The effect of semantic technologies on the exploration of the web of knowledge by female and male users

Chia Jung Chang, Jui Min Tseng, Chen Chung Liu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Purpose - Semantic technologies are a potential approach to enhancing the use of the web of knowledge. An experiment was conducted to investigate the roles of two semantic techniques, namely concept recommendation and mind maps, for females and males This paper aims to document this research. Design/methodology/approach - The study compared the searching behaviours and perceptions of searching strategies in the search environment with techniques to reveal the gender difference in the use of semantic technologies. The study further investigated how the techniques influenced female and male students' searching experiences by comparing their searching behaviours and strategies in two different environments, one developed with the semantic technologies and one without. Findings - Although the techniques were helpful for both female and male students in improving their perceptions of searching strategies, there were gender differences in sense of disorientation, problem solving and searching patterns. In particular, the techniques facilitated females to search for information beyond similarity holes, but did not demonstrate such an effect on males. However, they supported males to organize information for better use. Research limitations/implications - The study is only a small-scale investigation. Further studies need to be conducted with a larger sample to obtain robust evidence. Originality/value - In this paper, the effects of semantic technologies are evaluated from the perspectives of education and the human factor, rather than only in terms of technical performance.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)376-398
Number of pages23
JournalElectronic Library
Issue number3
StatePublished - 2013


  • Gender difference
  • Information searches
  • Information seeking
  • Men
  • Semantic technologies
  • Semantics
  • Technology
  • Web of knowledge
  • Women


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