Database/Search Engine Evaluation Paper - ePortfolio

Database/Search Engine Evaluation Paper
Database/Search Engine Evaluation Paper
Arianne Azar-Carey
University of Arizona IRLS 432/532
Database/Search Engine Evaluation
The subject of this paper is to evaluate the similarities and differences existing between two
databases made available through the University of Arizona Libraries. The databases in question
include the Library Literature and Information Science and LISA. As I search for articles relating
to my chosen subject, database content, search features, display results, and outputting results
will be compared and discussed.
Database content
The LISA database can be found in the ProQuest platform, and may be accessed from the
University of Arizona main library homepage. One can search for library and information
science abstracts and it holds 440 periodicals originating from 68 different countries and made
available in over 20 different languages. With every bi-weekly update, over 500 new records are
inserted. Topics range from artificial intelligence, to book reviews, and from computer science
applications to libraries and archives. From the LISA home page one is able to search through
subject areas which include; the arts, business, dissertations and theses, history, literature and
language, news and newspaper, science and technology, and finally social sciences. The LISA
database makes abstracts and indexes available in an electronic/online format, with coverage
ranging from 1969 up to the present, and holds over 324,750 records. One is able to search for
full text through the publication search page, as well as by journal title.
The Library Literature and Information Science database is also available through the Arizona
Library home page, and can be accessed through searching for databases by title and clicking on
the letter L, which is similar to accessing the LISA database. Similar to LISA the Library
Literature and Information Science database is not available for free via the internet, as they both
require a paid subscription. Also, the Library Literature and Information Science database like
the LISA database also focuses on the subject of library and information science. Along with full
text, one may (as in LISA) access periodicals, journals, conference papers, pamphlets, books, and
library school theses. Publications dates range back to 1984. However, in the full text version of
this database one may access some articles that range back to 1984. Both databases give one the
options of reading the full text article either in HTML or Pdf format. One feature which is
available only in the Literature and Information Science database is the radio/audio icon next to
the full text article. By clicking on the radio icon one is able to access the audio files of the
article or have the article translated in one of 12 languages.
The research question I will run through these two databases involves the topic of
confidentiality and security as it affects online searchers. My first search took place through the
Library Literature and Information database. In the first window I typed terms. In order to use
the Boolean operators they have to be capitalized, I also used the wild card truncation to limit
results. There were no results found for online searching AND confidentiality. Next I turned to
the thesaurus tab; this was very helpful, as it suggested many phrases, such as computer security,
computer network security, and so forth. However I then tried a new search. This time I typed
web browsing safe*. This brought up the results that were more relevant for my search. By
clicking on the box next to the suggested thesaurus terms, it automatically placed it into the
search box, and included the prefix code—DE “Web usage mining”. The search retrieved on
result; however, even though it was not what I had been looking for, there were suggested articles
in a menu box to the left. It is there that I was able to find what I had been looking for. Typing in
the author’s last name (in this case Piaget) brought up articles by other authors who had written
about Piaget. Then I typed in Chirico, D. M. and selected AU author personal, and many of his
articles were retrieved. The name typed was as it appeared in the article.
Running the same search term online searching AND confidentiality, only this time on the
LISA database. I entered (online search) AND confidentiality into the basic search box and was
able to retrieve 16 results. The LISA database interface, in my opinion, is more user-friendly.
The articles were very relevant to my topic search. When attempting to email the article I
discovered, that unlike with the Library Literature and Information Science database, the LISA
database only allowed the citation and link to be sent. Both databases allowed the viewer to
access the article abstract, by clicking on an icon just next to the title. Also, the two databases
allow for articles to be emailed, saved to ones computer, or printed. The default in the LISA
database is to include only citation, abstract, and index. Furthermore, the databases allow for the
article to be saved in different formats—for example rich text or PDF.
On the LISA database when a full text article is opened, one may click on the author’s name
and find more articles by that author. Another feature above the opened full text article is the
SEARCHER link, which gives one related search terms options to search within that journal
series. This is different from the Library Literature and Information Science database, which
offers a menu box that includes related articles within that journal series. Both databases allow
articles to be sorted by relevance, date ascending, or date descending. However, with the Library
Literature and Information Science database there are two additional sort options, which include
author and source.
Both databases open up to the BASIC search page as their default. For a more efficient and
effective searching the advanced search feature ought to be used. The advanced searching
default interfaces are both very similar in what they offer. Options can be selected by selecting
down arrows, as with Boolean terms. Then to further narrow the search field options may be
Search features
Are author fields word indexed, phrase indexed, or both? Author fields allow the author’s name
to be included in the search box as it appears in the journal article
What is the default search called and what is included/searched in the default search? Boolean
search is included in the search options as well as the ANYWHERE for the field options in the
LISA database. Whereas, in the, Library Literature & Information Science database the selection
of field types is an optional feature.
Do both search engines allow the same indexes to be searched? Or are some fields indexed in
one but not the other? Searches allow browsing through three different indexes, which include
the author, journal name, and publication.
What sort of wild cards and truncation are offered? In LISA the wild card is ? and may be used
anywhere within the search term. In LISA A truncation character is an asterisk character, used in
a search query to substitute for many characters. For example, a search for corp* will find the
terms crop., corporation, corperate, etc. In the Library Literature & Information Science database
the The wildcard is represented by a question mark ? or a pound sign #. Truncation is represented
by an asterisk (*). To use truncation, enter the root of a search term and replace the ending with
an *. EBSCOhost finds all forms of that word.
What types of proximity operations are offered? In Library Literature & Information Science
database the proximity operators are composed of a letter (N or W) and a number (to specify
the number of words). The proximity operator is placed between the words that are to be
searched. So if I typed Online (N 3) searching, the two words would need to be within three
words of each other.
Displaying Results
What are the sorting options in each? Searches may be limited by full text, or publication types.
Also can retrieve citation, abstract, scholarly, peer reviewed, and select date ranges for both
databases. The thesaurus options are wonderful tools in both databases, as they give one options
for narrower, or broader terms as well as terms that are used in the database.
What are the record display options in each? There is a full text or abstract choice. Options may
be further narrowed in the display by source type, document type, language selection, and date
range, as well as whether to include duplicates or not. Both allow for either the viewing of full
text or to just look at an abstract.
Does each record indicate visually why it was retrieved (by highlighting search terms, for
example)? In the LISA database the search terms are highlighted.
Outputting Results
What are the options for printing, saving, emailing, and exporting records?
See text.
Both databases may be accessed through the U of A library homepage. Most articles are listed in
English with options for language selection. Most articles in the two databases relate to the field
of libraries as as information science. LISA includes journals from a variety of related fields as
well. The two databases have index 400 periodical and while LISA operates through the
ProQuest website, LISA may be accessed through the EBSCO host. Both databases provide
scholarly journals and professional magazines, LISA also includes books, book chapters and
library School Theses. While searching or browsing through these databases, one is allowed to
search across different databases. LISA searches include all the EBSCO Host databases. Both
databases include a thesaurus to help one narrow subject terms being searched—which can really
improve the search results.
References. as accessed on
April13, 2013 as accessed on
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