Replicating Top Users’ Searches in Summon and Google Scholar

Replicating Top Users’ Searches in Summon and Google Scholar

David Earl Noe (Rollins College, USA)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-4666-1821-3.ch013
OnDemand PDF Download:


This chapter discusses the results of a review of the first 25 results for some of the most common searches in one college’s instance of Summon™1 and the results for the same searches in Google Scholar™2. The results of the searches were provided to a panel of three librarians who did not know from which discovery service the results came. The chapter treats each search and its results as case studies and discusses both quantitative and qualitative evaluations. The study finds that neither search tool can provide reliable results for a simple search without further refinement of the search.
Chapter Preview


First released in mid-2009, Summon™ is a discovery tool built by Serials Solutions®5. It integrates well with the ERM (Electronic Resource Management) software and link resolver in their 360 Suite. Serials Solutions® ingests content into a unified index from databases, publishers, open access sources, and library catalogs and other local records. All subscribers share the same data set. When a search is performed, access rights and holdings are checked against access specified in an ERM, but a patron may choose to search beyond the respective library’s collections. When last checked, Summon™ returned over two hundred twenty seven million items in a blank search. Not long ago, the number was twice this, but Serials Solutions® recently merged e-book titles with print books, which could account for this seeming decrease.

According to Google,

Google Scholar™ provides a simple way to broadly search for scholarly literature. From one place, you can search across many disciplines and sources: articles, theses, books, abstracts and court opinions, from academic publishers, professional societies, online repositories, universities and other Web sites. Google Scholar™ helps you find relevant work across the world of scholarly research (Google, 2011, “What is Google Scholar?”).

Google Scholar™ (GS™) has met a mixed reception from the librarian community. It has some advanced search features, but it provides no interface for narrowing a set of results. Users can set preferences such as language, libraries with which to link, showing citation export options in results. It is free, but Google is quite secretive about the coverage of Google Scholar (GS™). The library does not know exactly what it is not paying for.

Rollins is a master’s level university in Winter Park, Florida. In 2011, the college had a little over three thousand students, about three quarters of whom were undergraduates, and two hundred eight full-time faculty. The college is served by the Olin Library, which provides access to over three hundred thousand volumes, about 50,000 serial titles (print and electronic), and over one hundred databases.

Summon™ was selected by the Olin Library in the summer of 2009. Olin was using a federated search engine, but slow response, a clunky feel, complexity in choosing databases, difficulty with authentication, and ineffective use by students led to a lack of buy-in from the librarians. A focus on full text articles, the ability to refine and limit with faceted searching, ability to expand beyond Rollins, a clean interface, searching before authenticating, and integration with the Serials Solutions® 360 Suite were the primary factors leading to the selection of Summon™ .

