ranking results in a library

In a search engine, your search results are ranked a certain way. By year, by author, most commonly by relevance and most of the time you can choose which one you want. The relevance ranking is the default most of the time though. This relevance is made by an algorithm which is programmed by whoever builds the search engine.
I was discussing the ranking mechanisms of a search engine we have at the library with a colleague and said I wasn’t happy with them, I said they didn’t work properly. That was a mistake. They do work properly, it’s just that for me as a humanities librarian the results I got from the searches I did weren’t very helpful. That doesn’t mean the ranking doesn’t work. It means the ranking isn’t a good one for humanities.

It’s a simple lesson. But that will come in handy when I will have to explain to students why some search engines are more useful than others.


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