Minutes of July 26, 2000 Meeting

Ka-Neng Au, Steve Perkins, Theo Haynes, Ron Jantz, Rebecca Gardner, Brian Hancock, Marty Kesselman, Pat Piermatti, Sam McDonald

WAC held an election for chair and Rebecca Gardner is our new chair. Congratulations to Rebecca.

Other membership changes:
Leslie Murtha will be joining WAC. Welcome to Leslie. Ron Jantz, Harry Glazer, and Steve Perkins will be leaving WAC after two years of active duty. Marty Kesselman will join the WAC Design Group.

Progress Reports:

Design Group:
Sam has continued to make incremental improvements to the website, e.g. adding the adjective "travel" to Directions. He has also structured the staff pages directories so that they can be more easily updated and maintained by the various staff groups. Discussions continue in the Design Group as to how to set up options and the user interface for the search engine. 2050 pages are in use across the site.

Discussion of whether to eliminate or move telnet links for indexes. Decision to move to a separate listing, to eliminate some busy-ness from Indexes page. Discussion of whether to retain access to dead databases.

Research Guides:
Political Science Research Guide new. Jazz page, after some review is being revised to add local resources. Ron is working on the Numeric Data Guide, which should be finished soon. Uses interdisciplinary approach, unlike Economics Guide's data section. Also will include search engines for numeric data and where they are.

Search Engine:
In August, the entire WAC will act as the tiger team to test the search engine. In Sept., it will be refined and fixed. It's unveiling will be in October. Sam is still researching related topics, especially human-computer interaction. He'll distribute the URL for the search engine next week. The beta version of the next version of htdig should handle phrase searching, and is almost out.

Highlighting in abstracts/excerpts will be of 1st occurrences of any word in a search. Dave will download the beta version which can do phrase searching. We could link to the beta for phrase searching. We need to create a help or explanation of what it can/does & can't/doesn't do. No weighting is recommended. When evaluation the effectiveness, consider objectives be trying to satisfy them.

Revisions are being made and it will then be put up as an icon on the RUL mail page.

Phrase I Survey:
Ron noted the trends he'd spotted in the initial survey were characterized by Too: too many words, layers, pages, clicks. Discussion was of making the current front page like a site map and the Research Shortcuts much more prominent. There is need for detail, but it's by the remote novice user. The Alpha list has no indication of primary indexes (this is supposed to be taken care of by the subject groups). One suggestion was to subsume the subject indexes approach into the Research Guides. We still have a vocabulary problem: Research and Reference Gateway, IRIS- the online catalog needs to be spelled out. There may be multiple solutions. One problem is that currently we've tried to incorporate instruction into a sophisticated researcher's pages.

Next meeting: Wed. August 30, 2000, 9:30-noon, SCC

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