Messages, emails and actions

Common Search Mistakes

1. Search Refining

The ResourceSpace search tool is very powerful and if used effectively can quickly lead you to the resources you want. Metadata field searching is the fastest way to find relevant resources. You should search by one field at a time and slowly refine the search, for example:

  1. Search "elephant" - Asian and African elephant images are found
  2. Search "elephant Africa" - African Elephant images are found
  3. Search "elephant Africa Kenya" - Elephants images from a Kenyan reserve are now displaying
Although a simple concept, refining your searches will ensure that you are able to find the resources that you need.

2. Too many Featured Collections or Public Collections

Featured and Public collections can be a great place to start when searching and to see what's being promoted, however too many can lead to users relying too heavily on a small selection of material rather than searching independently and so repeatedly using the same material.

Administrators should also keep public and featured collections updated and refreshed regularly to reflect newly added resources. Users should take note of the metadata contained in those promoted resources; Who contributed them? When? Where are they from? These are showcase resources and will likely be linked to others of good quality.

Most Importantly: Users should get searching!

3. Not Clearing Previous Search

A very common error is that the search isn't properly cleared and searches become skewed by a metadata match that you were not expecting. In the worst case this will return no resources which can be very misleading.

Make use of the "Clear" buttons on the Simple Search and Advanced Search

4. Resource Type

Searching for the correct Resource Type is important and also helpful. For example, if you are looking for a document about Ducks, it is best to initially select the "Document" Resource Type, then to search using the keyword "Duck" to avoid getting lots of images and videos of ducks in your results too.

5. Incorrect Syntax

Searching is not case sensitive within ResourceSpace but combinations can be, particularly when using the Special Search Terms. Make sure you check your search syntax carefully.