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Web-scale Discovery Implementation with the End User in Mind (SLA 2012)


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Web-scale Discovery Implementation with the End User in Mind (SLA 2012)

  1. 1. SLA 2012 Annual Conference Chicago, IL July 16, 2012 Harry Kaplanian – EBSCO PublishingDebra Kolah, Rafal Kasprowski – Rice University
  2. 2. SpeakersHarry Kaplanian Director of Product Management, Discovery Services, EBSCO Publishing Harry Kaplanian is currently the Director of Product Management for Discovery Services at EBSCO Publishing. Prior to joining EBSCO, Harry was Director of Product Management at Serials Solutions. Harry also worked for Microsoft developing Live Search Books, served as Vice President of Development at Mandarin Library Automation and previously Director of Development at SIRS Publishing. Harry holds a degree in Computer Science from Florida State University. His interests are skiing, gardening and all things related to libraries.
  3. 3. SpeakersDebra Kolah User Experience Librarian, Rice University Debra is at Rice University in Houston, Texas in the User Experience Office, and is also the librarian for Physics, Math, Statistics, and Astronomy at Rice University. She has 15 years of experience in libraries, including Branch Manager of a public library, an intern at a semiconductor company, and adjunct faculty at a community college library, which gives her a unique perspective of service and users in a variety of settings. She is currently leading an ethnographic project at Rice to examine the ways that faculty adopt and use iPads in a classroom setting, and a usability study of the Institutional Repository. She has an MLIS from the University of Texas and has most recently done graduate level work in Ethnography at Rice University. Additionally, she is the Convener of the SLA UX Caucus, formed in January 2011.
  4. 4. SpeakersRafal Kasprowski Electronic Resources Librarian, Rice University Rafal received an MLIS from McGill University and has been an electronic resources librarian since 2003. His areas of responsibility have covered license negotiation, e-resource acquisitions, OpenURL and discovery platform implementations, remote access maintenance, and collection development. He has organized conference sessions, presented, and published on e-resource management topics, and has chaired interest groups for SLA and the American Society for Information Science & Technology. He currently works at Rice University, rotates as instructor for ALA’s Fundamentals of Electronic Resources Acquisitions web course, and participates in the development of standards and best practices related to e-resource management as a working group member for NISO.
  5. 5. History of Discovery How did we get here? Federated Search Catalog Layers – Local Discovery Web-Scale Discovery
  6. 6. The 1st Discovery Service (~1901)
  7. 7. Cataloging at LC, 1910/1920
  8. 8. MARC & OPAC (1980 – 1995) 1968 – 50,000 MARC records in existence 1982 – Card catalogs disappear OPACs appear in the library on a single desktop computerPros Cons Users can search the entire  Users can only search catalog physical collection quickly  Metadata searching only Tight ILS integration One place to search
  9. 9. Uncork those bottles… 1990’s - Electronic databases appear Not part of the physical collection They change often Multiple tools needed for searching content Students and faculty no longer know where to look And the e-content just keeps on coming…
  10. 10. Federated SearchPros: Cons: Single search box for all  Speed content  Many indexes Currency of content  Multiple ranking algorithms  Larger result sets incomplete  Internet Traffic  Content provider traffic
  11. 11. Catalog layersPros Cons Single index for all local  Usually combined with fed content search for e-content Speed  Difficult setup and software Complete result sets updates  Not tightly integrated with ILS
  12. 12. Web-Scale DiscoveryPros Cons Search all content, one place  Not tightly integrated with Single search box ILS Single index  Easier setup (vendor Single Relevance Ranking maintains index) Speed Bandwidth Complete result sets This isn’t web scale No local hardware management… No local install
  13. 13. Resource Discovery Tools Working Group8 member team- representatives fromCataloging, IR, IT, User Experience, ERMCharged in late December 2010 to find a newdiscovery layer-Interim report in March 2011; 3products were chosen to trial; Final reportgenerated in late July 2011EDS went live in January 2012
  14. 14. Onsite demonstrationsConference presentationsConversationsLiterature and online researchVendor interviewsEthnographic studyProduct testingVendor surveys/questionnaires/follow-upquestions
  15. 15. The FoundationNancy Foster Asher
  16. 16. Bootstrap UX is it? Short ethnographic projects 6-15weeks in length. A small team, of four to sixlibrarians is ideal. It is good to have a range ofskills represented: librarians that are good atinterviewing, solving problems, and doing projectmanagement. It is crucial to have a person thathas authority to make service changes as aresearch team member.
