KB User's Guide - General Info - Live Search Results Screen and Its Features

After performing a Search, a Search Results table appears on your screen. The Search Results table is properly marked for accessibility. This document will discuss what happens when a search is performed, the features that appear on the results page and other things to factor in when performing a search.

Performing a Search on a KB Site

To find a document, enter one or more keywords in the Search field. When a user submits a query:

  • The KB searches for all documents that contain those specific keywords.
  • The Case of keywords is ignored.
  • Document keywords are specified by the document owner when the document is created.
  • Document titles are also considered keywords and searched during the query process.
  • The default sort order for search results is based on its relevance to the Default Search Mode assigned by the KB Admin. Relevance is determined by the similarity between the search term itself and the Default Search Option.

Narrowing your Search Further

If you find that there are too many documents to choose from during your initial search, try one of the 4 search strategies below.

Table of search strategies and their descriptions.
Search Strategy Description
Limiting Results If searching using a single word yields too many unrelated documents, try adding another word or two. You may also use the drop-down menu to limit your search to one specific topic. If you do not see a drop down menu for a topics, please ask your KB Admin to enable it.
Exact Match If you are looking for an exact match, try using a phrase and enclose the phrase in quotation marks.
Excluding Documents If you want to exclude documents that contain a certain keyword, you can focus your search by putting a minus sign ("-") in front of that word. For example, classlist -learn will find classlist documents that are not related to Learn@UW.
Advanced Search If standard search doesn't help, try our Advanced Search, which allows you to further tailor your query parameters to your needs. If the Advanced Search button is not enabled on your KB Site, ask your Admin to enable it.
Searching for numerals If searching for a numeral, type the letter "a" and then type the numeral (e.g. a 2018).  The additional "a" tells the KB that the search is not for a specific document, instead, it tells the KB to search for documents that contains what’s after the letter "a" because the letter "a" is a noise word/letter and subsequently ignored in the search.

The KB Search Results Page and the Additional Search Options

After performing a Search you will see a table with your Search Results. In the image below, we have the Search Results for "Profile" in the KB User's Guide. This image has the Additional Search Features circled in red. We will review each one.

The Search results page with the Show relevant topic filters, XML, JSON, See UW-Madison Unified KnowledgeBase, and Search partner public sites links circled in red.

Search Priority as Delineated by Asterisks

At the top of your search, you may find document titles with gold asterisks next to them. Four asterisks denote that the document Search Priority is set to Top. Three asterisks denote that the document's search priority was set to High.

The Search results page showing a document with four asterisk in front of the title circled in red.

Show Relevant Topic Filters

A the top right of the Search Results screen, you will find this link. After a user enters a search term, clicking on this link will display in which topics the results of the search can be found. The number of documents in each topic can be found inside the parentheses.

The Relevant topics section.

Keywords dropdown box

The Search Results page also has a dropdown menu on the top left of the screen. You may modify your search further by selecting one of these options from the dropdown menu. The Default Search mode is determined by your KB Admin.

  • Keywords+Title
  • Fulltext search
  • Attachments search
  • Keywords+attachments search
  • Fulltext + attachment search

Sort by Relevance link

The Sort by Relevance link resets the document sequence of your results if you choose to sort by the table Attributes; Document Title, ID, Updated and Hits. The image below has a red circle around the table attributes that can sort the table.

The search results page with the table attributes Document Title, ID, Updated, and Hits links circled in red.

The actual Relevance looks at a variety of factors and weights them accordingly:

  • Search Priority -Documents with the highest priority will be weighted most.
  • Group who owns the Document - If your KB group owns the document, that will factor will be weighted more than documents shared in from other KB groups.
  • How Recently the Doc was Updated - a more recent update date will be weighted more than a doc that has not been updated in a while.
  • Number of Hits - a document with more hits is weighted more than a doc with fewer hits
  • OS Detection - Depending what the OS detection default is on your KB Site, you may or may not have your search results weighted by OS.

RSS: XML, JSON, OL Options

Clicking on these fields (on the upper right corner of the table of documents) will yield a screen with the output of your search. The limit for the dynamic feed is 1500. When you perform a search on your KB site, the dynamic search results can be accessed as an RSS feed. This is useful for groups that would like to consume KB content within another web site or web application. Please see KB User's Guide - General Info - XML (RSS) Display Options  for more information.

"See UW-Madison Unified KnowledgeBase" link

Clicking on this link will take you to the KB Unified site where you will find relevant documents on other KB external sites. The number next to the link denotes how many relevant documents are available to you on the Unified site.

"1 2 3...Next" linked numbers

These are the pagination controls (some people refer to it as the table of contents or TOC) that lets the user browse through pages of search results. in the image below, the pagination is 1, 2, 3, 4 and then Next. In the image below, the pagination is circled in red.

The bottom of the search results page. The pagination, Suggest a document, and partner public sites sections are circled in red.

Search partner public sites/ Relevant documents from partner public sites

Upon entering your search criteria, the KB compiles a list of documents relevant to your search and displays the first five documents with a link leading you to the rest. In the image above, there are 17 potentially relevant documents from partner public sites.  The link below the 5 linked documents leads to 17 more documents.

Keywords:find documents kws fts index keyword search key word full text search sort order exact match relevance limit exclude advanced rss cross internal site search xml json OL ordered list case keywords default search option limiting results exact match excluding documents advanced search strategy show relevant topic filter search priority relevant topics filter keywords dropdown box sort by relevance group owner updated hits OS detection See Unified link 1 2 3 pagination TOC Search Partner public sites operating system search for numerals search for numbers   Doc ID:15404
Owner:Leah S.Group:KB User's Guide
Created:2010-10-25 19:00 CDTUpdated:2023-08-04 11:05 CDT
Sites:KB Demo, KB Demo - Child Demo KB, KB User's Guide
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