How can we improve Summon?

Add search history and allow searching with sets from the search history

Filter options and relevance ranking is one way to search, explore and discover, but it has limitations. To combine previous searches is standard in all kind of bibliographic and full text databases and would be a true enhancement. Most professional information specialists lack confident in search systems that only rely on filter and relevance ranking. Give us boolean search using sets from the search history!

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    Claes Eriksson shared this idea  ·   ·  Admin →

    Currently reviewing for possible implementations. Main concern is how to manage ongoing access. Currently Summon does not use a user profile or store any personal information. We are reviewing possible ways to give access to users without causing privacy concerns, such as use of a cookie or existing user logins.

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      • Claes Eriksson commented  · 

        @JimHammond
        The search string and the number of records is to seperate things. It is not really combining search set 1 (8466 hits) with set 2 (4,365 hits). More like producing a new search using the terms in search 1 and search 2, e.g. combining set 1 (public transport AND gis) with set 2 (scheduling OR timetable) into ((public transport AND gis AND (scheduling OR timetable))

        The question about relevance is not an issue. The results from searches using search history could still be presented using relevance. Thus, combining relevance with precision. Could it be better?!

      • Barbara Vermaas commented  · 

        I very much support this idea for a search history!
        Whereas searching with sets, I'm not sure...

      • Jim Hammons commented  · 

        This sounds like a potentially helpful enhancement, but I have a couple concerns:

        1. The notion of a "set" of records is problematic in Summon. Remember that we only get 200 items (soon to be increased to 1000) from any search. The most popular search in our Summon instance last week pulls 8,466 results. What does combining sets really mean when we don't even get an entire set of hits from most searches?

        2. If the concept is tweaked to mean something like concatenating search strings -- i.e., create an "advanced search" by combining previous searches -- I wonder how this might impact relevance. I can't really think of a scenario where I would want to sacrifice relevance for any precision gains that might be achieved from Boolean combination of searches. That's when I would reach for my favorite subject-specific databases.

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