Issue 12553

Species search: add help text

Reporter: kbraak
Assignee: omeyn
Type: Improvement
Summary: Species search: add help text
Priority: Minor
Resolution: Fixed
Status: Closed
Created: 2012-12-18 12:35:42.414
Updated: 2013-08-29 14:45:25.292
Resolved: 2013-01-02 16:58:36.317
Description: Background:

Imagine you arrive on the species search page and want to do a search by common name.

First of all, there is no help text that tells you what fields are supported in the full text search.

If you start typing, type-ahead suggestion starts giving a list of scientific names. Type-ahead suggestions aren't given for common names.

I type in a common name "Eichenwickler" and I get 9 results, with the first hit being a successful match for common name (see screenshot). The CHECKLIST filter for GBIF Backbone Taxonomy was selected automatically. That means I didn't get to see the common name according to other checklists in the search results. Instead I would either have to refine my results using filters, or visit the species page according to the nub, and look at the common names listed there.

Enhancement I am suggesting:

To de-mystify the search, a help text should appear beside the search bar, explaining:

1) The species search will try and match against the canonical name, class, description, family, genus, kingdom, order, phylum, scientific name, species, subgenus, vernacular name.
2) The species search will matches against the GBIF Backbone Taxonomy. More specific filters can refine the search afterwards (This seems to be true, [~mdoering] can you confirm?)]]>

Attachment Screen Shot 2012-12-18 at 12.34.57 PM.png

Attachment Screen Shot 2012-12-18 at 2.29.07 PM.png

Attachment Screen Shot 2012-12-18 at 3.09.25 PM.png

Created: 2012-12-18 13:33:51.645
Updated: 2012-12-18 13:33:51.645
Help texts are surely welcome in various places, but I had hoped searching becomes as intuitive as using google. A search searches all we can do and then does return a result ordered by an internal ranking. This happens also on dataset searches. Just the occurrence search is a bit different as we cannot scale the index to cover it all and there is no single search field. But maybe there should be?

Limiting the species search by default to the nub avoids showing the same name 20 times or more if its a common species. If you think about it it is what you would expect. Searching on other checklists than the nub is a special operations and use case, but can be done by using the facet filters as you discovered.

I would not list all fields the search operates on, cause basically its everything. But maybe say it searches everything? What about putting that sentance to the search homepage instead of the results page?

Created: 2012-12-18 14:35:08.436
Updated: 2012-12-18 14:35:08.436
Thanks for the explanations.

What if we included some suggestions inside the search box, just like does? (See screenshot)

If we want to be as intuitive as Google, I wouldn't limit type ahead suggestions to just scientific names then. Otherwise, the user could easily be mislead to think only scientific name searches are supported.

You asked: Should there be a single search field for occurrence search? I think it's fine the way it is now.  

Comment: Yes, we can surely add that to the search box. But I begin to wonder if its a good idea to have any autocomplete at all in the species search. Maybe it should be turned off?
Created: 2012-12-18 14:39:52.178
Updated: 2012-12-18 14:39:52.178

Created: 2012-12-18 15:22:56.142
Updated: 2012-12-18 15:22:56.142
I wonder also.

Having scientific name with authorship is quite specific, and limits the search making it less explorative, and more like a filter.

When limiting a set of occurrence records, autocomplete by scientific name with authorship is probably better suited.

See the attached screenshot where I am typing in Plantae. I should see 1 suggestion, instead I receive 4. Basically, instead of saying to the user you could search by Plantae, we confuse them by saying we know about at least 4 different 'usages' of plantae. Same confusion can arise for scientific names also, where there are various authorships. 

Comment: Ok, lets remove the autocomplete then from species searches. Fede's fine with that too
Created: 2012-12-18 15:39:35.189
Updated: 2012-12-18 15:39:35.189

Comment: Placeholder text added to species and dataset search boxes in revision 1286. Separate issue opened to remove autocomplete on species search. Closing issue.
Created: 2013-01-02 16:58:36.346
Updated: 2013-01-02 16:58:36.346