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Lens FAQ

What is Lens?
Lens allows users to search the library catalog and other sources simultaneously using Aquabrowser, a search engine developed by Medialab.

How is Lens different from the Library catalog?
Lens expands your search into other Library resources including electronic database information, e-journals list, archives and manuscripts finding aids, tables of contents, summaries, and the Library's website. We will be adding additional sources in future versions.

Many users will find that Lens offers more flexibility for discovering resources than the existing Library Catalog. Some of Lens’ features include:

I searched for dog. Why did I also get results for dogs and canine?
Searches automatically expanded to included spelling variants, related terms, and varient endings.. You can limit your results to the exact term by enclosing it in quotes (e.g., "dog").

What happens if I search for more than one term at a time?
When more than one search term is in the query box, it searches for records including both terms. Example: Chicago jazz would be searched as jazz AND Chicago.

How does relevancy ranking work?
AquaBrowser ranks search according to information about the matching search terms in the results and the fields they occur in. The weights for all occurrences of search terms in a record are combined, and the result is used to rank the results.

The weighting of search terms takes into account:

1. which field(s) a term appears in, for example, an occurrence of a search term in the title is considered more significant than a term in a note field;
2. how significant the term is in the entire database, according to its term frequency/inverse document frequency ; and
3. whether the matching term in an exact match or an algorithmically-determined spelling variations, exact matches being given more weight than spelling variations.

We will continue to tune the results ranking. If you encounter results that do not make sense for the terms you searched, please send us detailed information on the search and your expectations.

What is the advanced search?
Advanced search allows you to specify which field your search terms appear in, e.g. search for Lewis Carroll only as an author.

Why do I get results from the Oxford Dictionary of National Biography?
The Oxford Dictionary of National Biography is the first reference source that we are including to enhance your Lens results. Look for other reference sources to be added in the future.

Is there any way to "un-select" a refine dimension without starting a new search?
You can "un-select" any refine dimension by mousing over the term where it appears in the gray "breadcrumb" bar located at the top of your search results and clicking on "Remove." You also can "keep" your favorite refine dimension for all your searches.

What happens when I use the option to "Refine by call number range?"
This will limit your results to those materials that have call numbers (used to classify books under broad headings) you select. It can be a useful way to distinguish concepts that are common to many disciplines. Please note that not all resources searched by Lens will include these call numbers.

Can I hide the features I don't need?
The word cloud, the call-number range refine, and the main facets in the right panel all give you the option to hide or display them - simply click on the grey triangle.

How do I print a page of results?
Firefox: right-click in the results frame, choose "select all," then mark "the selected frame" on the print menu.

Internet Explorer: IE7, right click in the results frame and select "print." Older versions, right click in the results frame, choose "select all," then mark "selected" on the print menu.

Safari: Click in the results frame and select File --> Print Current Frame.

Can I make a list of results and save, print, or email them?
You will be able to create, save and email lists of search results when we implement Aquabrowser's "My Discoveries."

What is the word cloud?
The word cloud is meant to be a discovery tool to expand one's search, not a refining tool. Each new search in Lens produces suggestions in the word cloud related to the search term:

What happens when I click on a term in the word cloud?
Selecting a term in the word cloud executes a new search and the relevancy ranking gives priority to results that also include the previous search term.

How are the Translation terms in the word cloud generated for multi-word searches?
The first word is checked for translations. If there are no matches, the next word is checked, etc.