Good afternoon. Today I am talking about Trove – the national discovery service for Australia. It has been available for just over a year now and we’ve had very positive feedback from our 2 million users. Trove is of interest and relevance to all Australians.
One of the catch phrases of Trove is Find and Get. Users are easily able to find information since Trove aggregates metadata from over 1000 Australian organisations, therefore providing over 100 million items to search across. We are continually focusing on ‘find’ by encouraging new organisations to add their content to Trove. Find is also made easy by display of results in contexts – in zones and by relevance ranking. After users find information the next logical step is to get it. For the latter part of last year and into this year the Trove team is focusing its efforts on improving the ‘getting’ options, and this is what I will focus my talk on today. What we have done already and what we would like to do in the future.
Research shows that most people are only using a discovery tool to find information because ultimately they want to get it. The 2009 OCLC Calhoun report ‘Online Catalogs’ – what users and librarians want keeps coming back to this point. It’s not just a matter of providing a good discovery service, we need to go further than that. Users do not want to be directed how to get content, they prefer to actually get it there and then on the spot.
The 2003 OCLC environmental scan found that users want a seamless service and that was a major reason why Google was so popular. This quote sums it up. In a digital world the expectations of users that they can get content immediately, without mediation will only increase, largely based on their experiences with Google. Therefore having a separate catalog, reference enquiry service and an inter-library loan service is not what the users wants. They want their needs met seamlessly all in one place.
If we do not provide easy seamless access to users they will simply go elsewhere as cheaper and easier options emerge for them. This is different to the old days when then library was the only point of access. Katie Birch from OCLC gave a presentation on trends in inter-library loan and document delivery in 2010 and showed this relevant diagram of a users thought processes as they tried to get content. The last option – can I get it cheaper myself? is becoming more viable for users who’s library services simply cannot meet their expectations.
A primary aim of the Trove team has been to reduce ‘dead ends’ in Trove. A dead end occurs when a user is either unable to get the item because there are no ‘get’ options – holdings, online or buy, or because they are unsure how to get the item due to usability and interface issues. To this end an analysis and workflow was undertaken on Trove to identify real dead ends, and structured usability testing was undertaken to identify and eliminate interface issues. Although the Trove team can improve some ‘getting options’ a large responsibility also falls on contributing organisations. There are a number of ways contributors can help improve ‘get’ which I will come to shortly.
The first thing we did to improve ‘getting’ was try to unambiguously identify digital items. This is because many users are only interested in items which are immediately accessible. ‘Available online’ was made more granular with the following categories: Access conditions: Items can be viewed or downloaded but one or more of the following conditions may apply – payment, restricted to subscribers, cultural sensitivity or rights requirements. Freely available. Unknown (possibly available) may be full item or just TOC, abstract or sample. A Fourth category is in progress: Samples for music and video clips, abstract, first few pages of a book.
Extra information about the item such as cover art, reviews, ratings and comments is known to help users make decisions about which items to follow through and get. Trove integrates information from Amazon, Nielson Bookdata and Wikipedia, as well as from Trove users to help in the getting decision making.
Here we are looking at a ‘get’ screen for the journal the ‘emu’. Feedback and usability testing found that many users did not see that many items had multiple get options indicated by the tabs – online, libraries, buy a copy. They mostly only saw the tab that was open. If there are multiple get options the tab that will be open by default is the online tab, followed by the libraries tab and lastly the buy tab. The tabs were renamed a few times to make them clearer.
One of the suggestions we are working on is that the 4 categories of ‘online-ness’ should be labelled more clearly in the online tab to help users. This screen mockup shows what that may look like.
In the libraries holdings tabs a number of improvements were made based on usability testing. The libraries tab is frequently long and hard to narrow down so libraries can now be viewed by state. There is a ‘see more’/see less option to expand or collapse the amount of libraries listed. Many users assumed all the libraries listed in Trove would be open to them and actually they are not. Therefore the access conditions (taken from the ALG) were integrated. A library can be ‘open’, ‘‘possibly open’, or ‘not open’. The access conditions were also colour coded as green, orange and red.
The access conditions for libraries were also added into the ‘my libraries’ feature so that a user can easily see when adding libraries as their preference, which are open to them. In this view the NUC code of the library also shows.
However the NUC code is only meaningful to librarians. To assist users to know at the earliest possible point which library the item is at we have displayed library names on the results screen. It is known that some users make a ‘get’ decision at this point based on which library the item is held at. The library name will show if there are limited holdings only, or if the library has been set as your preference. Because the space is so small on the results screen the Trove team created and added ‘short library names’ to the ALG. A library may edit their own details in the ALG.
