A Comparative Overview of Journal Discovery Systems: Library Users Offer Their Experiences


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Speakers: George Machovec –Colorado Alliance of Research Libraries; Rebecca Lenzini –The Charleston Company; Dennis Brunning - Arizona State University; Ronda Rowe - University of Texas at Austin; Martha Whittaker – George Washington University Libraries; Amanda Price – Mississippi State University

Summon (Serials Solutions), EBSCO Discovery Service (EDS), OCLC WorldCat Local, Encore Synergy (III) and PrimoCentral (ExLibris) all represent a new class of discovery systems for libraries. Based on the success of Google Scholar, each of these solutions combines journal literature, MARC record data and digital repository metadata under a single umbrella. This program will bring together librarians to discuss what they are doing in regard to enhancing their next generation interface. This program will look at how different services have been integrated and used at local libraries. What differentiates these offerings and what solution(s) might work best for your library?

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A Comparative Overview of Journal Discovery Systems: Library Users Offer Their Experiences

  1. 1. A COMPARATIVE OVERVIEW OF JOURNAL DISCOVERY SYSTEMS CHARLESTON PRECONFERENCE George Machovec Associate Director Colorado Alliance of Research Libraries November 3, 2010
  2. 2. HISTORICAL PERSPECTIVE  Paper based indexing/abstracting services  1864 - Zoological Record  1876 – Need for more and improved periodical indexes discussed at first ALA convention  1879 – Index Medicus, with hiatus in early years  1890 – H.W. Wilson produces “Readers Guide to Periodical Literature” followed by subject specific guides in early 1900s  1907 – Chemical Abstracts Service (CAS)  20th century saw explosion of subject specific indexing/abstracting services
  3. 3. HISTORICAL PERSPECTIVE  1960s saw first computer aided retrieval with systems like Index Medicus and STAR/NASA  1970s saw the first commercial timesharing systems such as Dialog, Systems Development Corporation (SDC) and BRS  Late 1980s saw move away for centralized timesharing systems  CD-ROM  Local loading (e.g. 1987 Wilson databases loaded on CARL system at Arizona State University)
  4. 4. HISTORICAL PERSPECTIVE  1990s – Modern day Web introduced (1993) and move away from local loading/CD-ROM in late 1990s  2000s – Proliferation of online services  Early/Mid-2000s Growth of metasearch/federated search solutions
  5. 5. MANY PROBLEMS WITH METASEARCH ONLY  Slow response from servers  De-duplicating/selecting citations  Limited number of targets or results bog-down  Many query protocols  Z39.50, customized http queries, XML gateways  Inability to do true relevance ranking and facets with only limited results returned
  6. 6. GOOGLE SCHOLAR  Alex Verstak and Anurag Acharya began looking at a consolidated super index  Beta launch in November 2004 – still has a “beta” designation in 2010!  A separate search island from the main Google index with some overlap
  7. 7. GOOGLE SCHOLAR  Additions to GS over the last few years have included  “Cited by” feature which mimics ISI citation indexing but uses Web citing instead  Related articles  Interaction with local link resolvers through proactively sending holdings via an XML file  Citation exporting feature  Incorporation of some Google Books content  Links to open access and publisher pay-per-view  Patents are now included  Who knows what will come out of the mind of Google next!  Oh yes, and its FREE
  8. 8. AND THE PROBLEM IS ---  Nobody knows exactly what is in Google Scholar  Nobody knows the overlap between Google, Google Scholar, Google Books and the other Google islands  Linking to your local resolver can be very sloppy and you only see the link to what you own  It’s not branded  More local integration and control An opening 
  9. 9. LIBRARY DISCOVERY INTERFACES  Began with a focus on the traditional OPAC  AquaBrowser  Encore  Primo  Indigo  VuFind (open source)  OCLC WorldCat Local  Build your own (Lucene, SOLR)  etc, etc etc  After a couple of years a quick realization that we also need a solution for journal literature
  10. 10. COMMON DISCOVERY INTERFACES THAT INCLUDE JOURNAL LITERATURE  Summon (SerialsSolutions)  EBSCO Discovery Service (EDC)  WorldCat Local (OCLC)  Primo/PrimoCentral (Ex Libris)  Encore/Encore Synergy (Innovative Interfaces)
  11. 11. SUMMON - STRENGTHS  The biggest pile of stuff – >520 million citations, 6200 publishers, OA, A&I, gov docs, some aggregators  Pre-indexed all under one umbrella (most like GS)  Supports OAI harvesting  Supports MARC records from you local catalog  Works through your local link resolver  Live 2009 with >100 customers with many ARLs  Google speed 80% searches < 1 second  Tailored to your exact holdings through SerialsSolutions knowledgebase  API available in addition to out-of-the-box UI, mobile UI
