First Monday, \"A Peer reviewed Journal\", has a short study on how people search. See it HERE,
This paper presents findings from a study of how knowledge workers use the Web to seek external information as part of their daily work. Thirty-four users from seven companies took part in the study. Participants were mainly IT specialists, managers, and research/marketing/consulting staff working in organizations that included a large utility company, a major bank, and a consulting firm.
The research presented here suggests that people who use the Web as an information resource to support their daily work activities engage in a range of complementary modes of information seeking, varying from undirected viewing that does not pursue a specific information need, to formal searching that retrieves focused information for action or decision making.
undirected viewing is characterized by starting and chaining actions; conditioned viewing is characterized by differentiating, browsing, and monitoring actions; informal search is characterized by differentiating and localized extracting; and formal search consisted of systematic, thorough extracting