Navigating around a Microsearch Search Portal is easy. Here’s a list of the navigation subjects:
- Database Navigation
- Document Navigation
- Hit and Hit List Navigation
Most web portals have multiple document databases listed on the Home Page. Document databases are selected/opened by clicking the database title. Choose the document database you are interested in, and click that link. The portal for the Department of Transportation looks like this:
If, for instance, you were interested in the Civil Aeronautics Regulations database, you would click that Title link. The document collection database will open. Some databases open directly to the TOC (Table of Contents). If the database you are interested in does not open to the TOC, simply click the Contents tab.
The Civil Aeronautics Regulations TOC looks like this:
If you click one of the folders, that folder will open to reveal another level of folders, if they exist. Continue to drill down until the list of documents is exposed.
The Microsearch database search engine supports document-to-document navigation within the Table of Contents, and within an open Hit List: it also supports Hit-to-Hit navigation within open documents with Hits.
Opening Documents in the TOC
With the TOC list of documents and their titles exposed, opening the document is as simple as clicking on the document title. The document will open.
If the document you choose to open is an Adobe PDF, you may need to have the Adobe Reader installed on your computer: some modern browsers don’t require that you have an Adobe Reader installed, but some do. You can install the free Adobe Reader by going here.
Navigating Documents in the TOC
When the user has a document open as a result to scrolling to the document in the Table of Contents, the user can navigate to new documents in the Table of Contents as follows:
Navigating Documents in the SearcH Results Page
Once you have entered the search terms you are interested in, the search engine creates a list of all documents that meet the users search expression. This is called the Hit List. Below is an image of a Hit List, with comments about the Hit List elements.
- Element #1 is the number of Hits in the one document
- Element #2 is the Date of the Document, as included in the database as a metadata information field
- Element #3 is the Title of the document with the Hits
- Element #4 is a link that converts and exports the Hit List to an Excel spreadsheet.
- Element #5 is a link that allows the user to further refine the search expression
At the bottom of each page in the Hit List (if there are more than 1 page of Hits) is the Hit List Page Navigator, allowing the users to jump from page to page within the Hit List, or back to the First Page, or all the way to the Last Page. It looks like this:
In this case, there are 93 pages of hits. The search term that got this many pages of hits, as shown by the highlights, is the word the.
Hits in Context
Context is defined as the words around Hits in the Hit List. Context and the amount of context is very useful because by examining the context, users can more easily decide which documents to open. Some users prefer a great deal of context while other users prefer minimal amounts of context. In this demo, DOT document database, note that there are 5 words on either side of each highlight Hit.
Users of Private Document Databases, and those who register for Public document databases, can change the number of words surrounding each Hit, from none to 100 words. This one of the several Preferences that can be changed under the Preferences Tab, to be discussed later in the “What’s Under the Tabs” page.