Complete Chapter List

Search this Book:
Editorial Advisory Board
Table of Contents
Damon E. Jaggars
Diane Dallis, Mary Pagliero Popp
Diane Dallis, Mary Pagliero Popp
Chapter 1
Nancy Falciani-White
This chapter reviews significant information seeking literature, focusing on general models that can provide a framework for those not familiar with... Sample PDF
Understanding Information Seeking Behavior of Faculty and Students: A Review of the Literature
Chapter 2
LeiLani Freund, Christian Poehlmann, Colleen Seale
Many academic libraries implemented a metasearch or federated search platform as a way to expand the amount of relevant information available to... Sample PDF
From Metasearching to Discovery: The University of Florida Experience
Chapter 3
David P. Brennan
This chapter presents a high-level, non-system-specific discussion of issues surrounding the planning, implementation, use, and maintenance of... Sample PDF
Details, Details, Details: Issues in Planning for, Implementing, and Using Resource Discovery Tools
Chapter 4
Jason Vaughan
Selecting a major new discovery service for students and researchers is an important undertaking. Web-scale discovery has implications for library... Sample PDF
Evaluating and Selecting a Library Web-Scale Discovery Service
Chapter 5
Monica Metz-Wiseman, Melanie Griffin, Carol Ann Borchert, Deborah Henry
The authors of this chapter interviewed librarians from fifteen academic institutions who participated in a selection process for a discovery... Sample PDF
Best Practices for Selecting the Best Fit
Chapter 6
Amy Hoseth
As libraries re-think their collections, emphasizing online access and building digital resource collections that are growing at an exponential... Sample PDF
Criteria to Consider when Evaluating Web-based Discovery Tools
Chapter 7
Dace Freivalds, Binky Lush
Many libraries are in the process of purchasing and implementing Web-scale discovery systems. In order to ensure that the selected system meets the... Sample PDF
Thinking Inside the Grid: Selecting a Discovery System through the RFP Process
Chapter 8
David Bietila, Tod Olson
This chapter discusses a process that can be used by libraries to evaluate the current generation of resource discovery tools. The process considers... Sample PDF
Designing an Evaluation Process for Resource Discovery Tools
Chapter 9
Tammera M. Race
Serendipity, the accidental discovery of something useful, plays an important role in discovery and the acquisition of new knowledge. The process... Sample PDF
Resource Discovery Tools: Supporting Serendipity
Chapter 10
William H. Mischo, Mary C. Schlembach, Joshua Bishoff, Elizabeth M. German
Academic libraries are transitioning from access systems based on federated, broadcast search technologies to Web-scale discovery systems with... Sample PDF
User Search Activities within an Academic Library Gateway: Implications for Web-scale Discovery Systems
Chapter 11
Janet Fransen, Lara Friedman-Shedlov, Nicole Theis-Mahon, Stacie Traill, Deborah Boudewyns
While many other academic libraries are currently or have recently faced the challenge of setting a new direction for their discovery platforms, the... Sample PDF
Setting a Direction for Discovery: A Phased Approach
Chapter 12
Suzanne Chapman, Scott Dennis, Kathleen Folger, Ken Varnum
This chapter discusses the user-focused research conducted at the University of Michigan Library to help make decisions about selecting and... Sample PDF
Developing a User-Centered Article Discovery Environment
Chapter 13
David Earl Noe
This chapter discusses the results of a review of the first 25 results for some of the most common searches in one college’s instance of Summon™1... Sample PDF
Replicating Top Users’ Searches in Summon and Google Scholar
Chapter 14
Lucy Holman, Elias Darraj, Jonathan Glaser, Alice Hom, Heather Mathieson, Deane Nettles, Aronya Waller
Researchers observed 21 participants (undergraduates, graduate students, and faculty) conduct known item and topic searches using EBSCO Discovery... Sample PDF
How Users Approach Discovery Tools
Chapter 15
Lisa O’Hara, Pat Nicholls, Karen Keiller
The University of Manitoba Libraries (UML) hired an external company to perform usability testing on its website in 2008 and 2009. A component of... Sample PDF
Search Success at the University of Manitoba Libraries Pre- and Post-Summon Implementation
Chapter 16
Juliet Kerico, Paul Anthony, Chris Bulock, Lynn Fields
In 2009, the Library & Information Services (LIS) Web Task Force of Southern Illinois University Edwardsville (SIUE) was charged with improving its... Sample PDF
Fostering Discovery through Web Interface Design: Perpetual Beta as the New Norm
Chapter 17
Felicia Palsson
This chapter describes the situational context and strategic goals at the University of Southern California (USC) Libraries that led to... Sample PDF
Usability Testing Summon on the USC Libraries Home Page
Chapter 18
Andrew J. Welch
In the summer of 2010, Drake University’s Cowles Library implemented EBSCO Discovery Service™1 (EDS). During the implementation and throughout the... Sample PDF
Implementing Library Discovery: A Balancing Act
Chapter 19
Amy S. Jackson, Kevin Comerford, Suzanne M. Schadl, Rebecca Lubas
The University Libraries (UL) at the University of New Mexico has experience implementing both a resource discovery tool from a standard library... Sample PDF
Discovering Our Library’s Resources: Vendor Tools Versus In-House Tools
Chapter 20
Nina Exner, Stephen Bollinger, Iyanna Sims
F.D. Bluford Library is a mid-sized library serving over 10,000 undergraduate and graduate students. In 2010, the Library began to transition from... Sample PDF
