January 24, 2009

Introducing Summon

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , , , — tsladmin @ 9:51 am

“Everything has been leading to this”
Introducing “Summon” to do the things Joan Lippincott talked about
with your collections today being predominantly digital (look at your statistics), it’s more difficult than ever to connect students to your resources
PQ looked very closely at how students are trying to discover information and content
did “extreme ethnographic research” where the kids were searching, including into their dorm rooms
did in-person observational research in the dorm, in the coffee shop, etc.
recorded sessions in-person with users and saw their rates of success
surveyed more than 10,000 users
did online focus groups
the good news about these kids is that they believe we offer the most credible, superior source (by a wide margin)
also believe we have the most efficient search engine for them, although their behavior doesn’t support this
and they say that, too – that they go to Google first
they’re realistic about how they actual go about finding information
the library is increasingly disintermediated from the search for information, which is causing the belief that the library is not the center of campus
– no clear and compelling starting place (library’s pages say a lot about the library – literally says a lot – but difficult for end-users to find appropriate starting point for research)
– difficulty identifying appropriate resources (they can’t find a specific resource even when they know what they’re looking for; we have more digital resources than ever & it’s difficult to distinguish between them)
– general lack of awareness of resources (the OPAC, built on the print model, has only a small portion of the library’s resources; they get discouraged trying to find things & their unwillingness to go through long lists of resources is increasing)
underlying technical issues prevent easy searches
compare that to “simple, easy, fast” of Google and web searching
if only there was a Google-like search for libraries
welcome to Summon
a compelling place for your end users to start their research to discover the wealth of your resources available to them
enables quick discovery of all of your library’s digital and physical resources (repositories, databases, OPAC, books, ejournal articles, etc.)
does it in a Google-like single search, very fast, very coordinated, takes them into the discovery phase very, very quickly
what is a unified discovery service?
NOT federated search – doesn’t use connectors or translators
it pre-harvests massive amounts of data to bring them together in a single search through a single search box
pre-built, pre-coordinated
urge libraries to bring to Summon everything Joan described in her talk
because they know what your library subscribes to, they can make sure your end user doesn’t get into dead ends
end users only see the things they actually have access to (unlike Google Scholar)
it’s an open system with APIs – put the search box wherever you want
not a nextgen catalog, although you could use the API in one
“I’ll believe it when I see it” (when pigs fly)
more than 40 publishers are providing metadata today
more than 50,000 journals are already represented
300+ million items indexed so far (as of today)
update service weekly with new publishers
Gale and ProQuest are leading the way with SerialsSolutions
also have the support of Springer, SAGE, CrossRef, Taylor & Francis, HighWire (helping with harvesting), Nature Publishing Group, Oxford University Press, Houghton Mifflin, Academy of Sciences, society publishers, open access content, EconList, Sociological Abstracts, GPO, Medline, ERIC, Agricola, and more
through their use of the A&I resrouces, can still lead users to content even if they don’t have a partnership with them
85% of EBSCO Academic SearchPremier is available via Summon
64% of JSTOR
87% of Ovid
Summon is in beta at Dartmouth and Oklahoma State (since November)
did two quick searches
the opening screen is just a search box and nothing else
let a branded search box be your digital presence
– keep it clean and focused
can filter by full text online items only
can filter by peer-reviewed or scholarly resources
will be a subscription service that is fully hosted
stop by their booth (#1904) to see it in action
sign up on their website for news about the service
Q – how is this related to AquaBrowser?
A – AB is a nextgen catalog so you can bring Summon content into it through the Summon API
Q – don’t you have 2 federated search tools that you were combining, and what has happened to them?
A – we do, and we are, but different libraries have different needs; still need to offer a good federated search product for those libraries that want one; but they believe the compelling starting point is Summon
Q – we’re talking about tons and tons of data, how do you show current status?
A – pre-harvest with metadata but click through in real-time
Q – is there a potential to aggregate all of the collections among libraries?
A – we’ll have to wait and see; right now, the focus is to provide this Google-like, compelling presence
Q – for those things that aren’t in Summon, is there a way to lead them to further resources?
A – yes, the screens are all very customizable; want to keep the opening screen clean, though
Q – one of the advantages of pre-harvesting is finding relationships between things – will you be doing that instead of just providing facts?
A – yes, but right now it’s still just in beta; will take time
Q – ??
A – have already brought into Summon the contents of one partner’s OPAC (didn’t say which one), so they know these protocols work
Q – is the pricing going to be in the “dream come true” range, too?
A – pricing has not yet been determined, but they are aware of the issues around cost

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