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Making it easier for people to find your digital resources

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Lightning talk given at the European Library Automation Group conference in 2014. It describes work done by the 'Spotlight on the Digital' project and points to a guide which is designed to help you make it easier for people to find your digital resources

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Making it easier for people to find your digital resources

  1. 1. Spotlight on the Digital Jisc project looking at digitised resources. Looked at how people went about finding stuff, and how around 180 resources behaved online - looking at things like how it appeared in google results, wikipedia, as well as looking at how far they followed best practice on the web - meaningful page titles etc.
  2. 2. How people find • Reviewed 6 major reports on user searching/ discovery behaviour all published since 2010 • Looked at behaviours of researchers, students and teachers • 14 major behaviours • General search engine (Google) is key of course http://bit.ly/howusersfind
  3. 3. What organisations want • Surveyed heads of library service in UK Universities • Identified 6 key strategic aims including • Enabling research • Enriching teaching and learning • Enabling access to resources in cost effective way http://bit.ly/strategicaim
  4. 4. Are digital collections easy to discover? • Looked at around 200 digital collections • Ran manual and automated tests including • How it appeared in Google results (based on relevant keywords) • Whether it was cited in Wikipedia • Whether it followed good web practice (e.g. page titles, alt descriptions)
  5. 5. Collections vs Items 98% of collections had well formed Page Titles. Only 47% of item pages had well formed Page Titles Talked to wide range of practitioners, looked at best practice, SEO, what worked etc. Limitation was lack of access to real usage information - web analytics and logs Key thing we found was the difference between how well collections were represented on the web (quite well) vs how well individual items in collections were represented (not so well)
  6. 6. Improving discoverability http://bit.ly/easierdiscovery We wrote a guide to making it easier for people to discover things in digital collections - contains a wide range of approaches (around 50) grouped by different themes linked to user behaviours and organisational aims. Each ‘tip’ comes with examples, ways of measuring outcomes and information about what cost might be involved and what skills might be needed.

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