User Search Activities within an Academic Library Gateway: Implications for Web-scale Discovery Systems

William H. Mischo, Mary C. Schlembach, Joshua Bishoff, Elizabeth M. German

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

Abstract

Academic libraries are transitioning from access systems based on federated, broadcast search technologies to Web-scale discovery systems with central, aggregated indexes. It is important to understand user information seeking behaviors, but knowledge of user searching patterns in online catalogs is incomplete and contradictory. The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign Library has been collecting custom transaction log data from a main gateway built around the Easy Search (ES) federated search system. ES provides contextual search assistance suggestions that facilitate search reformulation and performs added title and phrase searches. An analysis of the transaction logs has revealed information on user search characteristics and search assistance usage. These findings show the importance of known-item searching, including journal, book, and article title searches. The Illinois team has been working with Web-scale discovery system vendors on a hybrid approach that incorporates search assistance and recommender elements with Web-scale aggregation and blended result displays.
Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationPlanning and Implementing Resource Discovery Tools in Academic Libraries
EditorsMary Pagliero Popp, Diane Dallis
PublisherIGI Global
Chapter10
Pages153-173
ISBN (Electronic)9781466618220
ISBN (Print)9781466618213
DOIs
StatePublished - 2012

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