EDS Subject Research Relevancy Ranking

Return the Best Possible Search Results


Because EDS combines your entire collection with its extensive Base Index, searches will yield a comprehensive return of content. Therefore, it’s imperative to have a strong relevancy-ranking system in place so that users not only find relevant results, but also the best possible results—right on the first page of the result list.

When it comes to relevancy methodology, while access to full text is important, the superior-quality results for a search come through high-end indexing and subject headings applied through controlled vocabularies. EDS is different from other discovery services because it seeks to enhance the indexing of journals & magazines to better inform the relevancy process—a distinction of “quality” vs. “quantity.”

Superior Relevance Ranking

The EDS relevancy system has the following priorities and has no bias toward content from any provider:

  • Match on subject headings from controlled vocabularies
  • Match on article titles
  • Match on author keywords
  • Match on keywords within abstracts
  • Match on keywords within full text

Exact Matches: Exact matches are favored over partial matches—and consideration of the field(s) in which those words appear (abstract vs. full text vs. title, etc.)

Density: The number of times the word(s) appears relative to the size of the document (more is better)—and consideration of the field(s) in which those words appear (abstract vs. full text vs. title, etc.)

Superior Value Ranking

After conducting an unprecedented number of usability studies with undergraduate students, graduate students and faculty, the following additional biases were put in place to improve the value of the results for the end user:

Currency: When relevance is equal, the more recent journal articles rank higher

Document Type: In relation to the search terms, document types may be relegated to lower relevance

Length: Articles of a more substantial length have a heavier weighting (e.g., when relevance is equal, a quarter-page article is considered less valuable than a four page article)

It’s imperative to have a strong relevancy-ranking system in place so that users not only find relevant results, but also the best possible results—right on the first page of the result list.