Simplifying Resource Discovery and Access in Academic Libraries: Implementing and Evaluating Summon at Huddersfield and Northumbria Universities

Simplifying Resource Discovery and Access in Academic Libraries: Implementing and Evaluating Summon at Huddersfield and Northumbria Universities

June Thoburn (Northumbria University, UK), Annette Coates (Northumbria University, UK) and Graham Stone (University of Huddersfield, UK)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-4666-1821-3.ch034
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Abstract

The University of Huddersfield and Northumbria University were two of the first adopters of the Summon™ Web-scale commercial discovery system in Europe. Both universities were moved to implement a discovery tool because they had encountered issues with their existing federated searching products, with students and staff expressing dissatisfaction. This chapter describes the selection, implementation, and testing of Summon™ at both universities drawing out common themes and differences, with suggestions for those intending to implement Summon™ and some ideas for future development. User feedback from surveys, focus groups, and user testing is described, and instruments are appended. User testing evaluated user search refinement, satisfaction with relevancy ranking, comprehension of results presentation, and feature approval responses. The perceived success rate in comparison with Google search results is briefly described. Other concepts described include launching new functionality, key points for effective implementation, MARC mapping, staff training, and marketing a discovery tool.
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Selection

Huddersfield

At Huddersfield a project group was established to examine the existing arrangements for the provision of e-resources and suggest recommendations for the future. One of the tasks of the project team was to invite suppliers in to discuss products in order to understand the different offerings within the market place. A ‘clean sheet of paper’ approach was used, with the project team identifying four main ‘vision objectives’ for the future system.

  • First class search engine

  • Provide a ‘one stop shop’ for all electronic resources

  • Greater interoperability and flexibility

  • More efficient management and administration

These criteria were used to evaluate supplier offerings from a range of suppliers of discovery solutions including Ex-Libris™2, EBSCO and Serials Solutions® as part of the review. As a result it was agreed to conduct a restricted European Union (EU) tender for a provider of a library discovery service of pre-harvested content. The contract was awarded to Serials Solutions®.

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