Interpreting Search Results


Note: The look and feel described here is for the standard search interface. The interface may have been customized during the implementation process.

When a search query is submitted it will come back with another query form and up to 10 matching pages. If there are more than 10 answers, the answers will be paginated and links at the top and bottom of the list will allow users to navigate between pages.

The search input form at the top allows users to further tailor their query by searching among the given answers, or to submit a completely new query without having to navigate back to the original input form.

Each answer in the result set will have a format similar to the following: 

1: THE DOCUMENT TITLE (hyperlink to original)    84%*******___
   This is the document abstract. It consists    Size: 11K
   of the text around the first hit within the   Depth: 3
   matching document...                          Find Similar           Match Info
                                                 Show Parents

Sample Search Results in OU Search

The components of each result are:

  • Result number
  • Document title (Clicking on this will take you to the original document)
  • Abstract (The first few hundred characters of the document)
  • Match quality graph. 84%*******___ (Only shown if relevance ranking is used)
  • Size (The file size of the original document)
  • Depth (How many clicks from the top of the site)
  • Find Similar (Find other documents similar to this one) 
  • Match Info (View the matches and other information about the document)
  • Show Parents (List pages that link to this one)

Finding Similar Documents

The Find Similar link will find documents that are similar to the corresponding result. It does this by reading the original document to ascertain its main subject matter, and then conducting a relevance ranked search for those subjects.

Result documents are ordered from best to worst match. The bar graph display will indicate the overall quality of the match.

Note: The document that is clicked on may not be ranked as the best match. This is because other documents may contain more information about the overall subject matter than the original.

Viewing Match Info

The Match Info link will show users the context of your answers within the matching document. Matching words will be shown as hyperlinks. Clicking on any match term will take users to the next matching term. A summary at the top of the in-context view shows information about the document, including the time it was last modified.

Showing Document Parents

Often it is difficult to navigate using a search engine because there is no back-link present on the matching document. The Show Parents link solves this.

This link will show other documents that contain hyperlinks to the one you click on. In other words, it is an automated back button.