Library Tech Talk

Technology Innovations and Project Updates from the U-M Library I.T. Division

Quick Links and Search Frequency

Screenshot of U-M Library's Gateway page

Does adding links to popular databases change user searching behavior? An October 2013 change to the University of Michigan Library’s front page gave us the opportunity to conduct an empirical study and shows that user behavior has changed since the new front page design was launched.

Practical Relevance Ranking for 11 Million Books

Relevance weight vs. term occurrences

Relevance is a complex concept which reflects aspects of a query, a document, and the user as well as contextual factors. Relevance involves many factors such as the user's preferences, task, stage in their information-seeking, domain knowledge, intent, and the context of a particular search. Tom Burton-West, one of the HathiTrust developers, has been working on practical relevance ranking for all the volumes in HathiTrust for a number of years.

Old Wine in New Bottles: Our Efforts Migrating Legacy Materials to HathiTrust

Old wine

(by Kat Hagedorn, Christina Powell, Lance Stuchell and John Weise) The one constant in digital preservation over the past couple of decades has been change. Digitization standards have changed as equipment has improved and become more affordable, formats have come and gone, and tools have been developed to help with automated format creation and validation. The progress made on this front has been great, but how do we reconcile older content with current digitization and preservation standards?

Image Class Update

Example of "images with record" view

The last visual refresh to the DLPS Image Class environment updated the layout and styles, but mostly worked the same way. Starting this year, we've been making more drastic changes. These updates were based on what our analytics showed about browser use (larger, wider screens and of course, mobile use) and conversations with collection managers.

Database Names are Hard to Learn

Word cloud showing frequency of incorrect spellings of database names

More than 15% of user searches for the seven most commonly used databases on the University of Michigan Library’s website were misspellings of the database name. We looked through our search logs for the three months spanning January 1-April 2, 2014, to find correct and likely incorrect search queries.

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