Trove uses a concept of FRBR-like works made up of versions. This groups together multiple items across all formats rather than displaying one record one item. Most users did not understand that there were 2 parts to the item detail screen – the work and the version part, and also that both parts had ‘get ‘options. They found this confusing, especially when trying to find book versions by language or date. The way they were expected to do this was by using ‘facets’ on the left. However most users did not see or understand these either. All these things came out in the usability testing. Here we are looking at part one of the item screen – work details with get options for Edward the Emu.
Below the work get screen is the version part of the screen. In the version part the get options are not immediately visible since you have to click the version you are interested in first by using the small cross on the left as we see here.
These are the get options for the Swedish version of Edward the Emu. As you can see the process was not very simple or intuitive for a user. As an outcome of the usability testing the Trove team will be making substantial changes in 2011 to the work, version and facets screens to address the interface usability issues and make it easier for users to ‘get’ items. At the moment we are also still getting feedback saying “I found this item but am unsure how to get it”. Hopefully re-working the get screens will help.
Any Australian bookshop who contacts Trove and who has a web site will be added to the ‘buy copy’ tab. Currently 78 retailers are in Trove, including Amazon. Based on user feedback this tab now shows more clearly which retailers have online catalogues for ordering and which don’t, by change of wording. We are also working on an option to enable private retailers to add their purchase details into this tab since we have had a higher rate than expected of requests for this. It is mostly for local history and academic works. At present private individuals can add their details in the comment field, but this may not be immediately noticed by users.
About 50,000 new digitised articles are added each week to the Newspaper zone. Many users have requested alerts for new content based on keyword search terms for the whole of Trove. This is still in progress. In the meantime alerting for individual articles has been implemented. Because these items in digitisation progress appear as ‘coming soon’ in the results list an user can choose to be notified when the item arrives. This radically improves the ‘get process’ for newspaper articles.
The NLA offers a remote copying service which is linked to Trove. It is heavily used to obtain digital or physical copies of a few pages of a book, an archive, manuscript or photograph at a fee. It can be used to obtain high resolution copies of freely available online items. If the NLA holds a copy of an item then the ‘copies direct’ button will appear under the buy tab in Trove. Recently the remote copying service has also been implemented on digitised newspapers due to user demand. Users may want a high resolution tiff file, a large high quality print of a page, a better or different copy of a poor quality page, or a missing page – one that has not been digitised.
On of the biggest changes ahead is enhancements to enable online access to authenticated content in Trove as part of the NSLA Re-Imagining Libraries Open Borders project. Most libraries in Australia subscribe to e-jnls and databases. Trove is working with vendors to enable seamless access to this subscription content in Trove for affiliated users. This will be very exciting and opens up access to millions more items.
Now I want to talk about what Trove contributors can do to help improve getting. Most Trove contributors provide their content via the ANBD. If this is the case it is really important that you keep your holdings up to date, especially deletions. We have received a lot of feedback from both librarians and users pointing out holding and record errors for Trove records. We cannot change the metadata since it is being harvested from other sources. If it is the ANBD it is the responsibility of record owners to keep the records up to date in ANBD. Secondly it is now very important that your library details are kept up to date in the ALG. ALG is a significant part of the Trove infrastructure and will become more so as we work through the authenticated e-resource stage. It is preferable to show as much granularity as possible within your organisations since this all displays in Trove. Users can pick local libraries as favourites and they see the short library names in the results list. Thirdly I cannot stress enough the importance to the user get experience of having your catalogue deep linked. If it is the user has a seamless experience from discovery to get – being able to directly see when clicking the link in Trove where the item is and if it is on the shelf or not. If your library is not deep linked the user when clicking the Trove link will get taken to the homepage of your catalogue to start their search again. Users were incredibly frustrated by this in user testing and had very inconsistent experiences due to the variability of deep-linking. It is still a small proportion of libraries that are deep linked. All you have to do is fill out a form to get us to enable it.
The best get option is undoubtedly for the item to be immediately accessible online. I would strongly encourage Trove contributors to have a digitisation programme in place, and to seek suggestions for digitisation from their users. The NLA has invested a considerable resource in setting up a national infrastructure so that any organisation can include their regional newspapers in Trove at a cost of approximately $2 a page. We have yet to have much uptake on this and I would urge you to seriously consider this option. The NLA will do the whole digitisation process for you. Newspapers are still by far the most heavily used resource in Trove and we receive multiple requests everyday for digitisation of regional titles. Lastly there is still no organisation in Australia except the NAA offering a digitisation on demand service. I would love to see implementation of DOD. What this means is the public can request an item to be digitised and made available to everyone (at no cost to themselves).
I am very interested in how Print on Demand can be utilised in Trove as another ‘get’ option for users. In 2008 Angus and Roberts installed a POD machine in their Melbourne store and planned to put in 50 more. However in 2010 the single machine was removed. If any organisation had a print on demand facility we would, with some work be able to implement this into Trove and direct traffic to the POD machine.
