[Archivesspace_Users_Group] Relevance ranking prioritising info in agent record's biog history

Andrew Morrison andrew.morrison at bodleian.ox.ac.uk
Thu Feb 11 06:32:31 EST 2021

The default "Keyword" search option causes ArchivesSpace to query a 
single Solr index field called "fullrecord". That is a big, unstructured 
free-text field containing everything the indexer deems relevant to each 
record (and, as in this case, pulled in from other things linked to it, 
such as agents.) As such, no priority is given to any one note or text 

Why your example search for "suffrage" is returning that particular 
record in third place is difficult to say. Have you set up any boost (in 
config.rb or a plug-in) to increase the relevance score of resources 
relative to other record types? That would explain why it is in the top 
six, and why they're all resources. Then other factors would come into 
play to determine the order among resources, such as term frequency and 
relative size of each record (the fewer distinct words, the more 
relevant Solr regards a match within them to be.)


On 11/02/2021 10:39, Natalie Adams wrote:
> Dear all,
> Now that we have completed the process of migrating legacy catalogue 
> records to ArchivesSpace we have a large number of collections of 
> personal papers available on our ArchivesSpace PUI 
> (https://archivesearch.lib.cam.ac.uk/ 
> <https://archivesearch.lib.cam.ac.uk/>). Some of them are of very 
> prominent people who have correspondingly long biographical history 
> notes in their agent record. Not all the information in a biographical 
> history is necessarily reflected in the contents of the archival 
> collection- e.g. for a collection of papers of a Nobel prize winning 
> scientist, the biog history would include information about the 
> scientific breakthrough that led to the award of the Nobel even though 
> the papers we have might relate solely to the scientist's later work 
> as Head of one of the Cambridge colleges.
>  We have noticed that relevance ranking of search results prioritises 
> information in the biographical history note of an agent record, and 
> will return hits tagged with an agent record (whether or not the 
> search term is found in the resource or archival description data). In 
> a search for suffrage 
> (https://archivesearch.lib.cam.ac.uk/search?utf8=%E2%9C%93&op%5B%5D=&q%5B%5D=suffrage&limit=&field%5B%5D=&from_year%5B%5D=&to_year%5B%5D=&commit=Search 
> <https://archivesearch.lib.cam.ac.uk/search?utf8=%E2%9C%93&op%5B%5D=&q%5B%5D=suffrage&limit=&field%5B%5D=&from_year%5B%5D=&to_year%5B%5D=&commit=Search>) 
> on our system, the third hit in order of relevance 
> (https://archivesearch.lib.cam.ac.uk/repositories/2/resources/7120 
> <https://archivesearch.lib.cam.ac.uk/repositories/2/resources/7120>) 
> appears to have no relevance to the search unless you visit the agent 
> record (https://archivesearch.lib.cam.ac.uk/agents/people/8044 
> <https://archivesearch.lib.cam.ac.uk/agents/people/8044>) where the 
> term suffrage is included.
> We would be very interested to know whether other repositories have 
> experienced the same issue and have considered or been able to make 
> any adjustments to their systems.
> Best wishes,
> Natalie
> ArchiveSearch | ArchiveSearch <https://archivesearch.lib.cam.ac.uk/>
> What are archives? Archives are records produced by individuals, 
> families, businesses or organisations during their existence. Archives 
> come in a huge variety of formats- from parchment documents to digital 
> files.
> archivesearch.lib.cam.ac.uk
> Natalie Adams
> Systems Archivist
> Cambridge University Library
> Information about using Cambridge University Libraries is available 
> online here: https://www.lib.cam.ac.uk/using-library 
> <https://www.lib.cam.ac.uk/using-library>
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