Discovery-Systems and e-Books by nyb13813



Discovery-Systems and e-Books.

Gerard Bennett

Information Systems and Library Services

Article was first published in the IGeLU Newsletter, 2 (3). pp. 1-2, November
2007 and is available in the repository with permission from the Journal.
IGeLU Newsletter is available online at:

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  IGeLU Newsletter
  Volume 2, Number 3

  ISSN: 1653-7904

                                          International Group of Ex Libris Users
 Welcome to Madrid 2008 and
    I-NUG Meeting 7th September

    3rd IGeLU Meeting 8th to 10th
    September 2008

                                          Discovery-Systems and e-Books
In this issue:
                                          By Gerard Bennett                                    database vendors to the harvesting of their
                                                                                               content. Marshall anticipated that their attitude
                                          There were two topical plenaries at the confer-
Discovery-Systems and e-books        1                                                         would be positive – eventually.
                                          ence this year. The first explored ‗Discovery
          Who is who, what’s on,     3    Tools‘ and brought together 3 speakers, 2 of         Their attitude may be revealed sooner by the
         what’s coming—from the           whom reported on Primo implementations               Danish Primo project that Jørgen Madsen pre-
         Product Working Groups           (Marshall Breeding, Vanderbilt University, and       sented. In some ways a more ambitious project
ALEPH: preparing the testing         3
                                          Jørgen Madsen, Danish Primo Project), and the        involving a consortium of institutions led by the
                                          third of whom addressed a major Endeca imple-        Royal Library, Copenhagen, it aims, among
MetaLib: preparing the voting        3    mentation (Michele Newberry, Florida Center for      other things, to test the scalability of Primo,
DigiTool : new people, new initia-   4
                                          Library Automation).                                 searching a database of 200 million records,
tives                                                                                          and to integrate article searching seamlessly
                                          I have had the pleasure of hearing Marshall
                                                                                               into Primo, including through the use of 3rd node
SFX: a busy year ahead               5    Breeding speak a few times at conferences and
                                                                                               technology. This was a new and exciting term to
                                          was once again impressed by his command of
Verde: short notices from Brno       5                                                         many of us and very simple once explained.
                                          his subject, and his articulate, direct and engag-
                                                                                               Instead of each Primo institution harvesting
Voyager: coming soon — the           6    ing delivery. He gave us a very enthusiastic ac-
                                                                                               databases that are also used by others, why not
Voyager Product Working Group             count of Primo and the implementation at Van-
                                                                                               a central node or nodes hosted by Ex Libris
                                          derbilt. Primo does away with the shortcomings
Contributors to this issue           7                                                         where commonly used databases are harvested
                                          of traditional systems that provide too many
                                                                                               and made searchable by many Primo installa-
                                          places to search, and of federated search which
                                                                                               tions? The Danish project also had national
                   News from the     8    is too slow, complex and gives shallow results.
                                                                                               ambitions to include a data bank of all licensed
          Special Interest Groups         The breadth of scope of Primo was praised –
                                                                                               material for all Danish research libraries search-
                                          giving equal scope to print and non-print, break-
MetaLib/SFX Consortia: networks      8                                                         able by Primo. Jørgen also spoke of ‗atomising‘
                                          ing down the silos that each is usually confined
                                                                                               Primo where this made sense that is to present
ALEPH Consortia: a get-together      8    to, and furthering the abolition of the divide
                                                                                               part of its functionality in varying contexts, using
                                          between local and remote. Primo search was
ARC: lively discussions of the how   9                                                         Primo web services. We had a glimpse of inter-
                                          defended against the charge of dumbing-down
and who                                                                                        esting possibilities here such as the ability to
                                          the catalogue: a well-designed keyword search
                                                                                               call up a Primo search box from a citation in, for
                                          enhanced by the inclusion of words from author-
                                                                                               example, a PDF document.
Feedback report from the Stee-       10   ity headings, plus faceting and relevance rank-
ring Committee                            ing, more than made up for the loss of browse        Michele Newberry‘s thoughtful account of the
IGeLU, ELUNA and Ex Libris joint     12   searching (which is not possible with this archi-    Endeca implementation at FCLA (Florida Center
initiatives                               tecture). The success of Primo in being able to      for Library Automation) threw further light on the
                                          deal with both structured and non-structured         possibilities of search technology. Their adop-
New people, new faces,               13   data was shown by the content in Vanderbilt‘s        tion of Endeca was in part motivated by explor-
new opportunities                         Primo implementation: their Unicorn catalogue        ing alternatives for upgrading 11 university li-
Hola : Welcome to the 3rd IGeLU      14
                                          (Acorn) plus a database of TV news abstracts.        brary OPACs from Aleph 15 to 18, and has pro-
Conference in Madrid, Spain               But what about the addition of subscribed con-       vided them with a union catalogue with rich
                                          tent such as the data in A&I databases? This is      functionality including guided navigation, fac-
Brno short stories                   15   planned, and will be reliant on the attitude of      eted search, stemming and spell check, along
IGeLU Newsletter                                                                                                                          Page 2
Volume 2, Number 3