The NSLA re-imaging libraries has just started a project this year to ensure that each state and territory library has a remote copying service – similar to that which the NLA offers via ‘copies direct’. This would be hugely useful for Trove users to obtain copies of unique content from NSLA libraries. The NLA copies direct service is already implemented in Trove, it only appears in the buy tab if the NLA owns the item. SLV have just implemented a remote copying service which is not yet implemented into Trove. If any library had a remote copying service this could be integrated into Trove and would appear under the buy tab.
We have spent a bit of time trying to work out how we will deal with ‘real’ dead ends. If an item has no get options the ‘buy tab’ will be open and the wording is changed to ‘limited availability’. A real dead end usually occurs because either the item is out of print and all copies have been removed, or the item has not yet been published but is on order. We do not know the extent of the problem. Ideas we have for dealing with it are: Find a way to identify the items Delete or suppress the items from Trove Appeal for users to find get options Push it out as ‘wanted’ in the online space If on order give a coming soon and alert message Link to Library thing and see if personal owners will copy or loan items
Likewise dealing with broken links has been very challenging. Of your online content up to 50% of the links may be broken. We have done some sampling to identify the scope of the issue to get these figures. Our ideas for fixing this may involve changing workflows to add a link checker, encouraging greater use of pi’s rather than URL’s and getting users to help. We are not sure if the out of date holdings issue is more serious than the broken url issue.
A dramatic change looming on the horizon will be the ability for Australians to buy Google e-books. The Google e-bookstore was launched on 6 December 2010. It is different to other e-book vendors because the books can be downloaded in a variety of formats to suit a variety of devices and are stored in the cloud rather than on your personal device. We are awaiting developments on this and to see if Google partners with libraries as well as bookshops and which ones in Australia before we can implement it as a get option in Trove.
At present the only items users can easily buy via links in Trove are books. We would very much like to expand this to other content - especially music, audio, visual and maps. This is challenging because both publishers and suppliers do not use unique identifying codes as they do with books (the ISBN’). Trove requires a unique identifier code match to correctly direct users to suppliers of items. We have experimented with CD’s with very unsatisfactory results. Unfortunately we may have a long wait until these industries develop more standardised codes for purchase use.
However what users want most of all is what is described in this quote. Most users don’t understand why this option does not already exist. Indeed their expectation is so high that we are not asked if it might happen, we are asked where the button is. This compounds the research that I mentioned at the start of the presentation relating to users expectations of finding and getting items, in a convenient simple fast way. I’m not suggesting enabling inter-library loan into Trove because clearly that would not meet user expectations, due to cost, time, lack of tracking and limited coverage. Much of the content in Trove is not from libraries it covers museums, galleries, archives and government institutions as well. What we need is an entirely new ‘get’ system, with a workflow designed for users, not librarians. There was much excitement and discussion in 2006 about resource-sharing in Australia and expanding the borrowing options for Australians. There was even a trial by the NLA called ‘Information Australia’. However we haven’t made any progress on a national scheme since then. Since we have now created and established an exemplary ‘find’ service it seems logical that a ‘get’ service should be implemented into it. Trove would act as the front end, it does not have to be the service itself, just provide seamless access to the service. There is renewed interest now in this idea. It is my belief if we set our minds to it, recognise the importance of this to users, and develop the service to meet the needs of the users it is achievable (though not easy). We need to overcome the perceived difficulties and look at this with fresh eyes. Australia has a fantastic opportunity now with Trove to demonstrate that it is not only feasible but possible to implement both ‘find’ AND ‘get’ to meet the needs of our users.
I therefore call on you all. to think about how you as a Trove contributor can help improve ‘getting’ for users through some of the things I have mentioned, and also how we as Australians can implement a new exemplary ‘get’ system. This is further expanded in my paper. This will require a change of thinking and taking our collaboration to a much higher level. But I believe it is really important that we do this and demonstrate in practice that we really can meet the ‘find and get’ needs and expectations of our users. Thank you.
