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									    Search limiting
      behavior in
   Encore vs. Classic
              By Terry Ballard



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               How bad is limiting
                    usage?
• Bad. I’ve been studying this since the early 1990s. In
  a study done at Adelphi University, using the text
  opac, I found that only one percent of patrons
  limited a search. Transaction logs at the reference
  desk showed the librarians weren’t much better –
  about two percent of their searches were limited.




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 Limiting at the New York
       Law School
• Having saved a year’s worth of search data, I
  learned that catalog searches in the classic web
  catalog accounted for much less than 1 percent of
  all searches. This data includes searches from the
  librarians. Other search logs from Innovative
  Interfaces users such as Quinnipiac University show
  the same trend. I concluded that making users go
  through an extra step of clicking on the limit button
  and adding a few limits is just beyond their
  capability.



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               A New Platform
• At the Mendik library we purchased Encore in 2009
  and rolled it out in September of that year. Once it
  was running we were interested in setting up the
  Google Analytics option so we could spot any
  differences between the two formats.




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       Setting up the account
• To make this work, the library needs to have a
  separate Google account. Setting up the Analytics
  is fairly straightforward. They will give you a line of
  code which you can then forward to the
  EncoreDesk. The next day your statistics will start
  compiling.




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The first thing we learned
• Encore users spend twice as much time at the
  Encore site as classic users. Encore had a much
  lower bounce rate. A bounce means that the user
  went to the main menu of the online catalog and
  then left without making a search.

• In an institution where some liked the discovery site
  and some didn’t, the lower time spent in the classic
  cataloged told some librarians that they found
  what theywanted and left to get the book.



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          Data from the classic
                 catalog
• We had been keeping a year’s worth of data on
  search logs. We found that users of the classic web
  catalog chose the limit button about one half of
  one percent of the time. This was much worse than
  the numbers I’d collected from the text catalog in
  the 1990s.




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  First results from Encore
• We found that Google gave a line-by-line
  description of every screen looked at during a
  session. We soon found out that we could see
  which ones were the result of limiting because those
  URLs contained the string “facet.” The first results
  showed that 10% of searches were the result of
  clicking on a facet or tag cloud. This meant that a
  user was almost twenty times more likely to limit a
  search in Encore.




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 The filter button on the
bottom is very important




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               Is it just us?
• I went out to find others who had Encore with
  Innovative classic. Eventually I got a response from
  Natalie Pollecutt at Wellcome Library in London. Her
  data from classic and Encore turned out to be an
  exact match with what we’d found. Later I found
  that other discovery platforms turn in similar
  numbers. The moral of this is that the “Limit a
  search” button is a barrier. When you put the limits
  in front of peoples’ faces they will use them.




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       More verification with
              Encore
• In preparing for an article on this topic, I sought out
  other institutions with a combination of Innovative
  classic and Encore. Natalie Pollecutt of the
  Wellcome Library in London shared this data with
  me. In her classic catalog, only one third of one
  percent of searches were limited, and her Encore
  data showed that 10% of screens were the result of
  facet usage. This is almost an exact match of the
  Mendik data, even though the parent institutions
  were in no way similar.



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               Other Discovery
                  Platforms
• . Anne Prestamo from Oklahoma State University
  reported that more than 22% of searches used
  some form of facet refinement in their Aquabrowser
  system.

• Beth Dempsey of Serials Solutions said that one of
  her clients, a large general university shared log
  data showing that nearly 50 per cent of searches
  used facets in a Summon search.




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                Conclusion
• If you put limiting capabilities in front of users they
  will click accordingly.

• The difference is not quite as astronomical as it
  seems, because Encore only searches keyword,
  whereas a user choosing an author search is
  prelimiting the possibilities.




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                 Terry Ballard
              Mendik Law Library
              New York Law School
              www.terryballard.org




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