Saturday, July 16, 2011

6 ways to use Web Scale Discovery tools without visiting library sites

I have written a couple of times on Web Scale Discovery tools like Summon, Ebsco Discovery Service, Worldcat local and Primo Central.

So say you implement one of these tools and park it as the default search box on your website, to get an all-in-one box. The problem here of course is the library site may be slowly losing it influence and pretty much nobody starts their search on the library homepage.

The obvious solution would be to ensure users can easily search using your discovery solution even if they don't come to their site. So what options are there?

  1. OpenSearch (e.g GSVU)
  2. Custom toolbar - Libx, Conduit toolbar (e.g. Dartmouth college library)
  3. Smart keyword
  4. Bookmarklet (e.g S.C Williams library , University of Michigan library)
  5. WebMynd
  6. Startpage widgets (iGoogle, netvibes etc).

GVSU Libraries Summon OpenSearch Plugin

In fact rather than revisiting one of my very first blog posts ever, pop over to Opensearch vs custom toolbar vs smart keyword vs bookmarklet which gives details on these methods.

Back then, the methods there assume an ordinary library catalogue or library database, but it makes even more sense to do it for a Discovery service like Summon of course.

The bookmarklet idea for Discovery service is in fact already done by Barbara Arnett and Valerie Forrestal.  Libx already supports Summon, Primo and Vufind since Aug 2010 it seems.

Does anyone promote use of Discovery services using any of the other methods listed?

I am particularly interested if anyone has tried discovery services with Webmynd , which automatically embeds results from your chosen search next to Google results whenever user searches Google (using, search bar etc).

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