RE: Advanced Search help page and etc.
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- Date: Wed, 8 Aug 2001 09:53:21 -0400
- From: "John Dillon" <JDillon@xxxxxxxxxx>
- Subject: RE: Advanced Search help page and etc.
We were also wondering why we didn't see more libraries using the
multi-boxes. We have recently installed AVS and hope to offer, if possible,
the multi-search-box interface as a second X search option. Currently we
offer the one-box X search at http://library.anselm.edu/search/X
I believe an updated list of AVS sites would help us all, especially any
using multi boxes.
We're interested in the multi-box look because we believe it would probably
help more searchers understand the boolean options as well as the limit by
field options. Also, our users are already somewhat familiar with
Ebscohost's Advanced Search w/ multi-boxes, and had in mind using it as a
model - where the boolean operator choice is to the left and on the box line
it applies to. Hopefully "AND" could be the default for the lower boxes,
and still have the search work even if only the first box has search terms
in it - again, like Ebscohost. The reason is again we thought "AND" would
be more intuitive that "DONE".
One question we had though was - can you offer different kinds of X searches
on different pages, or would both one-box and multi-box have to be on the
same /search/X page? That's something we've yet to test - but maybe others
have already done so. As for the other searches, we plan to block access to
the Y search, and are still comtemplating whether to yet advertise Z to the
As to your question of whether the Modify feature doesn't fully work with
multi-boxes - that would be good to know!
I will also say that, based on our experience so far, you might need to
spend time making sure that AVS is working the way you think it should be
working. No only the indexing of exact fields (by the way - you can
extensively customize the Note segment by requesting it to include new
fields) , but also whether you consistently get the results you expect. We
believe we've seen some "flukiness" and are still trying to document it so
we can report it. (Most of our "flukiness" seems to relate to searches
initiated from the "No entries found" page, or from say the browse screen.
We are at Release D, 00/01, w/ Nov. '00 patches.)
Likewise you may want to spend time on making sure the help info. you offer
to searchers is adequate. So far we've borrowed from a couple places and
tried to add on some aspects. One question, for example, is the exact
functioning of the truncators/wildcards of ?, * and **. They appear to be
more than just truncators (i.e. you can use them within phrases) but that
use may be limited. The documenation we've read so far is not extensively
helpful on this use. Likewise we've learned you can't use ? anywhere, but
only if it is preceded by 2 characters.
All for now,
John Dillon jdillon@xxxxxxxxxx
Saint Anselm College http://www.anselm.edu
100 Saint Anselm Drive Fax: (603) 641-7345
Manchester, NH 03102 Ph: (603) 641-7349
From: Mieko Yamaguchi [mailto:iss053@xxxxxxxxxx]
Sent: Wednesday, August 08, 2001 4:52 AM
Subject: Advanced Search help page
We are having Advanced Search installed next week and debating what
search options to offer to our patrons. Library staff I have consulted
so far seem to prefer the multiple input box approach similar to
Innovative's Advanced Search page on their demo system
I have checked several WebOPACs with Advanced Search and have not
found any site offering an Advanced Search form with multiple input
boxes. I would be interested to hear from anyone who is offering an
Advanced Search help page with multiple input boxes where patrons can
build up a complex search expression.
I have noticed that on Innovative's demo system the last search does
not appear in the input box when the Modify Search button is clicked.
On several live systems the last search expression does appear in the
input box. I'm wondering if this is related to the use of multiple
input boxes. Does anyone have any explanation?
Mieko Yamaguchi m.yamaguchi@xxxxxxxxxx
Technical Services Manager/System Coordinator +44 (0)1248 382970
Main Library, University of Wales Bangor, UK +44 (0)1248 382979 (Fax)
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