With the largest public research collection in the state, the University of Connecticut Libraries is the campus community’s primary source for scholarly information, whether it be in books, journals, microfilm, maps, sound and video recordings, musical scores, or an ever-growing array of electronic resources, including e-journals, e-books, databases, and streaming audio and video collections. University Libraries have introduced a new search tool that will enable users to find the resources they need more easily and quickly from this ever-increasing universe of information.
The new tool is called a “web scale discovery service,” because it enables users to quickly discover content from the Libraries’ held and hosted collections as well as remotely hosted content. Introduced last week, the initiative expands the Libraries’ single search box capabilities and consolidates what previously were multiple searches by functioning as a library catalog, a journal locator, a database locator, and a large full-text article database. The technology behind the new search tool is called Summon, and is provided by Serials Solutions, a business unit of ProQuest.
“The goal in implementing Summon is to enable our users to discover relevant information on any topic from the UConn Libraries collections and beyond more quickly and easily,” according to Brinley Franklin, vice provost for University Libraries. “Summon provides a broader capability as users begin their research, and then, if they wish, permits them to refine their search by targeting either scholarly journal and newspaper articles, books, videos, maps, manuscript collections, music scores, and more. From the search results, it’s one step to view the full text of electronic resources or to see if physical materials are available.”
With the adoption of the new service, users will be searching UConn’s Homer online catalog of holdings; our licensed e-journals and e-books; UConn’s Institutional Repository (DigitalCommons@UConn); UConn’s digital collections; library guide; streaming video and audio; and digital materials in the public domain, which are held in the HathiTrust Digital Library, a partnership of major academic and research libraries collaborating to compile a massive digital library of published scholarship. Prior to the implementation of the new discovery service, users needed to search in multiple locations or fields, depending on what type of information they sought to find.
How do I use Summon?
When users go the Libraries’ homepage, they will see a main search box, as well as three tabs that will allow them to search for “Everything @ UConn,” “Books & Media Worldwide,” and “Databases.”
To use the new all-encompassing discovery service, labeled “Everything @ UConn,” one need only insert a topic of interest. Users may then refine their search and specify parameters such as content type, subject, or date. For a more sophisticated search by, for example, author or journal title, users should use the “Advanced Search” option. The Help link offers tips that will make searches even more precise.
“Research libraries that have implemented web scale discovery services are seeing increased usage of their resources, particularly by undergraduate students,” Franklin notes. “We want our resources to be as accessible as possible to enhance the teaching and learning that occurs throughout the University.”
While the Libraries may have changed the way in which most users begin library searches, Franklin notes that WorldCat and the other databases faculty and others commonly use will remain easily accessible to them.
Those looking for the original Homer catalog will find a prominent link on the Libraries’ homepage. Those looking for UConn WorldCat will find it in the tab labeled “Books & Media Worldwide.”
The new discovery service is available to smart phone and tablet users who can search “Everything @ UConn” without downloading special applications.
If assistance is needed while trying the new search, users may contact a librarian via chat, text, email, phone, or in person, at http://www.lib.uconn.edu/help/askHomer/.