Frustrated by current search experience in the Internet, Georg Singer and me initiated in Fall 2009 the Search-Logger project. Our first point was to prove that something like complex search and search tasks exist. We followed up with several user studies (compare publications). The search tasks, we were using for our latest study are the following (S=simple, C=complex):

    1. When was the composer of the piece “The Magic Flute” born?

  1. (S) How high is the state debt of Italy in comparison to their gross domestic product (GDP) in June 2011 in %?

    1. How many opera pieces did Verdi composed?

    1. When and by whom was penicillin discovered?

  2. (S) Joseph Pulitzer (1847-1911) was a well-known journalist and publisher from the U.S. The Pulitzer Prize carries on his name. In which European country was Pulitzer born?

  3. (S) How many Euros do you get if you exchange 10.000 units of the currency of Lithuania?

    1. How hot can it be on average in July in Aachen/Germany?

  4. (C) What are the most important five points to consider if you want to plan a budget wedding?

  5. (C) You were offered the job to run the local Goethe Institute (responsible for German language and cultural education) abroad. The chance is high that you will be sent to Astana (Kazakhstan). Please collect facts and information (about half a page) about the political situation in Kazakhstan and the living quality.

  6. (C) What is the name of the creature on the following picture and who is the author? Hint: this Austrian writer is also well known in Germany.

  7. (C) Are there differences regarding the distribution of religious affiliations between Austria, Germany, and Switzerland? Which ones?

  8. (C) There are five countries whose names are also carried by chemical elements. France has two (31. Ga - Gallium and 87. Fr - Frantium), Germany has one (32. Ge - Germanium), Russia has one (44. Ru - Rutentium) and Poland has one (84. Po - Polonium). Please name the fifth country.

Some of the latest papers are not published yet, but will be always accessible through these links:

  • G. Singer, U. Norbisrath, and D. Lewandowski, 2012b  “An Experiment with Ordinary Web Search Engine Users Carrying Out Complex Search Tasks,” manuscript submitted for publication, at, last accessed 15 March 2012.

  • G. Singer, U. Norbisrath, and D. Lewandowski, 2012c “Impact of Gender and Age on performing Complex Search Tasks Online, manuscript submitted for publication, at, last accessed 15 March 2012.