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Simplifying resource discovery and access in academic libraries: implementing and evaluating Summon at Huddersfield and Northumbria Universities

Thoburn, June, Coates, Annette and Stone, Graham (2010) Simplifying resource discovery and access in academic libraries: implementing and evaluating Summon at Huddersfield and Northumbria Universities. Project Report. Northumbria University/University of Huddersfield, Newcastle. (Unpublished)

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Facilitating information discovery and maximising value for money from library materials is a key
driver for academic libraries, which spend substantial sums of money on journal, database and
book purchasing. Users are confused by the complexity of our collections and the multiple
platforms to access them and are reluctant to spend time learning about individual resources
and how to use them - comparing this unfavourably to popular and intuitive search engines like
Google. As a consequence the library may be seen as too complicated and time consuming
and many of our most valuable resources remain undiscovered and underused.
Federated search tools were the first commercial products to address this problem. They work
by using a single search box to interrogate multiple databases (including Library catalogues)
and journal platforms. While going some way to address the problem, many users complained
that they were still relatively slow, clunky and complicated to use compared to Google or Google
The emergence of web-scale discovery services in 2009 promised to deal with some of these
problems. By harvesting and indexing metadata direct from publishers and local library
collections into a single index they facilitate resource discovery and access to multiple library
collections (whether in print or electronic form) via a single search box. Users no longer have to
negotiate a number of separate platforms to find different types of information and because the
data is held in a single unified index searching is fast and easy.
In 2009 both Huddersfield and Northumbria Universities purchased Serials Solutions Summon.
This case study report describes the selection, implementation and testing of Summon at both
Universities drawing out common themes as well as differences; there are suggestions for those
who intend to implement Summon in the future and some suggestions for future development.

Item Type: Monograph (Project Report)
Additional Information: Report written as part of a project in the JISC Enhancing Library management systems theme – Theme A Use of new resource discovery interfaces
Uncontrolled Keywords: Summon
Subjects: Z Bibliography. Library Science. Information Resources > ZA Information resources > ZA4050 Electronic information resources
Schools: Computing and Library Services
Computing and Library Services > Centre for Innovation in Information Services
Related URLs:
Depositing User: Graham Stone
Date Deposited: 22 Mar 2011 14:30
Last Modified: 04 Nov 2015 20:19


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