Summon and the Art of Discovery


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Brown, Christopher C. “Summon and the Art of Discovery.” Presentation given at the
Serials Solutions Western Regional Meeting, 14 September 2012, Aurora, CO.

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Summon and the Art of Discovery

  1. 1. SUMMON AND THE ART OFDISCOVERYChristopher C. BrownUniversity of Denver, Penrose LibrarySept. 14, 2012
  2. 2. QUESTIONS I AM ASKED Why doesn’t your library have any books on my topic? Why does Google / Google Scholar / Google Books have so much on my topic, but your library has so little?
  3. 3. THE INFORMATION ACCESS ANOMALY Journal Article Google Book (average) (average) (Scholar/Books) Typical Length - 200 pages x 400 = 15 pages x 400 = 6,000 full text (FT) 80,000 words words Surrogate Record 300-500 words (400 ave. 50-100 words (75 ave.) 1 (SR) ) SR to FT ratio 1 to 10,666 1 to 15 1 to 1 1 What this chart means: even though University of Denver owns over 1.5 million books, students have the feeling that we don’t own any books on their topics.
  4. 4. HISTORICAL PERSPECTIVE c. 1900 – 2000s Card catalog access Lookups by left-anchored terms, no keyword searching for books 1990s – 2000s Online catalog access Lookups of catalog records by keywords anywhere in author, title, subject or notes fields Now Discovery tools Lookups possible in some cases by words anywhere in full text of work
  6. 6. SHIFT IN TERMS What I call “broadcast searching” vendors typically call “federated searching.” Actually it is not federated searching at all. It is broadcast searching with a federation of results. When the true “federated searching” came about, vendors could not call it that, since they already used that term for the less-powerful broadcast searching. Thus they generally refer to this as “Web-scale discovery”, or simply “Discovery.”
  7. 7. Discovery Google Tools Scholar eBooks Trade Scholarly Dissertations Newspapers Magazines Print Books Journals JournalsSurfaceSearching Indexing: title, author, keywords, abstract Full text of content – Every last wordDeepSearching
  8. 8. PRODUCTS AND THEIR VENDORS Summon – Serials Solutions ( EDS – Ebsco ( Primo Central – ExLibris (
  10. 10. NEW SITES TO USE Summon: EDS: edsbox2.htm; Primo Central: le+Finder
  11. 11. DIFFERING PHILOSOPHIES Summon: no A&I records (with the exception of Web of Science); but recently started adding records for A&I (optional); no broadcast search EDS: adds A&I records; integrates broadcast search Primo Central: adds A&I records; integrates broadcast search Summon does no broadcast searching; everything is in the big pot. The others seem to do a degree of broadcast searching.
  12. 12. RELEVANCE VS. DISCOVERY Metadata Full Text Higher Higher Relevance Discovery
  13. 13. UNIVERSITY OF DENVER SITUATIONENCORE VS. SUMMONBooks / ChaptersHarvestedMaterialsArticles
  14. 14. FULL TEXT SEARCH TEST 1PEER-REVIEWED ARTICLEArmstrong, David, Theresa Marteau, Ann Gosling, and John Weinman. 1997.The place of inter-rater reliability in qualitative research: An empiricalstudy. Sociology 31 (3): 597-606. teams should produce separate analyses and then resolve any discrepancies, or The fourth analyst placed health care needs within a social welfare model Title Present FT Search Success Summon Yes (1st) Yes (quotes); Yes (quotes) EDS Yes (7th) No; No Primo Central Yes (1st) No; No Google Scholar Yes (1st) No; No
  15. 15. FULL TEXT SEARCH TEST 2PEER-REVIEWED ARTICLE Diamond, Catherine, Sandy Saintonge, Phyllis August, and Adeline Azrack. 2011. The development of building wellness™, a youth health literacy program. Journal of Health Communication 16 Suppl 3 (sup3): their programming. Most staff members were interested in a newhealth is achieved through experiential learning with games, activities, and medical guest Title Present FT Search Success Summon Yes (1st) No; No EDS Yes (1st) No; No Primo Central Yes (1st) No; No Google Scholar Yes (1st) Yes (1st – needed quotes); Yes (7th)
  16. 16. FULL TEXT SEARCH 3NEWSPAPER "Denver Expands Light Rail." The Salt Lake Tribune: A.14. Print. 1997. Although Denvers light-rail transit system is but 5.3 miles long, ridership exceeds projections and is now averaging well over 15,000 trips Denver is ready to start construction on an 8.7-mile expansion to the system Title Present FT Search Success Summon Yes (1st) Yes (1st); Yes (1st) EDS Yes (1st) Yes (1st); No Primo Central No No; No Google Scholar N/A N/A
  17. 17. FULL TEXT SEARCH 4HATHITRUST PUBLIC DOMAIN Public libraries : Who should pay the bills? 1978. . United States: . Library services are in an inferior purpose create a balanced Title Present FT Search Success Summon Yes (1st) Yes (1st) – with quotes; Yes (1st) – with quotes EDS Yes (but not No; No HathiTrust) Primo Central Yes (1st) No; No
  19. 19. SOME TESTING Search Summon EDS Primo Cent cats 4,027,430 6,707,127 483,518 public domain 4,138,373 1,699,817 495,399 intellectual 1,266,499 868,675 7,472 freedom colorado 324,077 248,362 38,763 legislature Denver light rail 184,142 41,528 10,305 business plans 14,515,373 20,741,593 5,076,449
  20. 20. SOME TESTING FOR FT Search Summon FT EDS FT Primo Cent FT Cats 3,007,852 1,514,596 271,449 public domain 3,486,754 245,313 99,127 intellectual 519,269 579,612 331,410 freedom colorado 170,807 73,045 34,348 legislature Denver light rail 63,300 13,840 9,088 business plans 13,251,009 6,374,136 4,589,429
  21. 21. WHAT CAN WE CONCLUDE? Summon allows users to see all available content, but EDS and Primo Central do not. Thus, we need to do a search that pulls up something. For this comparison I searched on the word “states.” Search: Total Results FT Results states Summon 79,928,385 77,526,648 EDS 181,905,166 45,928,232 Primo Central 36,788,443 29,748,221 EDS has more A&I sources Summon has more FT
  22. 22. SEARCH COMPARISONS Search DU Catalog Search Summon Search (limited to Google Books catalog) I need information on tango houses and tango fashion in Paris in the 1920s tango fashion paris 0 results 7,249 results 9,410 results How can I find out the demographical make up of the opposition to Franco in the Spanish Civil War? spanish civil war franco opposition 3 results 31,672 results 102,000 results Id like to find the percentage of the population that was wealthy during the Great Depression. Id also like to find out how the wealthy maintained their wealth during this time period. wealthy population great 0 results 70,774 results 1,340,000 results depression Any thoughts as to where to look for a good definition of "special needs"? "special needs" definition 139 results 27,216 322,000 results
  23. 23. SUMMON SECRETS Blank search box – returns all Summon content. Works for facets as well. Search beyond your library works very well for full text searching, even for selected books. Open searching – discovery of other places’ discovery. Follow this pattern:, where xxxxx is another institution’s name.    
  24. 24. SUMMON IS SUPERIOR In case you didn’t pick it up from the previous slides, in my opinion, Summon is the superior discovery service!
  25. 25. QUESTIONS? Chris Brown