Quicksearch Upgrade Completed

Quicksearch was successfully upgraded on September 6, 2017!

The upgrade included two major new features: Advanced Search and the new Database list. Several small but useful new features were also added. Here are a few new features that you may not have noticed yet:

  • Hathi Trust links to digital versions of titles in Orbis or Morris are now available. The link text indicates whether full text is available or if Hathi only provides access to a citation. The Hathi display also includes information about the institution that owns the original. See the screenshot below or view an example in Quicksearch.

Hathi Trust links to digital versions of titles in Orbis or Morris are now available.

  • You can now click on Local Subject headings to find like titles, just as you can with LCSH and MESH headings.

• You can now click on Local Subject headings to find like titles

  • You can also search sub-collections in a single location using Advanced Search. Choose one Location in the “Limit results by section,” then select “Location” from the drop-down menu next to the search box on the right. NOTE: You will need to know the sub-collection name in order for this to work. For example:

  • The upgrade also includes an easily accessible, stable link to the individual record in the ‘Bookmark As’ field, making it easier to share a direct link to a record with colleagues, students, faculty, and researchers. Look for this stable link at the bottom of each Books+ record.

• The upgrade also includes an easily accessible, stable link to individual record in the Bookmark As field


  • Numbered results makes it easier to discuss a result page with colleagues or patrons. Check boxes for emailing results or adding citations to your Saved list have been moved to the left next to result numbers in order to enhance usability.

• Numbered results makes it easier to discuss a result page with colleagues or patrons.


The Quicksearch Advisory Group would like to hear what you think about these and other new features in the upgrade.  We’d like to hear any and all feedback, including bug reports and change suggestions.

Thanks again to all of the people who helped with the upgrade, particularly the members of the Quicksearch Technical Implementation Team and the Quicksearch Advisory Group.

Suzanne Lovejoy and Kalee Sprague, co-chairs of the Quicksearch Advisory Group

Quicksearch Advisory Group members: Lori Bronars, Ellen Cordes, Gwyneth Crowley, Moira Fitzgerald, Lindsay King, Colin McCaffrey, John Nann, Youn Noh, Angela Sidman, Tim Young

Ex Libris news

Early October, ProQuest has announced that they’ve entered an agreement to acquire Ex Libris.  Among some of the products offered by Ex Libris, is Voyager, the library management system currently in use by YUL.  For more information about ProQuest’s acquisition of ExLibris, please visit: http://goo.gl/hJVlnM.

Through Ex Libris, there are several working groups and committees that endeavor to better serve their customers, such as organizing local and annual conferences, serving on committees or product working groups.  Recently, an opportunity to serve as Chair Elect of the Voyager (Joint Eluna-IgeLU) Product Working Group (VPWG), has been extended to Cindy Greenspun of Enterprise Systems & Services, LIT.  In this role, the Chair convenes monthly meetings with the VPWG members, coordinates and liaises with Ex Libris product management on development and enhancements of the Voyager product and communicates news or developments with Voyager users.  If you’d like more information about this group, feel free to reach out to Cindy at cindy.greenspun@yale.edu or visit: http://el-una.org/product-groups/voyager/voyager-product-group-leaders/



Morris holdings now appear in Quicksearch!

The best way to view this new feature is to search for a law-related topic like ‘Human Rights Law’ in Quicksearch, http://search.library.yale.edu.

In the Search Results list you will now see real-time availability information.    A red ‘x’ appears if the title is checked out, and a green check mark displays if the title is available.


In the individual holdings screen, you can see the location, call number, and status of the title pulled directly in real time from Morris.


This is an important milestone in the Quicksearch project ;  the two Yale Library catalogs, Orbis and Morris, are both now fully represented in Quicksearch.

SearchFest! sessions for August and October

Based on the success of the first SearchFest! event held in Bass L06 on Thursday July 9th, there will be two more sessions scheduled for the fall semester.

The goals of SearchFest!:

  • test out existing Orbis or Morris search strategies in our new unified discovery interface, Quicksearch.
  • demonstrate the features and functionality that are unique to Quicksearch
  • review the timeline for Quicksearch’s transition to production in January 2016
  • answer any questions from staff about how to use Quicksearch in either instruction or daily work

As with the first SearchFest!, there will also be pizza served at the beginning of each session.

To register for the August 18th session, click here.

To register for the October 8th session, click here.

See you at SearchFest!

How Users Search Orbis

The most used online resource the Yale University Library offers is Orbis, the search and display interface for its catalog.  As the library develops a new discovery tool for the Orbis (and Morris) catalog, it’s an appropriate time to review how people search in Orbis.

In Orbis, users are presented with a Basic Search page by default, where they may enter a string of words and execute a Keyword search. They may elect to change Keyword to a specific field, such as Title, Journal Title or Author, In addition they may select a Quick Limit, so that the search only returns a specific format (e.g. books), or recent material (published after 2007).

Orbis Basic Search Page with Keyword Search


Research has shown that in general most users stick with a default search and do not often add limits or select a specific field to search. The data for Orbis searches confirm this finding. In searches run in March and April, 2015, users overwhelmingly (97%) ran basic searches with no limits or specific fields selected.

orbis yale data_17054_image001


Implications for Discovery

The search interface approach taken by most Web-scale discovery systems such as Quicksearch, is to present a simple search box with little to no advanced search functionality. The expectation is that the user will execute a simple, broad search. The search results will be presented with facets, which represent subsets of results. The hope is that the user will see facets and use them to more narrowly focus her search. In contrast, a traditional library catalog search presents the user with options to set limits before the search is executed. As seen in the Orbis use data, this traditional approach does not seem to resonate with many users. We know that the majority of our users, when presented with search options from a search page, will execute a basic search with no limits or specific fields selected. The question remains if users will find facets as presented in Quicksearch to be a useful way to manipulate search results.

How Search Activity Was Measured

These search statistics were gathered using Google Analytics. Every time someone goes to the Basic search page, a pageview is recorded. Another pageview is recorded when a search is executed, and again if the user clicks on the next page of results. One search can result in many pageviews. However, unique pageviews, the metric used here, are recorded only once during a search session.  Any executed search will contain some variation on the term searchArg in the URL. Here is an example from Basic Search:


In the search above a search was executed for dog as a keyword (denoted by seachCode=GKEY). No limits were applied.

More complex searches can be run from Basic Search by selecting a field to search or applying one of the Quick Limits, such as


In this case the Title field was selected (searchCode=TALL) and a limit was set to look for publications from 2007 to the present (limitTo=Date). Search terms can be combined using Advanced Search. Advanced searches can be found in Google Analytics because they contain numbered search terms searchArg1, searchArg2 and searchArg3.


Orbis and Quicksearch beta: planning for production

As we’ve noted often in posts and talks around the library, LIT is working on a new interface, Quicksearch beta, for searching records from two library catalogs: Orbis and Morris. We are currently soliciting input on prioritization of functionality development.  While we do this work it is worth noting that there are no plans to retire the Orbis and Morris interfaces.

The Solr-based Quicksearch beta is a very good simplified keyword search of catalog records. It offers superior relevancy ranking of search results. The faceted results it provides are useful for giving more visibility to the metadata in catalog records. However, it does not offer advanced searching at this time, and for some collections and staff advanced search is a necessity. Therefore, Orbis will remain a fully-supported production service, even as Quicksearch beta develops and becomes a more full-featured service. We will work toward a shift by  the spring semester 2016, where Quicksearch will drop its beta status and become the featured search on the library’s home page, but Orbis and Morris will still have important roles to play and will still be available and linked from the library’s home page.