Table of Contents
The “global search” available in both the Contemporary Catalog and Standard Catalog allows for search capabilities across all catalog entities (Courses, Programs, Departments and Catalog Pages/Resources), enabling users to more rapidly find information and go to the appropriate page.
Search Fields and Display Order
Global search searches against the fields shown in the below table, if populated within the catalog application.
Results will always be presented in the following order: Catalog Pages, Programs, Departments, Courses.
Understanding Catalog Search Mechanisms
Within the search, four distinct operations occur (one for each of Catalog Pages, Programs, Departments, and Courses).
Within each set (e.g., “Catalog Pages” are a set), search ranks the results based on match, using a regex search and then re-ranking responses to match based on “best-fit” within the match.
Once rank is determined, search sorts results by rank match within each set. For example, a user who searches for “HISTORY” and views only results in the “Courses” set will find the HISTORY courses first.
These search operations enable the most meaningful and relevant results to be surfaced first.
For standard catalog users, search results render as links, creating a browsing experience that's more in line with contemporary catalog.
Use of regex accommodates cases where users may enter incomplete or partially matching text. For example, a user may search for “BIO” and search thus returns cases where “Biology” exists. However, the regex approach also introduces some limiting factors, such as results which bear little resemblance to the original query. For example, results which match the “IO” of “BIO” may include “Mission,” “Accreditation” and “Educational Resources”.
Individual search categories (e.g., searching “courses” only) return a maximum of 50 results. However, courses and programs each have a pre-limit of 500, meaning the first 500 results are loaded from the database, before a fuzzy search is run to yield the 50 matching items at the end.