In search of query patterns : a case study of a university OPAC
Lau, Eng Pwey
Goh, Dion Hoe-Lian
Date of Issue2006
Wee Kim Wee School of Communication and Information
A transaction log analysis of the Nanyang Technological University (NTU) OPAC was conducted to identify query and search failure patterns with the goal of identifying areas of improvement for the system. One semester’s worth of OPAC transaction logs were obtained and from these, 641 991 queries were extracted and used for this work. Issues investigated included query length, frequency and type of search options and Boolean operators used as well as their relationships with search failure. Among other findings, results indicate that a majority of the queries were simple, with short query lengths and a low usage of Boolean operators. Failure analysis revealed that on average, users had an almost equal chance of obtaining no records or at least one record to a submitted query. We propose enhancements and suggest future areas of work to improve the users’ search experience with the NTU OPAC.
DRNTU::Library and information science::Libraries::Information retrieval and analysis
Information processing and management
Information Processing and Management @ copyright 2006 Elsevier. The journal's website is located at http://www.sciencedirect.com/science?_ob=ArticleURL&_udi=B6VC8-4JMKN39-2&_user=10&_rdoc=1&_fmt=&_orig=search&_sort=d&_docanchor=&view=c&_acct=C000050221&_version=1&_urlVersion=0&_userid=10&md5=c1387c99d3985fce7ea37ba4f3736127.