At Search Solutions 2020 Paul Cleverley presented a paper on the research he had carried out with Fionualla Cousins and Simon Burnett on the search patterns for Covid-19 within a very large oil and gas company during the initial stages of the lockdown in early 2020. Paul was not able to share his presentation slides as the paper was going through peer review prior to publication in the Journal of Information Science.
The paper has now been published and can be downloaded from Paul’s web site. For me the highlight is Fig.8 which shows a trend from single word queries at the outset of the pandemic to three and even four word queries within a few months as search users gained a wider vocabulary and also had more focus about the information they were seeking. If anyone tells you that typically enterprise search users only use single query terms this is all the evidence you need to show how little they know about enterprise search user behaviour.