WebPAC Pro RightResult ®Keyword Search Relevance Ranking
Compiled by Kent State University Cataloging Committee
November 27, 2007
- To execute a RightResult ® relevance ranked keyword search, specify “Relevance” as your sort on the first search screen.
- Result sets for multiple term searches (e.g. “social networking”, “united nations”) first list the records where the terms are adjacent—phrase searches. But the new keyword search also executes a Boolean “AND” search and then presents those. You will see this reflected in the rankings presented below.
- When you search for more than one term at a time, the new relevance ranked keyword search does not search for one term “OR” the other. Both terms must be present to be ranked (although their position in the record can impact their ranking).
- Currently results are grouped by relevance as described below and then sorted by date.
- The new relevance ranked keyword search is turned off If you place quotation marks around your search, or you prefix the search by a field limit (“a:Shakespeare”). Instead the catalog executes an old-style keyword search. The results will be different and they will be presented differently (without relevance ranking).
- Searches in the Millennium III staff modules, will not be impacted by this new ranking option.
Results are ranked as:
- Items are ranked as most relevant when the terms in the search are adjacent to each other in what III calls the primary title. This is the part of the title that appears before any colons or equals signs.
- Uniform titles are treated as subtitles, which will impact their retrieval. Chiefly this will impact searches for serials, literature and music. People performing searches in these areas could be encouraged to use the title searches for these types of searches.
- If the words in the search are found in the primary title field, but not the exact phrase, it is ranked as “other relevant” and will appear way down in the listing. For example, “Journal personal selling” versus “Journal of personal selling”.
- If you perform a relevance ranked keyword search for an author, the titles returned as most relevant are the ones with that author’s name in the title. Typing in the term “Shakespeare” returns titles about Shakespeare, not titles by Shakespeare.
- Items are ranked as highly relevant when the terms in the search are adjacent to each other in the subtitle. This is the part of the title that appears after any colons or equals signs.
- Uniform titles are treated as subtitles. Adjacent search terms in a uniform title will be ranked as highly relevant. Adjacent search terms in a uniform title that are stored in different MARC21 subfields will be ranked as relevant, and appear further down in the list.
- Items are ranked as very relevant when the exact search phrase appears anywhere else in the bibliographic record. For example, it may appear in the contents notes, in series statements or in subject headings.
- Items are ranked as relevant when the terms in the search phrase are present in the “primary title” and / or the sub-title.
- Terms within the same record may be pulled from different subfields within the title.
- Items are ranked as other relevant when the terms in the search phrase are present anywhere in the record. Terms within the same record may be pulled from different fields. For example, one term could be pulled from the title and another from the notes.
OTHER THINGS TO BE AWARE OF
- Large catalog databases will return lots and lots and lots of results. Realistically, only results on the first few screens will be viewed by most patrons. Therefore, material that is retrieved as even highly relevant will rarely be viewed.
- This kind of search deemphasizes the subject terms applied to the item. This will make subject access, and its ability to pull similar things together, less available. Subject structures have been shown to improve keyword search results when they are indexed by the catalog in the search, as they are in the old-style keyword.
- Patrons could be taught to exploit the “Find Similar Items” tab which links the title using authors, subject, uniform titles, etc.