ecstatic experience
Visiting Falling Water (1998) Seeing Frank Lloyd Wright's house for the first time
Life dot plots (2006) (2006) A simple visualization of your life--one day = 1 dot. It all fits on 1 slide.
A paen to making applesauce (1986) Simple food, simple task, a revelation.
Green lines on the land (2009) How trees persist in the landscape
I seem to have become the scribe for irregularly scheduled book club meetings. Here are the last few times I've sat down with good friends in a nice restaurant and we've talked about books.
HCIC Book Club Recommendations 2012 (Asilomar, CA)
HCIC Book Club Recommendations 2011 (Asilomar, CA)
Tunkelang, D., Capra, R., Golovchinsky, G., Kules, B., Russell, D. M., Smith, C., White, R., HCIR 2011: the Fifth International Workshop on Human-Computer Interaction and Information Retrieval, SIGIR Forum 45(2) (2012)
Russell, D. M. “Ubiquitous search for smart workspaces” Universal Access in the Information Society, vol 10 n. 4, p 11-20 (2011)
Russell, D. M. “The Streitz perspective: Computation is ubiquitous, yet must be designed for human use” Universal Access in the Information Society, vol 10, n. 4, p 4-10 (2011)
Editor, special issue of Universal Access in the Information Society (UAIS), vol 10, n 4 (November, 2011)
Druin, A., Gary Knell, Elliot Soloway, Daniel M. Russell, Elizabeth Mynatt, Yvonne Rogers, “The future of child-computer interaction” CHI EA 2011: Proceedings of the 2011 annual conference extended abstracts on human factors in computing systems, ACM, New York, NY, pp. 693-696
Moraveji, N., Russell, D. M., Mease, D. “Measuring improvement in user search performance resulting from optimal search tips” Proceedings of SIGIR 2011, Beijing, China (July, 2011)
Dumais, S., Jeffries, R., Russell, D. M., Tang, D., Teevan, J. “Large-scale logs analysis tutorial” SIGCHI full-day workshop, CHI 2011, Vancouver, B.C, Canada. (May, 2011)
Editor for special issue of Universal Access in the Information Society (a Springer journal) I put together this special issue as a Festschrift for Norbert Streitz. To be printed August 2012, while the papers are all available now on Open Online. See the complete table-of-contents for the special issue.
Co-editor Peter Pirolli, special issue on “Sensemaking” Human-Computer Interaction Journal, vol. 26, n. 1 & 2 (April, 2011)
Pirolli, P. Russell, D. M. “Introduction to this special issue on sensemaking” Human-Computer Interaction Journal, v 26, n 1 & 2, p 1 – 8 (April, 2011)
Russell, D. M. “Making the most of online searches” APS Observer, v 24, n 4 (April, 2011) also available as:
Ma, L., Mease, D., Russell, D. M. “A Four Group Cross-Over Design for Measuring Irreversible Treatments on Web Search Tasks” Proceedings of Hawai’i International Conference on Systems Sciences (HICSS) 2011, Kauai, HI.
Russell, D. M., Oren, M. Retrospective Cued Recall: A method for accurately recalling previous user behaviors, HICSS conference, Hawai’i (January, 2009) PDF
Beymer, D., Russell, D. M., Orton, P.Z. An Eye Tracking Study of How Pictures Influence Online Reading, INTERACT Conference, Rio de Janerio, Brazil (September, 2007) PDF-515Kb
Grimes, C., Tang, D., Russell, D. M. Query logs alone are not enough WWW 2007, Workshop on Query Logs Analysis: Social and Technological Challenges, Banff, Canada (May, 2007) PDF-288Kb
Lam, H., Russell, D. M., Tang, D.,Munzner, T., “Session Viewer: supporting visual exploratory analysis of web session logs” VAST-2007, Sacramento, CA. (October, 2007)
Orton, P. Z., Beymer, D., Russell, D. M., “Computer text line lengths affect reading and learning” Training and Development Journal (2007)
Russell, D. M., Grimes, C. Assigned and self-chosen tasks are not the same in web search Proceedings of the 40th Annual International Conference on Systems & Software, HICSS 2007, Kona, Hawai’i, (Jan, 2007)
Russell, D. M., Card, S., Pirolli, P., Stefik, M. The cost structure of sensemaking, Proc. of CHI 1993 (1993) (PDF h237Kb)
CHI 2009 Workshop on Sensemaking Here's the description of the sensemaking workshop Peter Pirolli and I ran in April, 2009. A list of the accepted papers can be found on the Accepted Papers for CHI 2009 Workshop on Sensemaking page.
CHI 2008 Workshop on Sensemaking Workshop for the CHI conference 2008 on the topic of Sensemaking. Official CHI 2008 Sensemaking Workshop Page You can go there to see the papers we accepted. (We had a 50% acceptance rate!) (April 6, 2008)
Last edit: Jan 10, 2016