Discovery Interfaces


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Presentation to the Oregon Chapter of the Special Libraries Association

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  • Intro – about me, about AndornotWhy I’m giving this presentationAsk questions, especially when I seem to have forgotten what I was going to say
  • Feel free to stop me with questions at any point, to heckle, leave, etc. 
  • Just another in a long series of ways of indexing and presenting info: in libraries we’ve had book catalogues, card catalogues, OPACs and now discovery interfaces
  • So, what features did we see in common in those examples?
  • So, what features did we see in common in those examples?
  • Not surprisingly, there are many commercial discovery systems available for libraries!I gave MS special mention because it’s often already available in many organizations, or at least some components of it (e.g. may not have FAST). It departments may push it and reject other solutions, but it’s not necessarily the best choice, and there isn’t necessarily any cost savings.Sharepoint can be made to do anything, but so can I. I can be made to cut your hair, but that doesn’t mean you want me too!Many of the commercial systems include content such as journal articles, to which you add your local catalogue. If you are already subscribing to content from one of these companies, upgrading to their discovery interface may be a good choice. Can be expensive, though.
  • And also a few open-source options, such as Blacklight, eXtensible Catalogue, and our favourite, VuFind. Lower cost but you have to add all the content yourself.
  • Also one from Andornot
  • Clearly not a small phenomenon.Numbers only include self-reported installations. Actual numbers may be higher.
  • Discovery interface only as good as what goes in itExamples of specialized, local data: legal memos, in-house research papers, training materialsUnderlying search engines are sophisticated – can distinguish between keywords found in a title vs full-text, and “boost” title in relevancy-ranked search resultsThe more you put in, the more your users can serendipitously discoverAcademic and public libraries may be more interested in including journal articles, etc.Smaller specialized libraries may have more of their own collections to include.Many commercial systems come bundled with content, to which you just add your own
  • If you’re considering a Discovery Interface, what should you look for?Must have the core features.
  • If you’re considering a Discovery Interface, what should you look for?Must have the core features.
  • If you’re considering a Discovery Interface, what should you look for?Must have the core features.
  • Fortunately, someone else has done a comparison!
  • This is the fun part!
  • You may need to create a “metadata crosswalk” – AKA a field mapping – depending on output from your databases and input options and schema for the discovery interfaceMay need some data manipulation on-the-fly, as data moves from the source system/database into the discovery interface system (e.g. combining title and subtitle, or stripping all but a 4 digit year from a date field)
  • Data clean-up: a discovery interface will expose your data much more. You may wish to scrub it up a bit first.
  • Do your data sources have some or all of these? Even if not, the keyword based search engine and relevancy rankings in a discovery interface, plus all the other features we’ve looked at, still provide a good user experience.
  • If standardized terminology not always adhered to, facets may present bewildering options to users. E.g. these 4 mean the same thing to many users. Why not consolidate them into just a single term?
  • Discovery Interfaces

