Search on Topic field vs a Topic search

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Harry Hahne | Forum Activity | Posted: Sat, Apr 2 2022 11:02 PM

What is the difference between these two searches:

  • Search 1: Select Topic field and enter the word "Marriage"
  • Search 2: Search All Text with the search <Topic Marriage>

Both are Basic searches, but they produce different results when I search All Resources in my Library. Search 1 produces 59 results, but Search 2 only finds 3 results, which happen to be musical scores.

Since <Topic xxx> is supposed to search the Topic field, I would expect the same results.

What is the difference between these two types of searches?

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MJ. Smith | Forum Activity | Replied: Sun, Apr 3 2022 2:13 AM

IIRC the search field is used for embedded objects - picture, music score, illustrations ... goes with the other metadata for embedded objects.

<Topic > is used for the set of topics with which FL has tagged a limited number of resources.

Orthodox Bishop Hilarion Alfeyev: "To be a theologian means to have experience of a personal encounter with God through prayer and worship."

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NB.Mick | Forum Activity | Replied: Sun, Apr 3 2022 2:43 AM

Harry Hahne:

What is the difference between these two searches:

  • Search 1: Select Topic field and enter the word "Marriage"
  • Search 2: Search All Text with the search <Topic Marriage>

Both are Basic searches, but they produce different results when I search All Resources in my Library. Search 1 produces 59 results, but Search 2 only finds 3 results, which happen to be musical scores.

Are you sure? Maybe you could add a screenshot, since it seems to be the other way round in my searches:

Image

Still I think your point is valid. The search field "Topic" should be the same as the metadata tag "Topic" applied in resources, or they should be named differently.

Running Logos 9 latest (beta) version on Win 10

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MJ. Smith | Forum Activity | Replied: Sun, Apr 3 2022 2:54 AM

There are a number of search fields with names identical or similar to datatype tags -- but in no case do they execute the same search. I'd hate to have to learn a new set of vocabulary as they are clearly separate in how they are specified. I don't recall many questions in the forums that confused the two.

Orthodox Bishop Hilarion Alfeyev: "To be a theologian means to have experience of a personal encounter with God through prayer and worship."

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Harry Hahne | Forum Activity | Replied: Sun, Apr 3 2022 5:54 PM

NB.Mick:
it seems to be the other way round in my searches:

Yes. I reversed the search results in my initial post. But I still find the terminology is still confusing.

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Harry Hahne | Forum Activity | Replied: Sun, Apr 3 2022 6:59 PM

Here are two further annoyances about these searches:

1. A search for a non-existent topic reverts to a full text phrase search without any warning that the topic does not exist. This can happen as simply as not capitalizing a word correctly in a topic. For example, a search for <Topic marriage> will match no topics, since while the topic "Marriage" exists, the topic "marriage" does not exist. This search then changes to a full text search for places where the word "topic" and "marriage" are adjacent, such as "...my topic, Marriage...." Oddly in this instance enough it does not care about the letter case, although the letter case must be exact if you want to find a specific topic.

Obviously, it is best to select the right topic from the pick list. But it is easy to assume that Logos will treat "marriage" and "Marriage" the same if Match Case is not selected.

2. If a person really wants to search on a field, they must be careful not to pick anything from the pick list. For example, if you type Topic:marriage (with the intention of searching the Topic:field), then pick Marriage (topic)" from the pick list, the search changes to <Topic Marriage>, which searches on the Topic data type rather than the Topic field. I think this is where my confusion of these 2 different types of "topics" originated, since Logos changed my search to a different type of search.

In both of these instances, Logos changed my search type from what I entered to what it thinks (wrongly) I meant to type. In the first case, I would want Logos to return no results, since the Topic "marriage" does not exist. In the second case, I would prefer that Logos offer no pick list rather than pick lists for a completely different kind of search.

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Phil Gons (Faithlife) | Forum Activity | Replied: Sun, Apr 3 2022 8:24 PM

The Topic field (e.g., topic:marriage) is mostly unused and likely not to be helpful for most topical searching.

