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Should Queries for Alternate Terms Include Primary Terms

Should Queries for Alternate Terms Include Primary Terms

A # query for the "primary term," the term that is located in the Term field of a Thesaurus record finds that term any any of the terms listed in the Alternates field for that same record. However, a query for any of the Alternate Terms using the # operator returns records that include the specified Alternate and any other Alternate from that Thesaurus record, but not the Primary Term. I find this somewhat counter-intuitive. Has anyone else has issues with this functionality?

It seems to me that if a user does not know whether the queried term is stored in the Term field or in the Alternates field and searches for what turns out to be an Alternate term, they will likely receive results and assume that the primary term was included when it was not.

KE Support explained this behavior by stating that users would want the ability to query only for Alternate Terms. If users were able to find all Alternates and the Primary term using the # operator, however, I think that it would make queries much more intuitive and save users the time required to look up the primary term for each search term in the Thesaurus. To find all Alternates without the Primary term, a query that is less-frequently desired, users could run Additional Search to remove all matches for the Primary Term.

In fact, I would love to have an operator (##+?) that included all Narrower Terms as well as all Alternate Terms in a query. Presently to search for both Narrower Terms and Alternates, the term must be entered twice in the query form, once with each operator (#Term | #+Term).

Will

Will Scott
Museum & Database Consulting
Philadelphia, PA / New York, NY

Will Scott
Museum & Database Consulting
www.willscottconsulting.com

Will Scott (Museum & Database Consultant)
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Re: Should Queries for Alternate Terms Include Primary Terms

Will-

You are definitely running into similiar issues as we are because of how the Lexicon worked in ARGUS.  We have users who are used to finding all related terms and the primary term with one search and it is frustrating to them that they can not still do that.  We have not even introduced most staff to the "#+" and "#-" search funcitionality yet, since we are still working on organizing the thesaurus to get back some of the relationships from the ARGUS Lexicon.

Leslie S. Mio
Assistant Registrar / Loan Coordinator / EMu Administrative Team
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Leslie Mio
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