proximity search operator for fulltext search in Primo Central
A strong argument for a discovery index compared to a bibliographic database is the incorporation of full text in the index. I have not found an actual number or a percentage how many Primo Central collections are full text searchable. But we all know: it is significant. Since this year all Primo Central searches will always expand to full text.
The most powerful feature for full text search is proximity.
Aleph was able to support proximity for small hitsets
... and Summon has a proximity feature
Proximity search is currently not supported nor planned in the Primo/Primo Central roadmap. Although as part of the search engine algorithm the proximity is being calculated and records in which the query words are closer (we call the distance slop) will be rank higher.
It would be great to add proximity operator to the Primo search syntax and to support proximity search in Primo Central.
The set of 3 ideas which would drastically improve irrelevant and meaningless CDI results, by restoring and adding search tools which empower our users to target their search and their results, and and fixing the design decisions which make these tools very necessary:
This feature is even more important with CDI.
I have complaints because users are getting results returned on the basis of one of their terms being only in the reference list in a URL of a citation.
In sum, completely irrelevant to their query, as nowhere else in the record metadata or the true full text of the work.
If you could force Primo (actually CDI) to only return results for your search terms when in close proximity, this would drastically improve this currently very poor situation.
Rebecca Harris-Pierce commented
This is very important to us and we would like to see it on the Roadmap at the very least.
Manu Schwendener commented
I've submitted this for Primo NERS 2020.
Title: Add a proximity search operator
Request ID: 6682
Description: A proximity operator allows a researcher to specify that their search terms are present in records within a specified number of words from each other.
Summon already incorporates this feature, performed by enclosing search terms in quotation marks and using tilde and the number distance, for example "yeast bread"~10 finds material where "yeast" and "bread" appear within 10 words of each other.
Primo’s search algorithm incorporates an out-of-the-box assignment of higher ranking to records where search terms are closer together, but a proximity search operator gives a researcher explicitly more control over precise targeting of their search, which would also help to build greater understanding and confidence that the results will meet their needs and aren’t just from a mysterious “black box”.
With CDI coming soon to Primo, along with the massive increase in records, this trust building will be even more important to support researchers with tools to help sift through billions of results.
This tool should primarily support PNX and equivalent record metadata (both Primo via Back Office and Primo VE deployment models), but ideally would also incorporate standard existing extensions to remote data where available, including table of contents, abstracts, and full text.
See Idea Exchange submission: https://ideas.exlibrisgroup.com/forums/308176-primo/suggestions/19308214-proximity-search-operator-for-fulltext-search-in-p
Cathy Michael commented
I would like this ability as well. I'm searching in PQ and using the NEAR operator. I would like to conduct the same strategy in PRIMO.
I would love to see this in Primo, for full text and for record metadata, which are both available in Summon.
Our site was on Summon when I was studying myself and I constantly used this functionality for my research and assignments, as a key strategy to improve ranking of results for several keywords.
It is a vital tool for topic searches for beginner and more advanced researchers alike, to help sift through the hundreds of millions of results, by improved targeting of results and moving them into prominent position.
William Fischer commented
Our college Liberians are well versed in search techniques and would appreciate this addition to Primo. They used that search feature in our previous resource discovery software solution and would like to see it added to Primo.