Advancing Resource Discovery

Article dated: 14 October 2008

New advanced searching is now available on both the UK Data Archive and ESDS web sites. The old Data Catalogue search has been replaced with a simple Basic Search which now combines the various field-based searches into a single search across all fields of the Study Description. The field-based searches (i.e. title, name, geography, keyword, date, publications and study number) which were previously available in the Data Catalogue have all moved to the Advanced Search where they can be combined using the standard Boolean operators AND, OR and for data

The new Advanced Search facility will allow a more detailed interrogation of the UK Data Archive's holdings and will allow users to find datasets more efficiently. Complex searches such as looking for non-attitude surveys carried out in the last 10 years on the elderly in Scotland can now be framed easily through the Advanced Search interface. The resulting hit list will be displayed in 10 datasets per page format but can be grouped to be displayed as a single, scrollable, expandable list.

The separate variable search is being retained in the Basic Search for the immediate future but it is planned that this will become part of the Advanced search at a later stage.

Each ESDS support service, Government, Longitudinal, International and Qualidata, has its own tailored interface to best suit the needs of their specific users.

The ability to combine search fields in this way has been achieved by adopting the open source Lucene search engine. Feedback on this present version should lead to further improvements that, along with the extra functionality of nested searches, bookmarking and user-defined preferences, should form part of the next release, planned for 2009.

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