    1. 1. DISCOVERY INTERFACESIf all the big kids are doing it, why can’t I? Jonathan Jacobsen, BA, MLIS Andornot Consulting
    2. 2. Questions We’ll Answer1. What is a discovery interface?2. How can you select and implement one?
    3. 3. What is a Discovery Interface?• A web 2.0, next-generation interface to any data: library catalogue, archival collection, museum collection, ecommerce store• Encourages serendipitous discovery, rather than pre-determined search• Can bring multiple resources together into a single, unified index and search interface• Let’s look at some examples
    4. 4. Live Examples• Amazon• EBay• Old School Library Catalogue• VuFind• BiblioCommons• Summon• AquaBrowser
    5. 5. Common Features• Typos and mis-spellings corrected• Relevancy-ranked search results• Facets for easy browsing and narrowing of results• Related items• Ratings, reviews and other user-contributed or third-party content• Social media sharing (Facebook, Twitter, etc.)• Save searches and records
    6. 6. Common Features• Export to RefWorks, EndNote, XML, text, MARC• Subscribe to RSS feeds• Book covers• Links to Google Books, Hathi Trust, and other additional content providers• Mobile-friendly interface• Connection to ILS for real-time info (e.g. loan status, placing holds, etc.)• Crawl URLs and index PDFs and other linked content
    7. 7. What are some available systems?
    8. 8. What are some available systems?
    9. 9. What are some available systems?• Andornot Discovery Interface (AnDI)• Uses Apache Solr search engine and Dublin Core metadata
    10. 10. What are some available systems?Discovery System Reported InstallationsPrimo 914AquaBrowser 250Encore 326LS2 PAC 236Summon 407WorldCat Local 1,578SirsiDynix Enterprise 251Civica Sorcer 39Axiell Arena 76Chamo 51VuFind 90+Sources:• Automation Marketplace 2012: The Complete Survey Data. March 29, 2012 By The Digital Shift•
    11. 11. What goes in a Discovery Interface?• Your local catalogue• Specialized, locally managed data• Metadata AND full-text• Journal articles and other scholarly resources• All data accessible through a single index and search interface
    12. 12. Choosing a Discovery Interface• Does it have core features? (facets, spelling corrections)• Does it have additional features?• How does it handle data import and real-time data retrieval?• Does it include data from other sources (e.g. journal articles)? Which ones?• Do your users like the system? (it’s for them, not you!)
    13. 13. Choosing a Discovery Interface• How configurable is it? What tools and skills are required?• How do you integrate it into your existing website?• How long will it take to implement? Who is required?• Will it be installed locally or hosted? In what country?• What are the system requirements? (server OS and data storage)
    14. 14. Choosing a Discovery Interface• What does it cost? • Software purchase or license • Configuration and customization • Maintenance and support • Additional features • Future upgrades • Hardware and other infrastructure
    15. 15. Choosing a Discovery Interface
    16. 16. Implementation• Determine appropriate content to index • What system is content in? • Can it be exported? Can the discovery interface import it or fetch it? • Can data movement be automated and hands-off? • How often will you update the Discovery Interface? Source Export Format Frequency and Method ILS MARC Automated Nightly Export In-house Publications XML Manual Monthly Export Database Externally Hosted Article OAI Automated Weekly Fetch Database
    17. 17. Implementation• Create a “metadata crosswalk” MARC Dublin Core 245a title 100a, 700a creator 655 Genre – Form type XML Output Dublin Core Combine <title> and <subtitle> title Take 4 digit year only from date <publication_date>
    18. 18. Implementation• What condition is the data in?• e.g. • Does it have suitable facets? • Have authority files been used?
    19. 19. Implementation Plan Common bibliographic facets:• Author• Subject• Series• Genre• Geographic region• Time period• Publication date• Audience• Material type
    20. 20. Implementation• Material Types: • Serial • Journal • Periodical • Magazine
    21. 21. Implementation• Customize the interface • Overall site design • Elements within the discovery interface
    22. 22. Implementation• Final activities: 1. Trial data import 2. Usability testing with select users 3. Launch !
    23. 23. In Conclusion1. What is a discovery interface?2. How can you select and implement one? Andornot can help!
    24. 24. Further Reading• “The Ins and Outs of Evaluating Web-Scale Discovery Services” by Athena Hoeppner. Computers In Libraries. April 2012. Services.shtml• “Automation Marketplace 2012: The Complete Survey Data” The Digital Shift. March 29, 2012.• “Discovery Layers in Law Libraries” by Valeri Craigle. AALL Spectrum. December 2011.• “Discovering What Works: Librarians Compare Discovery Interface Experiences” Library Journal. December 7, 2011. compare-discovery-interface-experiences/• “The Next Generation of Discovery” By Judy Luther & Maureen C. Kelly. Mar 15, 2011. Library Journal.• “Designing the Samurai sword: using facets to support agile, highly-effective information management” by Jennifer Smith. 1st June 2011.• VuFind usage five times that of "classic catalogue" fives-times-classic-catalogue• “Designing for Faceted Search” By Stephanie Lemieux, Earley and Associates (originally published in KM World, March 2009.)