10. Storing searches to create a self- maintaining index
Searches over DIAL Search are included as `stored search links' in the DIAL
Index. For example, on the Intellectual Property subject page there are various
stored searches for different aspects of intellectual property. These are
relatively simple searches, but much more complex searches using the full range
of search connectors can be stored.
The significance of these `stored searches' of DIAL Search in
the DIAL Index is twofold:
- Those responsible for developing and maintaining the DIAL Index have
expertise in search techniques, and know what types of searches are most
effective over DIAL Search. By creating stored searches at sensible locations
in the index they make this expertise available to users of the index who are
unlikely to have the same level of search expertise. For example, the search
for `patent law' above is actually a search for "patent* or brevet*",
utilising both the French term and truncation.
- An expert who creates a stored search only has to do so once. When more
data is added to the DIAL Search database, the expert does not have to change
the stored search, because it will now find relevant new legislation as well as
the old legislation (assuming the search was well-constructed in the first
place). In contrast, sets of ordinary hypertext links to legislation do have
to be updated when legislation changes. This method creates to some extent a
`self-maintaining index' of the material in DIAL Search.
- Inclusion of stored search links means that, since the intellectual index
is searchable, a search can find other searches. For example, if a user does a
DIAL Search for `breach of confidence', 15 items of so will be found. If that
search is repeated over DIAL links, only one item is found, the above stored
search `DIAL Search for trade secrets or confidential information'. However, if
that stored search is then selected, over 150 items are found and ranked,
because the stored search was for "trade secret or segredo comercial or breach
of confidence or confidential information". The user may not have been aware
that in most commercial contexts, `trade secret' is a conceptually the same as
`breach of confidence', but the invitation to repeat a search, and the stored
search links, will assist the user to `find' this information.