How can we improve Primo?

Secondary sorting of records in the results list

Primo is designed to sort the results list by one parameter only (relevancy, title etc.).
Currently, it is not possible to define a secondary sort. Thus records with the same ranking will appear in no particular order.
It would be beneficial to be able to configure a secondary and third sort options. For example, first sorting by Relevancy, secondary by Publishing Year and third by Title.

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nir zinger shared this idea  ·   ·  Admin →
under review  ·  AdminNili Natan (Product Manager, Ex Libris) responded  · 

Thank you for submitting this idea, we are currently reviewing it and we would greatly appreciate if you could provide us with more examples and use cases to show the need in secondary sort. 


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  • Shelly commented  · 

    Hi Nili and all,
    following are 2 use cases we experience at Haifa University Primo:

    searching for items on the subject of 'molecular biology',contains,molecular%20biology&tab=default_tab&search_scope=books_and_more&vid=HAU&lang=en_US&offset=0

    will supposedly display the results list according to relevancy (the default sort option). However all results contain this subject heading (e.g. 'molecular biology') thus all are of same relevance to this search strategy. Limiting the results list with the year facet still does not sort them according to year thus allowing for secondary sort options would help.

    Searching for items authored by 'Agnon Shmuel Yosef' (the Nobel Prize laureate in literature),exact,Agnon,%20Shmuel%20Yosef,%201888-1970&tab=default_tab&search_scope=books_and_more&sortby=rank&vid=HAU&lang=en_US&offset=0

    will supposedly display the results list according to relevancy. However all results contain this author, thus all are of same relevance according to this search strategy. Allowing secondary sort options such as by title would help.

    Best Regards,
    Shelly, University of Haifa Library

  • Bettina Kaldenberg commented  · 

    After some thought and discussion I am not clear if sort by relevancy as the first sorting criterium is the correct starting point. Since relevancy is built on a range of internal decisions, it is not likely that many records will have the exact same relevancy rating. Sorting them then according to a secondary sort criterium is not going to be much help.
    On the other hand I can see the use case where for example a student wants to get an overview about the text book collection and sorts the list by publication year. Then 2018, 2017 etc. is going to be sorted internally by relevancy, where in this case a sort by author or title would make more sense.
    Now, does this reasoning make sense to others? Or can you provide a use case (maybe even pointing to your library's Primo) where first sorting relevancy / second sorting anything else can be demonstrated more clearly?

  • Stacey van Groll commented  · 

    Hi Lily,
    I'm interested in your use case and wonder if you have the Publication Date and Date Range configured in your Advanced Search? We have both, including configuration of 'Last 5 years'. I'm not usually a fan of pointing users to Advanced Search if Basic Search can do the job, so definitely think that a secondary sort would be an improvement to Primo functionality, but it's something to consider. For example, in our Primo, the use case can be met by: 1st click on Advanced Search, 2nd click to open the Content Type pre-filter, 3rd click to choose Articles, 4th click to open the Publication Date Range, 5th click to choose 5 years, type search term and hit enter, 6th click on Sort to open the options, 7th click on Date-Newest. Way too many clicks for my liking, but perhaps a workaround to consider in the interim if you don't already have this in your Primo? I'd love to see any more use cases you might have for the secondary sort idea as well, to see if it would offer more of a streamlined workflow for users over Advanced Search.
    Cheers, Stacey van Groll, University of Queensland

  • Lily K. commented  · 

    A student needs to find relevant articles within the last 5 years only. Currently, if Primo sorts by Relevancy, results can be from any year and any resource type. To get what student wants, student needs to: 1) browse for the year themselves or do an extra step to change the date range in the facets after the search has been done; 2) use the resource type facet to limit to articles.

    Why not have these options/parameters available at the onset of the search instead of after? Having more parameters to choose from in the Advanced Search will help students focus and narrow their results so that they don't get so overwhelmed.

  • Anna commented  · 

    This would be helpful.

  • Jan K. commented  · 

    This would be very helpful to users.

  • yona commented  · 

    Primo helps us with our searches. it's very relevant and gives us answers to our searches

  • Anat Hirsch commented  · 

    This kind of advanced search is very important. Thank you.

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