Discovery-Systems and e-Books (cont.)
with OPAC features such as display of copy                 copyright restrictions. All of this leads libraries
availability, ability to renew and place reserves          adjusting to a difficult situation rather than influ-
(features that the Primo user at present must              encing developments. One attempt to lead de-
drop into the OPAC to use). Michele also ad-               velopments is the JISC Observatory Project in
dressed such aspects as building the Endeca                the UK, which will spend £600,000 on core
file, record de-duplication, data integrity, and a         readings in 4 subject areas. The books will be
range of change management issues.                         available to all in UK academic institutions for 2
                                                           years, and their usage will be logged to assess
After coffee the 3 speakers joined a panel which
                                                           impact and usage. The pricing issue was under-
included Dale Flecker and Oren Beit-Arie to re-
                                                           lined when Hazel revealed that less that 100            Brno. Photo: Ragnar Helin
flect on the presentations and take questions
                                                           titles were included.
from the audience. We learned interesting
things about trends in discovery tools, for exam-          Dale‘s report listed some initial findings of the
ple, there is a project in the US to produce a             Focus Group and it was clear that it had carried
protocol to standardise the ways in which dis-             out some trenchant analysis. Few would be
covery tools talk to the library system back-end           surprised by the finding that the complexities of
such that reservations and renewals can be                 e-books require separate treatment by library
done through the discovery tool interface; and             management systems. Among the reasons iden-
about different ways that Primo can handle copy            tified for this were the differences in scale. For
availability – to deliver it on the fly, or provide it     example the quantity of e-books compared to e-
via indexing/harvesting mechanisms, the latter             journals; differences in business models; prob-
allowing the information to enrich the faceting            lems with identifiers in that too few e-books
thus permitting the user to view results based             have DOIs, and large numbers of books being
on availability. There were also honest evalua-            digitized were published before the era of identi-
tions of these discovery tools as they do not              fiers. The incorporation of e-books in the OPAC
offer a 100% solution, and are limited by the              is a major issue and there are many aspects to
quality of data they index. But all on the panel           this including the different strands of digitization
were very positive about their advantages and              projects – full text of out-of-copyright materials,
left the audience with much to ponder.                     component parts for in-copyright titles – as well
                                                           as the role of TOC and abstracts for catalogue
The e-books plenary on Wednesday afternoon
                                                           enrichment. Dale then listed the tasks before of
had 2 speakers, Hazel Woodward from Cranfield
                                                           the Focus Group. Following the submission of its
University in the UK addressing the topic
                                                           recommendations the Group would direct a
‗Impact of E-books on Library Services‘, and
                                                           series of implementations. This was interesting
Dale Flecker reporting on the work of the
                                                           news. Dale concluded his report with a call to us
IGeLU/ELUNA/Ex Libris E-book Focus Group.
                                                           for our input to the focus group. ―Tell us what
Hazel gave us an overview of the challenges                hurts most‖, was the apposite phase I remem-
faced by librarians developing e-book collec-              ber!
tions. Her basic case was that of the prosecu-
tion: the conditions needed to develop e-book
collections are not being met. Not enough core
materials are being provided; too many different
deals are on offer; pricing models are not flexi-
ble and not often affordable; discovery and ac-
cess are hindered by the variety of sources, and
interfaces and by the poor quality of metadata,
hindering integration and linking; and digitiza-
tion projects though welcome are burdened by

                                     Panel discussion with from the left: Dale
                                     Flecker, Oren Beit-Arie, Michele Newberry,
                                     Marshall Breeding and Jørgen Madsen.
                                     Photo: Ragnar Helin

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