Resource Sharing in Australia: 'Find' and 'Get' in Trove - Making 'Getting' better January 2011
<ul><li>Rose Holley, Trove Manager </li></ul><ul><li>National Library of Australia </li></ul><ul><li>ALIA Online Conference, Sydney </li></ul><ul><li>1-3 February 2011 </li></ul><ul><li>Find and Get in Trove: Making Getting Better </li></ul>[email_address]
Why ‘Getting’ matters <ul><li>“ It is important to remember that for many end users, without the delivery of something he or she wants or needs, discovery alone is a waste of time. .. Delivery is the goal of most searches ” </li></ul>OCLC, 2009, Calhoun. ‘Online Catalogs - what users and librarians want’ “… it is natural to expect to be able to access content, not just discover it…” Australian Sports – Hunting the Emu, 1886 http://trove.nla.gov.au/work/11691456
Seamless, self service, convenience <ul><li>“ Self service, satisfaction and seamlessness are definitive of information seekers expectations. Ease of use, convenience and availability are equally as important to information seekers as information quality and trustworthiness.” </li></ul><ul><li>2003 OCLC Environmental Scan </li></ul>Dark Orange, 2008, Emu feathers in hat http://trove.nla.gov.au/work/11548523
What matters to users <ul><li>OCLC, 2010 Katie Birch </li></ul>“ In the old days the library was it - there weren’t many other choices. Today that is not the case”. OCLC, 2003, Environmental Scan
Reduce dead ends… <ul><li>Users are </li></ul><ul><li>Unable to get the item: no holdings, no purchase, no online. </li></ul><ul><li>OR </li></ul><ul><li>Unsure how to get the item: screen confusing, too much information. </li></ul>Benny Lin, 2005, Flickr
Add enrichment data <ul><li>Cover art </li></ul><ul><li>Abstract </li></ul><ul><li>Table of contents </li></ul><ul><li>Reviews </li></ul><ul><li>Ratings </li></ul><ul><li>Comments </li></ul><ul><li>Lists </li></ul>
Expansion of ‘Copies Direct’ to Newspapers <ul><li>High quality print </li></ul><ul><li>Tiff file </li></ul><ul><li>Missing pages not digitised </li></ul><ul><li>Better/different copy of poor quality page </li></ul>
Access to authenticated resources for affiliated users
What can Trove/ANBD contributors do? <ul><li>Update holdings in ANBD (especially deletions) these will carry through to Trove </li></ul><ul><li>Update ALG and your holdings to show as much granularity as possible. It is better for users to see branch locations rather than parent organisation </li></ul><ul><li>Enable deep linking from your catalogue to Trove </li></ul>
Digitisation <ul><li>Planned digitisation programme </li></ul><ul><li>Utilise national newspaper digitisation infrastructure and contribute regional titles ($2 page) </li></ul><ul><li>Invite users to suggest items for digitisation </li></ul><ul><li>Activate ‘digitisation on demand’ (no cost to user and items made available to all) </li></ul>Photo courtesy of K irtasbooks
Print on Demand <ul><li>http://www.print21online.com/news-archive/angus-robertson-gets-brewing-with-espresso-book-machine/ </li></ul><ul><li>http://www.print21online.com/news-archive/angus-robertson-winds-down-pod-book-machine/ </li></ul>Espresso Book Machine. One installed in Australia 2008, removed 2010.
Remote copying services <ul><li>Re-imagining Libraries project for NSLA libraries 2011- 2013 </li></ul><ul><li>Implement remote copying services </li></ul><ul><li>Integrate services into Trove </li></ul><ul><li>NLA ‘Copies Direct’ already implemented </li></ul><ul><li>SLV remote copying service activated Dec 2010, not yet implemented into Trove. </li></ul>
How to deal with dead ends? Actually no get options…
How to deal with broken links? <ul><li>How much is broken? </li></ul><ul><li>3-5% in ‘Freely available’ </li></ul><ul><li>Up to 50% in ‘Possibly online’ </li></ul><ul><li>As a comparison… </li></ul><ul><li>35-45% of links in Australian monographs and serials in NLA catalogue broken </li></ul><ul><li>Ideas for fixing? </li></ul><ul><li>Use pi’s not url’s </li></ul><ul><li>Change ANBD workflow and add link checker </li></ul><ul><li>Change Trove harvester workflow to add link checker </li></ul><ul><li>Users report/mark/correct broken links </li></ul><ul><li>Identify worse offenders </li></ul><ul><li>Send lists of broken links to record owners for fixing </li></ul>
Buy things other than books? <ul><li>Music – DVD – Audio - Maps </li></ul>
The ‘Get’ Golden Egg <ul><li>“ I am registered in Trove, there will be a ‘get it’ button for the item I want. This would send a request to the library, museum, archive, art gallery etc. The item would be sent to me at home. I would be able to track its progress, it wouldn’t cost much, it would be quick and reliable. I wouldn’t necessarily have to return the item”. </li></ul>Sterling silver cup with mounted Emu egg, 1862, National Gallery of Australia. http://trove.nla.gov.au/work/12546245 National, easy, unmediated, cheap, direct-to-door ‘get’ system.
I call on you… <ul><li>Please help improve ‘getting’ for Trove users </li></ul><ul><li>How can Australians implement a new ‘get’ system that really meets the needs and expectations of users? </li></ul>Emu caller at Australian Museum Toby Hudson, 2010