  17. 17. Research Discovery Tools Report"None was overwhelmingly favored over theothers and all are imperfect"
  18. 18. Perfect is the enemy of the good. Voltaire
  19. 19. Lessons LearnedMore usability testing at all pointsA clearer plan for Marketing and training- librarianas enduser and researcher enduserMore carefully chosen subjects for ethnographicstudy
  20. 20. User Experience Office Ethnography Usability Great Experiences Fondren Library UX office activities included in SPEC Kit 322 from ARL
  21. 21. BibliographyFagan, Jody Condit and Meris A. Mandernach, Carl S. Nelson, Jonathan R. Paulo, GroverSaunders. Usability Test Results for a Discovery Tool in an Academic Library. InformationTechnology and Libraries. March 2012., Michael, and Lily Rozaklis, Catherine Hall. A survey of the use of ethnographicmethods in the study of libraries and library users. Library & Information Science Research.Volume 34, Issue 2. April 2012, pp. 82-91. Fulfilled? An EBSCO Discovery Service Usability Study (Aug 2011) - Illinois StateUniversity - Interesting comparisons with federated search usability studies and use ofpre/post limiters and refinements. Journal of Web Librarianship,Vol. 5, No. 3. (July 2011), pp.179-198. Scale Discovery Services (2011) This work by Jason Vaughan is probably the firstcomprehensive work on Discovery systems so far available. There are chapters on WorldCatLocal, Summon, Ebsco Discovery Service and Primo Central. "Articles on Discovery" by Aaron Tay.
  22. 22. Ethnography ResourcesAsher, Andrew and Susan Miller. So You Want to Do Anthropology in YourLibrary? or A Practical Guide to Ethnographic Research in AcademicLibraries. The ERIAL PROJECT. Accessed April 2, 2012 at, Nancy and Susan Gibbons, eds. 2007. Studying Students: TheUndergraduate Research Project at the University of Rochester. Chicago:Association of College and Research Libraries., Mario. 2009 "How many cases do I need?" On science and logic ofcase selection in field-based research." Ethnography 10(1):5-38.
  23. 23. Web-scale Discovery Product Selection What should you look for in a product? Each vendor may provide some, but not all, of the possible features.
  24. 24. Unified index or Federated searchingAdvantage of web-scale over federated searching: Records from content providers are entered into a single index. Search results are combined and relevance ranked as if they came from a single source following the same metadata organization.Is the web-scale discovery vendor providing that?
  25. 25. Unified index or Federated searchingVendors may: Claim to not use federated searching, but results are NOT combined and relevance ranked independently of native database scheme. Provide complementary federated searching (in addition to true unified index), in case  content is not covered by agreements with vendors or  users prefer functionality of native database interface Use a grand unified index of all records and present a library’s individual holdings as a subset of the larger index.
  26. 26. Hosted by vendor or libraryDiscovery product may be hosted: on external vendor server, as SaaS (software as a service); customizations may be possible via:  tech support (online/voice/email);  administrator module: direct online changes by library.  ready widgets: may be added to available features;  APIs: allow certain functions/features to be coded. on local library server, possibly with code-level access:  library can make extensive and unique customizations;  vendor updates not made automatically on local server;  code-level local version may cost more.
  27. 27. Content CoverageProviders covered: Number and variety Types: academic, business, popular literature, etc. Formats: periodicals, newspapers, books, etc.Areas covered: Strong/weak disciplines Fit with your institution’s specializationsMetadata depth of index: Mostly title, author, pub. date, etc. or also abstract, full text? Does vendor enrich records, e.g. w/ subject headings?
  28. 28. Institutional records Loading records to discovery system from ILS and IR:  Frequency: daily / weekly / monthly / every 6 months?  Full ILS dump or incremental load of updated records?  Availability in discovery system: couple of days or weeks? ILS & discovery system: how well do they work together?  Compatibility: sharing of similar standards  Conformity to shared standards: interpreting shared standards in the same way.
  29. 29. Fitting Local Practices  ILS  Discovery SystemE.g.: Displaying on-order records: For all discovery vendors connectivity is attained through Z39.50 protocol. ILS sends status info to discovery service via Z39.50 from MARC 926 $b. How Rice catalogs record status: In Stacks: 926 $a FONDREN $b STACKS $c PS3563.C337 A44 1992 $d BOOK $f 1 On order: 926 $a FONDREN $c PJ25 .L36 2012 $f NONE Local workflow: On order status is indicated in Status field instead.
