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    360 Search: Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

    • Product: 360 Search

    Where can I find a 360 Search FAQ?

    1. How do federated search engines actually work?

      Federated searching is the process of searching multiple sources simultaneously to bring up a single list of results. 360 Search (formerly Central Search) searches databases through Z39.50 servers, XML Gateways, and HTTP connections. Results are integrated in the 360 Search results page with additional sort, export, and linking options. Authentication is generally by username and password and/or IP authentication, though free resources naturally need no authentication.
    2. What are the differences between Z39.50, XML Gateway, and HTTP connections?


      Connection Type
      Definition
      Pros
      Cons
      360 Search Examples
      Z39.50
      A standard communications protocol for the search and retrieval of bibliographic data in online databases.
      More powerful: the metadata is more clearly defined, and it returns higher-quality citations.
      It may not mimic the native interface experience.
      EBSCO
      ProQuest
      XML Gateway
      Extensible Markup Language is a flexible way to create common information formats, and share both the format and the data. XML Provides more metadata than HTML.
      More powerful: the metadata is more clearly defined, and it returns higher-quality citations. 360 Search is an XML application, so this connection is ideal for 360 Search.
      It may not mimic the native interface experience.
      IEEE Xplore
      JSTOR
      HTTP
      Hypertext Transfer Protocol is the set of rules for transferring files (text, image, sound, video, and other multimedia) on the World Wide Web.
      It can mimic the native interface experience.
      The metadata is not as clearly defined, and it returns lower-quality citations.
      ACM Digital Library
      PubMed
    3. What kinds of search options are available in 360 Search?

      360 Search provides basic and advanced search options. The basic search looks like a Google search box, and by default will conduct a title search on the selected databases. You can choose a different default, however. The advanced search allows the following searches:

      Title - searches the title field
      Author - searches the author field
      Full text - searches the full-text content for the search terms
      Keyword - performs keyword search on available metadata
      Subject - searches the subject field
      Abstract - searches the abstract field
      ISSN - matches exact ISSN
      ISBN - matches exact ISBN
      Any - "Any" is understood differently from "keyword" by some vendors, but not all. Many vendors understand "any" as synonymous with "keyword."
    4. How are the results returned?

      Once the user hits the Search button, their query is sent via HTTP, XML, or Z39.50 protocols to the selected databases (or databases within selected subject categories). The first 20 or so results are returned from every connection. If there are no matching results, the database will display with zero results.

      Many results will be returned with a link to the full-text; for these results, users will click directly on the article title to access the full-text. Many results will also be returned with links for OpenURL link resolvers.

      There will be some results without links to full-text, or with links to abstracts. The results are displayed in reverse chronological order (date), with the option for users to sort by author, source (database), or title.
    5. Will the user be able to tell which links are full-text or peer-reviewed content, and which are not?

      Not without actually clicking on the links, but there are filters on the toolbox that users can enable, which filters their search results to full-text only, peer-reviewed only, or both.
    6. Can users limit their search results by year range?

      No, searching by date range is not available in 360 Search. However, users can limit their searches to a specific year while entering their query, by using the Year Search Limiter on the Advanced Search Page.
    7. How are duplicate results assigned?

      The current logic compares all of these fields in the title results: date, article title, ISSN, volume, issue, and publication title. If any of these metadata items are different, the record is not marked as a duplicate and will be displayed.

      If there are duplicate results, our logic is constructed to show the result with a full-text link. If there is not a result with a full-text link, our logic will choose the result with a 360 Link link. Lacking both, the result displayed is randomly selected.
    8. Why do some searches return different results in native interfaces?

      Not all databases support all search types. If the database doesn't support a particular type (such as Full-Text), then the search defaults to another field and produces different results, or it may not return any results. We work with vendors toward resolving issues like these.
    9. How many results are of high quality and how can users improve the quality of their searches?

