The session started out with a helpful PowerPoint presentation including useful references to a number of articles regarding search behavior (see below for links). The remainder of the presentation was a productive group talk rather than a lecture.
- We discussed our experiences with natural language versus simple keyword queries.
Helen reported that students will add the type of material they are searching in the search box, e.g. “case study”
- Students do not necessarily know how to filter their results and they do not look beyond the second page of results. The more they scroll down, the less critically they look at the results.
- There is a Facet Click Events Report that identifies which facets (left-side filters) patrons click on the most, which implies what they find most useful. The most clicked was the “Show Only,” top level availability, followed dramatically less by Resource Type, then Subject Type.
- Boolean operators need to be capitalized in OneSearch. Sometimes operators will be searched as a keyword if they are in lowercase.
- Allie was very helpful in all these discussions, especially regarding what metadata is being searched. There were many questions regarding how the relevancy ranking worked. Allie informed the group that on the OLS Support Site there is a description of Scholar Rank, PRIMO’s relevance algorithm. A Primo FAQ is also available on the OLS Support Site.
- In terms of how the Subject Headings are created, the facet pulls subject headings from all over, including LCSH. They may not appear to be LCSH, but you can see the original LSCH by clicking on record details. Regarding ebooks, such as those available via Ebrary, they use their own subject headings and we think it searches the full-text of the book for a patron’s keywords. The facet also pulls from a Primo Normalized XML called PNX, and OLS modifies the rules. Additionally, there is a difference between what is searched and what is displayed.
- The default sort is by relevance, but it can be popularity within CUNY. Titles are weighted the most. Local records, such as dissertations published by the Grad Center, are prioritized, which is problematic.
- Ebsco metadata is not available in Primo, but Primo receives relevant metadata from SFX holdings.
Questions for moving Forward
- What is it that we need to study about how students use this tool?
- How can we get better training using OneSearch/Primo?
- How can we collectively communicate our concerns to OLS?
- How to communally share our knowledge and best practices?
- “Paths of Discovery: Comparing the Search Effectiveness of EBSCO Discovery Service, Summon, Google Scholar, and Conventional Library Resources” (Asher, Duke and Wilson, 2013)
- “Discovery Services and the User Experience” (Gilmore, 2015)
- “Google vs. the Library” series (Georgas, 2013-2015)
- Part 1: Student Preferences and Perceptions When Doing Research Using Google and a Federated Search Tool (link may require login)
- Part 2: Student Search Patterns and Behaviors when Using Google and a Federated Search Tool (link may require login)
- Part 3: Assessing the Quality of Sources Found by Undergraduates (link may require login)