A library portal is single-user interface for accessing a wide variety of electronic resources, both within and outside the library. A few federated search engines like EBSCO Discovery service, Summon (web scale discovery service), Knimbus, Mendeley, FedGate, ABCD open source software, Google CSE etc. are being used by libraries to give access to all subscribed or free online e-resources as well as library catalogues, archives' and other reading materials in the library to save the time of readers and give easy access to multiple databases and resources through federated search tool. In distance learning and online education environment libraries need to provide the right information on a single platform to its users from all resources or databases available in the library in a minimum of time. In this chapter the author discusses about the selected commercial as well as open source discovery tools used in Indian Libraries.
Many resources in libraries are now available online on the internet in the form of ebooks, ejournals and databases which created a need of a federated search tool for all different types of databases which the library has in its holding and has subscribed online. Digital library softwares like DSpace, Greenstone, E-Prints, etc which are used widely all over the world are not enough to handle all e-information and library holdings and to bring the libraries online. New software companies are working on finding solutions for a single search platform for all the resources in library. Western countries libraries are using commercial and in-house softwares designed by their IT team as per their readers’ requirements. In India very few libraries are having separate IT team or staffs. In most of the Indian libraries the digital library is managed by library professionals using DSpace, Greenstone or E-Prints Software and other content management software like Joomla, Drupal etc.
In distance education students are informed and given access to study material online. In Coursera or other distance certification course systems the study material is available on their portal as separate attachments (pdfs, ppts, ebooks, videos or links). As per a Knimbus study about 53% users think that finding the exact contents from all library and online resources is the biggest hurdle. A single search engine provides all the contents easily accessible with accuracy and advanced search in many e-discovery tools.
What Is E-Discovery?
On the Complete Discovery Source (CDS) website (http://cdslegal.com/knowledge/the-basics-what-is-e-discovery/), which approaches the topic not from a library perspective, it is mentioned that “electronic discovery is the electronic aspect of identifying, collecting and producing electronically stored information (ESI) in response to a request for production in a law suit or investigation. ESI includes, but is not limited to, emails, documents, presentations, databases, voicemail, audio and video files, social media, and web sites.” The processes and technologies around e-discovery are often complex because of the sheer volume of electronic data produced and stored.
From a library point of view Tamar Sadeh (2013) clearly stated that the library users’ information seeking process has been changed and they are shifting searching from library catalogues and different scholarly databases to a single search library discovery system. Informatics brochure for FEDGATE mentioned that library users have shifted from searching and accessing content or information via library services to non-library services such as web search engines, online bookstores, blogs, online news, and e-mail. Discovery systems provide access to a large, diverse landscape of scholarly literature irrespective of their format, location, library holdings or subscriptions. At the same time this system offers simple search possibilities like Google to accommodate the expectations of today’s patrons. With this type of searching users can formulate their queries within no time and get their results fastest.