  30. 30. Fitting Local Practices  ILS  Discovery SystemSolution: Check beforehand if working solution can be reached for all factors involved:  protocol used by discovery service,  if/how protocol is used by ILS,  local cataloging practices for entering data into ILS . Find workaround:  e.g., link to catalog for item status.
  31. 31. Example of on order item
  32. 32. Full-Text Linking OptionsFull texts native to discovery platform Discovery service vendor is also content provider. Discovery service vendor’s content is available directly through discovery platform.Proprietary external links Discovery service vendor establishes linking protocol with individual content providers Static linking is predictable, works as long as links remain unchanged Links created one provider at a time: limited, but growing in scaleOpenURL links Link resolver checks library’s A-Z list and links to matching full text Existing standard: scales across most providers Dynamic linking can be fickle: no holdings; source/target formats different
  33. 33. Conditional Custom Links• Some records (e.g., books, audio, video, music scores) may not have enough metadata to populate and run link resolver.• Create custom link for problem formats to run search (e.g. title + author) in third-party index with good metadata for these formats (e.g.,• Set up OpenURL in third-party index to run resolver &  get to desired item or  request item via ILL or document delivery service.• Result: every record in discovery service has link &  users can always get or request item  with no manual data entry;  Last resort, just Check for availability.
  34. 34. Check availability via third party
  35. 35. Customization Options Default search method  Boolean / phrase (terms in results are separated by defined number of words)  Find all search terms / Find any search terms Result display preferences  by data set (library’s catalog / IR records displayed before other indexes)  by selected indexes (delisting undesired indexes in admin module)  by type of full text links (native full texts, proprietary links, OpenURL links, etc.) Interacting with other services using widgets / APIs  Display results from external sources (images from Flickr, videos from YouTube, results from Google Books, etc.)  Provide links to frequently-used content sources, such as LibGuides  Post custom messages or other text, such as Library hours or upcoming events Faceting preferences (date, subject, format, ...); Visual display, etc.
  36. 36. Licensed e-journal content Provided in A-Z list, which is a separate service linked to discovery service. Indicates available “full-text records” to discovery service search filters. May be used as the knowledge base for OpenURL link resolver. If A-Z service is from a different company, content is updated in discovery service by periodic manual loads.
  37. 37. Changes to related services Switching subscriptions to providers whose databases are indexed in discovery service. Customizing external platforms involved in discovery process.  E.g.: Streamlining text & enhancing graphically resolver menu page as OpenURL use is increased.
  38. 38. Enhanced OpenURL menuMatthew Reidsma, “jQuery for Customizing Hosted Library Services", (accessed July 24, 2012)
  39. 39. Some other points to consider Quality of customer service and technical support. Number of sites with similar ILS and IR software that implemented – not just purchased – the service. Degree of integration with vendor’s other services. Availability and extensiveness of admin module vs sole reliance on vendor’s tech support. Compatibility with your remote access software (proxy, VPN).
  40. 40. Some other points to consider Possibility to search unlicensed content (catalog and IR) off site w/o prior authentication: “guest access” Scoping by subsets for specific library branches, e.g. business Exporting data: printing, emailing, downloading, RSS feeds, compatibility with citation management formats, etc. Possibility for users to create personal accounts.
  41. 41. Some other points to consider Availability of mobile version. Usage data: search count over-representation (e.g. z39-50) vs. full-text retrievals; compliance with COUNTER protocol. Cost: one-time, maintenance, training, multi-year contracts, other services included for free, etc. Time required for implementation to be completed: weeks, months?
  42. 42. Lessons Learned Difficult to ask all the right questions when dealing with unknown:  Develop a method for product search & know what questions to ask;  Trust the process. Ask in detail: One detail may reveal more questions. Assume as little as possible: check what you understand by asking. Fight urge to find the ultimate product:  all solutions are imperfect;  redo product search every 2 – 3 years. There will always be problems: make sure customer support is solid.
  43. 43. Contributors Harry Kaplanian, Director of Product Management, Discovery Services, EBSCO Publishing, Denis Galvin, ILS Supervisor, Rafal Kasprowski, Electronic Resources Librarian, Debra Kolah, User Experience Librarian, dkolah@rice.eduRice University, Fondren Library MS44,6100 Main Street, Houston, TX 77005The presentation will be available at