Following long, looong discussions, we have finally chosen a next-generation library discovery service for the University of Lincoln Library.
After reviewing the four major commercially-available discovery products (from EBSCO, Ex Libris, OCLC and Serials Solutions), and after making several reference visits to see the various products in action in UK university libraries…
…we decided upon, and have now bought access to, the EBSCO Discovery Service. Over the summer we’ll be configuring and testing the new system, and in September 2012 it’ll be launched as the new front-end search and discovery platform for the Library at the University of Lincoln.
This new service will provide a single point of search and discovery across nearly all of the Library’s collections, including our ‘traditional’ library catalogue, e-books & e-journals, the Lincoln Repository, archives & special collections, reading lists, and a wide range of specialist and general electronic databases. (N.B. it might not search all of these collections right from day one!) We hope that—along with some of the other new and improved services that are being introduced as part of the Library’s review of ICT systems—it will make it significantly easier and more straightforward to find and use the University’s library resources.
According to the SCONUL HE Library Technology wiki, the EBSCO Discovery Service is also used by:
- Cranfield University (“SearchPoint”)
- University of Cumbria (“Quest”)
- Bournemouth University (“mySearch”)
- Leeds Metropolitan University (“Discover”)
- University of Liverpool (“DISCOVER”)
- The Open University (“One stop search”) —edit: added 23 May 2012
We decided that EBSCO Discovery Service provided us with a familiar (yet flexible, powerful and ‘serious’) research interface, as well as a good fit with our existing and planned electronic database collections. We were also influenced by EBSCO’s plans to develop and integrate the A-to-Z e-journals knowledgebase and link resolver into the discovery environment.
We’ll be spending the next month or so configuring the system to search all of our collections, designing/branding the interface, training library staff, and working with other University departments on getting the most out of the new tools. We anticipate that early access to the system will be possible from the end of July onwards (though this is subject to change), with a ‘soft’ launch in time for student induction in September, and a formal launch/discovery party with free coffee for all, later in the year.
We have also decided that the service will be branded under the title “Find it @ Lincoln“. (Eagle-eyed readers will spot that this is the name we’ve been using for a while for our EBSCO LinkSource OpenURL link resolver.) Information about the new Find it @ Lincoln service, and about the project to develop and launch it at the University of Lincoln, will soon be available at: http://findit.library.lincoln.ac.uk/
I’d like to thank the staff of all four discovery software companies, for all the presentations, demonstrations & visits, for the information they made available to the University of Lincoln over the past few months about their products, and for the demonstrations and supporting materials they provided which were of such use in informing this first selection phase of our discovery project.
Many thanks also, to the several universities who received staff from Library for discovery-themed visits, and who patiently described their use of their own search tools and answered our many questions profound and otherwise.
Now watch this space