  12. 12. SUMMON - WEAKNESSES  Expensive  Must maintain all subscriptions to include within your scoped instance  Missing EBSCO, JSTOR, Elsevier, specialty databases  Some metadata is thin (but trying to build composite fuller records)  Facets and limits optimized for journals with monographs and other formats of secondary nature  Summon views no metasearch add-ons as a strength but others view it as being trapped
  13. 13. EBSCO EDS - STRENGTHS  Live in 2010  Complete coverage of 300+ EBSCO products, Lexis/Nexis, JSTOR, Scopus, WoS, Readex, NetLibrary  Pricing FTE-based but less than Summon in the $18K- $70K/year  Direction linking to FT content in EBSCO and uses link resolver for outside content  Full-text searching of EBSCO content  Simple and advanced searching similar to other EBSCO products  Can OAI harvest, branded, can load MARC records with real-time availability status from OPAC, mobile UI
  14. 14. EBSCO EDS - WEAKNESSES  Much smaller central knowledgebase so many resources must be found in a separate panel via federated search  Does not include ProQuest, Gale and many other aggregations. Most A&I as found on EBSCO only  Very busy UI results screen but similar to traditional EBSCOhost  If you have many non-EBSCO resources most of your content will not be found in the central results panel
  15. 15. WORLDCAT LOCAL - STRENGTHS  Building on comprehensive collection of WorldCat cataloging  Includes 350M journal citations (FirstSearch, NetLibrary, JSTOR, 18 EBSCO files, Gale, HathiTrust, Elsevier, etc)  Real-time availability for books from local OPAC  Uses local link resolver  OAI harvesting, mobile UI  Reasonably priced which is FTE based $9K- $25K/year
  16. 16. WORLDCAT LOCAL -WEAKNESSES  Limited branding and interface tuning  UI looks clunky compared to some of the others.  Many items will need to be brought in via federated search  Problems with known-item searching  Problems with book reviews showing before the books themselves  More attention is needed for relevancy ranking and display
  17. 17. PRIMO/PRIMOCENTRAL - STRENGTHS  Released in June 2010  Medium pile of stuff – 250M records; outside content via MetaLib federated search  Works well for known-item searching  Nicely integrated with OPAC  Works with the bxRecommender service in SFX  Can scope holdings with GS XML data  Nice UI with in-situ showing of details using Ajax, API available
  18. 18. PRIMO/PRIMOCENTRAL - WEAKNESSES  Works best on ExLibris Aleph and Voyager implementations (works on others but may be extra work)  Base Primo pricing is $28K-$100K/year and then PrimoCentral is a bump of $7K-$15K/above that  Focus on academic libraries and scholarly material
  19. 19. ENCORE/ENCORE SYNERGY - STRENGTHS  Web services for real-time harvesting provides more up- to-date content  Web services is faster than traditional metasearch protocols  Can work with any content provider, content neutral  Link directly and natively to full-text  Optimized for articles as well as books; local collections are still important  Can OAI harvest  Integration with local system, no extra overhead  Very reasonably priced (may be no cost if you have certain other III products)
  20. 20. ENCORE/ENCORE SYNERGY - WEAKNESSES  Although results are super fast they still appear in separate facets  Relevancy ranking is done within each facet and there is not a screen with all results in one consolidated panel  If you have a large number of databases the separate facets may be a problem  Limited to databases that support Web services and other databases must be brought in with Research Pro via traditional metasearching
  21. 21. MAKING SENSE OF IT ALL  Aside from what each vendor tells you, there is no single answer for all libraries  What kind of library are you?  Academic, public, special  What is your emphasis?  STM, humanities, social sciences, popular materials  Is your local collection still important or is journal literature and other information more central to your mission
  22. 22. MAKING SENSE OF IT ALL  How price sensitive are you? Pricing may vary due to local situations  If you have no extra money use Google Scholar  Encore Synergy is very reasonable if you already use Encore  EBSCO EDS is mid-range  Primo is rather expensive although PrimoCentral is only a modest bump  Summon generally is the most expensive
  23. 23. MAKING SENSE OF IT ALL  Are you heavily invested in one vendor or a small group of providers?  If you are heavily into EBSCO products then EDS or Encore Synergy may make sense.  EDS is a poor solution of if you get many non-EBSCO eResources  Summon tries to say they don’t need EBSCO databases because they have the content otherwise but it’s just their excuse because they don’t have it  Pay close attention to what will be under the single index umbrella and what must be federated
  24. 24. MAKING SENSE OF IT ALL  What is your gut reaction to the UI, curbside appeal  Keeping good relations with your key vendors  Do you have local expertise to play with an API or are you happy with the vendor supplying a more complete solution  Do you want/need more than one discovery later?  Do you need one at all?