Against Instinct: Choosing Discovery & Making it Work
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Against Instinct: Choosing Discovery & Making it Work

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Three universities will discuss assessment of discovery systems. Texas State University-San Marcos believed a discovery tool wouldn’t offer value beyond existing cross-platform searching tools. ...

Three universities will discuss assessment of discovery systems. Texas State University-San Marcos believed a discovery tool wouldn’t offer value beyond existing cross-platform searching tools. After two years of testing, we changed our minds and learned many lessons. We will present strategies and recommendations for conducting usability testing and surveys, testing and customizing interfaces, and post-implementation management. Florida International University and the University of North Florida have both implemented or trialed discovery systems in the past year and have been working on strategies to assess these systems. We will share what we have done so far, and then would like to open the floor to see what assessments attendees have planned or performed.

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Against Instinct: Choosing Discovery & Making it Work Against Instinct: Choosing Discovery & Making it Work Presentation Transcript

  • Electronic Resources & Libraries 2013 AGAINST INSTINCT Choosing Discovery & Making it Work Liane Taylor, Continuing Resources Librarian Arlene Salazar, Reference/Instruction Librarian Lisa Ancelet, Head, Reference & Instructional Services Albert B. Alkek Library Texas State University – San Marcos March 18, 2013
  • ABOUT US: TEXAS STATE UNIVERSITY-SAN MARCOS 5th Largest University in Texas (…but you’ve never heard of us.)  34,000 FTE High Undergraduate (~30k FTE)  18 Master’s Programs (~3600 FTE)  11 Doctoral Programs (~400 FTE)   http://www.txstate.edu/about/history-traditions.html Main Library + Music Library + Satellite Campus Library
  • THE SEARCH FOR THE PERFECT SEARCH TOOL THAT WILL SOLVE ALL OF OUR PROBLEMS FOREVER July 2009 - August 2011
  • THE TEAM: TRANSFORMATION & COMPOSITION Federated Search Team Discovery Search Team The Perfect Mix (Balance is key) • Reference/Instruction + Acquisitions/Cataloging • For “One-Search” + Against “One-Search” BFFs • Met weekly for two years (some more than 2 yrs) http://www.flickr.com/photos/1000photosofnewyorkcity/6018490089/
  • WHEREFORE EBSCO DISCOVERY SERVICE? We considered comparing EBSCO Discovery Service vs Summon, however… • • • • EBSCO Link Resolver EBSCOHost-centric (75% of databases) Clear Gateway to Subject-Specific Databases December 2009: EBSCO Discovery Service Beta Test Site
  • EDS VS EBSCO POWERSEARCH: WOULD STUDENTS EVEN NOTICE THE DIFFERENCE? PowerSearch is FREE, EDS is NOT. What does EDS give us that we don’t already have? NOTE: Image not to scale  PowerSearch combines most of our databases   Transferred most db to EBSCO, except for several where native interfaces were clearly stronger (i.e., EngVillage) …but PowerSearch does not include Catalog, IR, other vendors
  • WHAT DOES SUCCESS LOOK LIKE? (ORIGINAL GOALS VS VALUE TEST) Original Goals     EDS Value Test Provide enhancements to the library’s catalog such as facets and tags (discovery tools) Provide the option for patrons to search multiple resources simultaneously (federated search) Improve patron awareness of the many and varied electronic resources to which the library provides access Provide customized search options for various disciplines or academic departments ? EDS is valuable if a searcher can consistently type an unsophisticated, non-boolean search query, and as a default, with no sophisticated strategy, retrieve non-EBSCO results, including books from the Catalog (if not an article-only search), within the top 50 results.
  • THE LONG AND WINDING ROAD  Customizing, Testing, Tweaking Search Mode Parameters  Facets  Relevancy Ranking Tweaks   Waiting, waiting (Dec 2009-April 2011)  Listservs + Webinar
  • THE WINNER: OPTION 1 (EDS)  137 Respondents  37 faculty members (27%)   67 students (undergrad + grad) (48.9%)    46 preferred EDS PROBLEM: Most were relying on number of hits or differences in the interface of one over the other. Why Option 1?   26 preferred Option 1 (EDS) After taking out interface differences that could be fixed, results that include books from the catalog and journals articles. Given the feedback comments, it was clear that either of the options were better than the existing search option.
  • FOCUS GROUPS  13 Participants (mix of undergrad, grad, fac)  Led group through 5 searches total, comparing: EDS to PowerSearch  EDS to Catalog   Post-Search Feedback Questions, examples:  Hard was this to do?    If “Hard” or “Very Hard” – Why? Were the results same -> very different? Which do you prefer?
  • AS CLEAR AS… For most of the questions, all interfaces were rated “About the Same” in terms of preference & performance BUT! “Overall, which option did you prefer when searching for articles?” 5=The Same 5=EDS 2=Neither 1=PowerSearch* (*likely mistake!)
  • READING (PROJECTING?) THE FINE PRINT “I was impressed with option 1 and its one stop for everything”;  “Option 1 is more connected with the library catalog which helps especially if you want one place to find everything.”  “I like being able to immediately see the cover of whatever book im looking at. Both had equally relevant articles, but I prefer books to PDF's”;  “When looking for books, option 1 was better because it had the book plus reviews on the book when it came up”. 
  • WHERE DO WE PUT IT? Development of new homepage search widget  If your site has a tabbed search widget, we looked at it.
  • WHAT DO WE CALL IT?
  • “FINAL” SEARCH BOX
  • IT AIN’T OVER ‘TIL…WELL, EVER.  Implementation & Promotion  Advisory Group  Continued Customization
  • IMPLEMENTATION | INSTRUCTION http://libguides.txstate.edu/startyourresearchatalkek
  • ADVISORY GROUP Members for an advisory group were brought together to continue to shape EDS.
  • AGAINST INSTINCT, MAKING IT WORK Our guts tell us two things: IT MUST BE PERFECT. IT MUST BE COMPLETE. Your discovery tool is neither.  Manage Expectations!   It’s a STARTING POINT, not an END-ALL, BE-ALL, SEARCH TOOL FOREVERYONE It can’t have everything in it!  Many databases aren’t well-suited to be included!