[bksvol-discuss] Full Text Search!

  • From: Lara Long <laral@xxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: "bksvol-discuss@xxxxxxxxxxxxx" <bksvol-discuss@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Fri, 15 Jan 2010 09:47:28 -0800

Hello friends, I sent out an announcement to the volunteer advisory team last 
night, but wanted to wait until the deploy and indexing was complete to reach 
out to you.  As many of you have been seeing we released full text searching 
integrated into the search features of Bookshare last night.  It was a big 
milestone and it does significantly change the way you interact with search and 
search results.

You will see a LOT more search results for a number of reasons:
1. We are now searching the entire text of every book in the collection.  We do 
score and weight the algorithm so that author matches come first, then title 
matches and then content occurrences.  There is some tuning involved in here 
(for example a book with 5000 occurrences of the word "spelling" may show up 
above a book with a single Title match on spelling) - these things we can 
continue to tune and improve with your feedback.
2. We also released a feature called "phonetic" matching.  So it's taking your 
word and doing a "sounds like" on it and then doing a full-text search for 
words that sound like what you entered.  This usually drops vowels and matches 
on words that match the consonants.  This feature still needs a good bit of 
work, but we wanted to include it and give you more results than less to start. 
 It also is weighted the lowest of all matches in scoring.
3. We also released "Did you mean" at the top of search results - which is 
supposed to do a common word spelling against what you entered and suggest 
possible alternatives.  This feature too needs some work as it's only matching 
on our own index.  

Just a few tips for those that are wanting to refine searches to get better 
results, some of which I'm grateful many of you have stepped in and advised the 
* Use as many words as you know are in the authors name, title or content.  
Single word searches are going to give you a LOT of results.
* Use quotes for exact matching in the general or quick search box (quotes will 
be ignored in advanced search for technical reasons at the moment)
* Use the "Modify Your Results" box that is displayed on the right side of 
search results to refine your search by sort order, author, number of results 
on a page.
* Use advanced search if you know it's the title, author, ISBN you are looking 
for - you can enter one of all of these fields to target your results.  You can 
also use many of the select boxes to target your results here.

Lastly - when we deployed yesterday we had to reindex the entire collection, 
which generally takes about 24 hours.  That means the search index would not 
have everything in it until today.  So searches done last night may not have 
had all the collection in it yet.  Please reverify books you were missing and 
let me know if you still can't find them.  We are also investigating some 
failed submissions I saw occurring last night as well which may contribute.

As always, you are an amazing group of contributors that make our business what 
it is and I am encouraged every day by your faithfulness, hard work and kind 
words.  Your input is valuable and welcome.  Please feel free to contact me 
directly - but the very best way to provide feedback is using the Contact Us 
form on the website.  It gets properly into our system that way.  But a 
personal touch is always nice, so I'm here at laral@xxxxxxxxxxxx for feedback 
and suggestions!

Lara Long
Literacy Product Manager
m: 512.771.4257
o: 650.644.3445

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  • » [bksvol-discuss] Full Text Search! - Lara Long