      The quality of the results all depends on the metadata provided by the vendor. Limiting a search by subject limits the overall pool of data in the search and usually delivers more relevant searches.
    10. Why don't all results have hyperlinks?

      There is no standard for federated searching, so vendors do not always provide a link with every result. However, there is a resource-level link available with every result, indicated as "Source."
    11. How does the library set up remote authentication of 360 Search?

      Clients with proxy servers like EZproxy and Innovative can add the 360 Search domain URL to their proxy configuration file, and enter the IP range of the proxy server in the User Authentication IP Address list. All library users log in to the proxy server before accessing 360 Search.

      Apache and Squid can also be used for remote authentication.

      RPA (Dynix) capability is available.

      Username and password access is available in the User Authentication Administration Console.
    12. What happens when a vendor can't assign a username and password for 360 Search access to subscription resources?

      If they can't use a username and password, then we'll need to set up IP authentication to enable access to their resources. Without one or the other, authentication can't take place.

      Every library's 360 Search is assigned a unique IP from WebFeat's ISP. We send this unique IP to the vendors and ask them to add it to the library's account.
    13. What kinds of customizations can libraries make for 360 Search?

      You can customize virtually every aspect of the 360 Search experience, from the basic patron interface to the results page. The place to start is the 360 Search Administration Console.
    14. When I click on the Get More Results link, why am I taken back to the first page?

      When you click Get More Results, the search is performed over again. This time all results are returned, and they are integrated with the results you found in your original search. So, the result that was on the top of the list from your first search, for example, may now be farther down the list.
    15. Why doesn't the link to 360 Link (or other Open URL link resolvers) appear with every result?

      Open-URL (link-resolver) results only appear with results that meet the following metadata criteria: (Title or ISSN) and Volume and Issue.
    16. Can a link to Journal Linker appear, if a library is not subscribed to 360 Link?

      Yes, but Serials Solutions must enable this. Please contact us using the Support Portal option near the top of this page.
    17. Why doesn't the Show/Hide Abstract link appear with every result?

      This link only appears if the vendor has supplied it with the search result.
    18. Can other OpenURL link resolvers be integrated into 360 Search?

      Yes, other link resolvers can be set up with 360 Search including SFX, LinkSource, and 1Cate.
    19. How can users save, print, or email results?

      Click on the Export Records link to see a list of all citations returned for your search. Users can choose the citations they want and then select the "export" format. They have the choice to view the records in HTML or plain text (recommended if they are planning to print them out).
    20. Can I add my own database descriptions for the search page?

      Yes, you can make this change in the Client Center. Navigate to the Database Details screen of the appropriate database. More details are available here.
    21. How can I see search statistics for my library's 360 Search?

      You can access your library's search statistics through the Client Center, by clicking on the link to Usage Statistics under Assessment Tools on your library's Client Center Home Page. See the 360 Search User Guide for more details about the search stats reports.
    22. What search stats reports are available?

      Session/Search Report
      : A Sessions Report tracks the number of search sessions initiated by your patrons within the timeframe of your report. A session is technically the period of time from when the patron opens 360 Search, runs all desired searches, and then closes the application. If they leave the application open on the computer and there is no activity, the session will time out after about 30 minutes or so. This generally means that multiple searches are run within one session, which is why "session" numbers are always smaller than "search" numbers. A Search Report tracks the number of searches executed in 360 Search within the timeframe of your report. A search is defined as each time a user enters a search term and hits the Search button. So, even if the user selects 300 resources and runs a search, it only counts as one federated search.

      Provider/Resource Activity Report: Searches per Resource tracks the number of searches executed against each individual resource in 360 Search. Next to each resource is a number -- that is the number of times that the resource was included in a federated search within the timeframe of your report. Even if the same resource is a member of 2 different subject categories that are being simultaneously searched, it will only count once for the resource.

    • Date Created: 9-Feb-2014
    • Last Edited Date: 21-Feb-2014
    • Old Article Number: 7451
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