Discovery in a Hurry: Fast Transitions from Federated Search to Article Discovery
Chapter 21
David Dahl, Patricia MacDonald
Discovery tools have the potential to disrupt the workflows and established practices of libraries, which can lead to resistance in their use. In... Sample PDF
Implementation and Acceptance of a Discovery Tool: Lessons Learned
Chapter 22
Scott Garrison, Anne Prestamo, Juan Carlos Rodriguez
A number of studies have shown that people start research with Google and other easy, convenient tools. Though they recognize the value of library... Sample PDF
Putting Library Discovery Where Users Are
Chapter 23
Mark Christel, Jacob Koehler, Michael Upfold
A consortium of five liberal arts colleges (Denison, Kenyon, Oberlin, Wooster, and Ohio Wesleyan), decided to investigate discovery tools... Sample PDF
Implementing a Discovery Layer in a Consortial Environment
Chapter 24
Meris A. Mandernach, Jody Condit Fagan
While launching a discovery tool can be technically easy, establishing a process that will result in organizational buy-in for the tool is an... Sample PDF
Creating Organizational Buy-in: Overcoming Challenges to a Library-Wide Discovery Tool Implementation
Chapter 25
Mary Mintz
This chapter provides information about why marketing a new discovery system is important both for libraries and for users. It also presents a case... Sample PDF
Introducing Discovery Systems to Academic User Communities: A Case Study with Recommendations
Chapter 26
Jan Kemp
The University of Texas at San Antonio Libraries implemented the Summon1™ Discovery Service in January 2010 to provide a convenient starting point... Sample PDF
Does Web-Scale Discovery Make a Difference?: Changes in Collections Use after Implementing Summon
Chapter 27
Pamela Harpel-Burke
With the implementation of discovery systems, cataloging maintenance and authority control activities need to be re-evaluated. The online survey... Sample PDF
Catalog Maintenance and Authority Control in Discovery Systems: A Survey of Early Adopters
Chapter 28
Anita K. Foster, Sarah C. Williams
This chapter provides a case study of EBSCO Discovery Service™1 at Illinois State University’s Milner Library. After a formal selection process... Sample PDF
Early Adoption: EBSCO Discovery Service at Illinois State University
Chapter 29
Courtney Greene
In early 2010, Indiana University Bloomington Libraries became a beta tester for the EBSCO Discovery Service (EDS)™ 1 product, and subsequently... Sample PDF
The Long and Winding Road: Implementing Discovery at Indiana University Bloomington Libraries
Chapter 30
Rachel A. Erb
Implementing Web-scale discovery at the University of Nebraska at Omaha’s (UNO) Criss Library presented some unexpected challenges. The UNO library... Sample PDF
Encore Synergy Implementation at a Medium-Sized University Library: Unforeseen Challenges and Opportunities
Chapter 31
Dale Poulter
Vanderbilt University implemented Primo Central™ in early 2010. Although several factors went into the decision to adopt Primo Central™1 early in... Sample PDF
Primo Central: A Step Closer to Library Electronic Resource Discovery
Chapter 32
Jennifer Palmisano
The mission of this chapter is to demonstrate one research/cultural institution’s discovery solution journey. This includes information about the... Sample PDF
The Single-Search Project: Selecting and Implementing Primo at a Research and Cultural Heritage Institution
Chapter 33
Aaron B. Bales, Mark Dehmlow
The University of Notre Dame and the Michiana Academic Library Consortium (MALC) have implemented Ex Libris’™1 Primo®2 as its next generation... Sample PDF
Implementing Primo for the Michiana Academic Library Consortium (MALC)
Chapter 34
June Thoburn, Annette Coates, Graham Stone
The University of Huddersfield and Northumbria University were two of the first adopters of the Summon™ Web-scale commercial discovery system in... Sample PDF
Simplifying Resource Discovery and Access in Academic Libraries: Implementing and Evaluating Summon at Huddersfield and Northumbria Universities
Chapter 35
Elizabeth P. Babbitt, Amy Foster, Doralyn Rossmann
Academic libraries have a myriad of information sources for their communities, yet meeting users at their point of need can be a daunting task.... Sample PDF
Implementation of Resource Discovery: Lessons Learned
Chapter 36
Angi Faiks, Johan Oberg, Katy Gabrio
OCLC’s WorldCat®1 Local has offered users at Macalester College information discovery and retrieval experiences well beyond what was provided by... Sample PDF
WorldCat Local: A Transformative Solution
Chapter 37
Tyler Goldberg, Anna Marie Johnson, Randy Kuehn
This chapter describes the implementation of the WorldCat®1 Local discovery tool in a multiple-library system at a mid-sized university. The catalog... Sample PDF
Tiptoeing Forward: Implementing and Integrating WorldCat Local as a Discovery Tool
Chapter 38
William Breitbach
With significant developments in library discovery systems, many libraries are exploring options for improving access to content. Although these new... Sample PDF
Web-Scale Discovery: A Library of Babel?
Chapter 39
Peter Webster
Discovery services, such as Serials Solutions Summon, OCLC Local WorldCat, ExLibris Primo, and EBSCO Discovery Service, are built around... Sample PDF
The Web-Scale Discovery Environment and Changing Library Services and Processes
Chapter 40
Anita Breckbill
It is not possible to perform a complete or efficient search for musical works using current resource discovery tools. Using examples from Encore... Sample PDF
The Trial of Searching for Musical Works Using Resource Discovery Tools
About the Contributors