The Logos Controlled Vocabulary (LCV) Topic data type is widely used but less often as a direct textual reference/link (i.e., <Topic Marriage> [70]). Normally it’s used to align (a) verses in Bibles with {Section <Topic Marriage>} (2,412), (b) longer text ranges in journals, sermons, etc. with {Label * WHERE Topics ~ <Topic Marriage>} (97), or (c) milestones in dictionaries with {Milestone <Topic Marriage>} (515).

For the broadest data type reference search, you'll want to combine all four: <Topic Marriage> OR {Section <Topic Marriage>} OR {Label * WHERE Topics ~ <Topic Marriage>} OR {Milestone <Topic Marriage>} (3,094).

You could broaden even further by adding in a Headword search, {Headword Marriage} (922), and a Label title search, {Label * WHERE Title ~ Marriage} (747)—both of which will rely on string matching (which with some terms will yield false positives) rather than reference searching.

Combining all six yields this: <Topic Marriage> OR {Section <Topic Marriage>} OR {Label * WHERE Topics ~ <Topic Marriage>} OR {Milestone <Topic Marriage>} OR {Headword Marriage} OR {Label * WHERE Title ~ Marriage} (4,763).

You could go even further by adding in the heading field, heading:marriage (10,624), which is also a string (not reference) search, which will broaden your search considerably without adding in mentions in body text and footnotes.

Combining all seven gives you this: <Topic Marriage> OR {Section <Topic Marriage>} OR {Label * WHERE Topics ~ <Topic Marriage>} OR {Milestone <Topic Marriage>} OR {Headword Marriage} OR {Label * WHERE Title ~ Marriage} OR heading:marriage (15,388).

You could, of course, add in the topic field: topic:marriage (3). But it doesn't add much.

With it you get <Topic Marriage> OR {Section <Topic Marriage>} OR {Label * WHERE Topics ~ <Topic Marriage>} OR {Milestone <Topic Marriage>} OR {Headword Marriage} OR {Label * WHERE Title ~ Marriage} OR heading:marriage OR topic:marriage (15,391).

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Harry Hahne | Forum Activity | Replied: Sun, Apr 3 2022 10:11 PM

Thanks for the helpful information, Phil.

Phil Gons (Faithlife):
The Logos Controlled Vocabulary (LCV) Topic data type is widely used but less often as a direct textual reference/link

I know that LCV uses an ever-expanding set of standard terms. Is it possible for the Logos user to generate a report with a list of the terms used in the LCV in their library? (I read the documentation for the LCV, but it does not point to a list of terms.) What I am looking for is what librarians call an Authority List, such as the Library of Congress subject categories used by nearly all library catalogs in North America. In many library catalogs, the user can access this Authority List to aid search accuracy. I would love to see this available in Logos. I find myself doing a lot of guessing about what terms might be used. The pick list is, of course, helpful if you have a good start on a search term. But there are a lot of possible synonyms for many terms.

Phil Gons (Faithlife):

As a suggestion, it would be great to have this set up as a Search Template. You could create a Topic Search template, where the user could enter a desired search term and the template would replicate the search term in all of these possible fields.

Thanks again for your input!

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Mark | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, Apr 4 2022 6:08 AM

Harry Hahne:

Phil Gons (Faithlife):

As a suggestion, it would be great to have this set up as a Search Template. You could create a Topic Search template, where the user could enter a desired search term and the template would replicate the search term in all of these possible fields.

Complicated!

I agree that it would be useful to have a  search template.  This seems incredibly wise to simplify what users have to learn to do the proper searches

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Dave Hooton | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, Apr 4 2022 7:58 AM

Mark:

This is an incredibly inefficient Search, mainly because of the  two {Label *....} terms that produce few results (and they overlap with other results). Correspondingly, the individual book results take a long time to load. Drop those and you have a fast Search. Also drop  <Topic Marriage>, topic:marriage as they produce little or no results of value.

Try:

{Section <Topic Marriage>} OR {Milestone <Topic Marriage>} OR {Headword Marriage} OR heading:marriage OR largetext:marriage

Dave
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