Collections > Master's Papers > School of Information and Library Science > Searching for Art Records: A Log Analysis of the Ackland Art Museum's Collection Search System
pdf

Search log data from the Ackland Art Museum's online collection search system was analyzed in order to determine the search categories most frequently employed by users of the system. The data consisted of a total of 16,729 actions and 3,459 search sessions. It covered a three-month time period from February 19 to May 19, 2015. Analysis of actions associated with the Ackland's advanced search feature suggest that the department, classification, and artist fields have the highest usage while searchers rarely submit queries relating to a work's particular medium (2.55%). Review of the most common queries submitted by users reveals that search terms most commonly relate to representational subjects visually presented in a work of art rather than formal titles. Investigation into how users alter the queries they submit throughout a search session indicates that users often do not change categories during a search session, but primarily make parallel changes (68.11%).