As TRIP moves to free access we are removing our classic ‘title’ or ‘title and text’ search distinction. When TRIP initially started it was a title word search only. Then we started spidering content and we added a text search as well. However, our various search analyses have shown this method to be problematic. For instance if you wanted to search for ‘asthma and steroids’ you would need to search for ‘asthma’ as a ‘title’ word, ‘steroids’ as a ‘title and text’ word and then combine them. This equates to three steps (two searches and then a combined search). As Dean highlighted in his recent blog entry – searchers are using more search terms per query and expressing more complex information needs.
Google, the main general search tool, allows users to add multiple terms and normally returns very good result sets. Google is setting the standard for how users search.
So what’s the coincidence?
The NLH have announced a new search format – adopting our current (but soon to be moved to advanced search) search method – of ‘title’ and ‘title and text’ distinction – see screen shot. I can’t help feeling flattered with them adopting TRIP’s search method. However, I feel its potentially a wrong move…..