Accessibility of Scholarly Resources
How users approach academic research
and the implications for content providers
Sue Maniloff
Alliance Manager, Global Content
[email protected]
ASIDIC Spring 2009
Primary Research
• Observational research of student researchers
• 70+ sessions across 8 universities and 2 continents
More Primary Research
• Online focus groups with end-user researchers
• 9 groups, 80 participants (multiple demographics)
More Primary Research
• Surveys of end-user researchers
• 10,463 respondents across diverse demographics
More Primary Research
• Focus group sessions with librarians
• 7 groups, 47 librarians
Research Indicates
The superior source for quality, credible content
Preferred for academic research and course assignments
Actual User Behavior
The easiest place to start the research process
Chief Inhibitors to Success
No clear and compelling starting place
Difficulty identifying appropriate resources
General lack of awareness of resources
The typical university library has…
Hundreds of databases
Tens of thousands of journals
Millions of books
Library experience is confusing, clumsy and slow
should I
Convenience scores over content
• Simple
• Easy
• Fast
Google/Google Scholar as “research tools”
“Too many results from a Google search and the need
to sort through them” and “Figuring out what is a
credible source, and what is not”
Project Information Literacy Report: What Today’s College
Students Say about Conducting Research in the Digital Age,
February 9, 2009,
Librarians Focus Group Sessions
“People know we are losing ground to what's
out there in terms of research. Libraries are
trying to figure out ways to reach out to users.
“There is a need for the most simplest of
Rather than having students use Google, we
interfaces to provide to the customer while
need to make libraries the best, first choice to
simultaneously giving the customer a rich
do research
still in
nota user-friendly
Google type enough. Our
that when they type
something in they will get results—they
Librarian are
used to Google. We need to provide
information as well as Google can.”
Simplified Access to Library Content
More than a convenience, a requirement
Critical to preserving library's role in research
Critical to the efficacy of research
Critical to preserving revenues to content providers
Quantitative Online Surveys Indicate
What users want in library search tools
More than 7 of 10 researchers would prefer to use a
search tool that provided:
• More credible search results than Google
• Better ways to narrow results for scholarly research
• Limit results to full-text resources available through
their library
• Comprehensive representation of the full breadth of
the library’s resources
Quantitative Online Surveys Also Indicate
What users expect from any search tool
Interface Simplicity
Highly relevant search results from full complement
of disparate sources
Seamless access to content (full text)
Unified Discovery Service
Enables quick discovery of the most credible resources anywhere the library has them
Fast, easy, single result set
Digital or physical resource
Books, e-journal articles, databases, etc.
Catalog, publishers, aggregators, open access, etc.
Points users to most pertinent content and links them to the more
sophisticated research tools
"I have seen the future of how libraries will provide
access to information, resources, and collections.
It's called "Summon" by Serial Solutions and it can
become equally important as Google in everyone's
everyday information seeking and use.”
"I have seen the future of how libraries will provide
access to information, resources, and collections.
It's called "Summon" by Serial Solutions and it can
become equally important as Google in everyone's
everyday information seeking and use.”
Mike Eisenberg
Dean Emeritus & Professor
University of Washington
Information School
Mike Eisenberg
Dean Emeritus & Professor
University of Washington
Information School
Screen shots
Screen shots
Simplified Illustration
The Summon Service has Content Provider Support
Gale and ProQuest are leading the way
• Demonstrating their stewardship of libraries
and commitment to securing the role of
libraries in the research process.
Broad Support for the Summon™ Service
Some of the world’s largest publishers
• Springer, Taylor & Francis, SAGE Publications
• Provides DOIs for superior linking
Highwire Press
• Crawling and harvesting access
Examples of Extensive Content Support
• Additional prestigious publishers include:
Nature Publishing Group
Oxford University Press
Kluwer Law International
Cambridge University Press
Walter de Gruyter
Johns Hopkins University Press (Project Muse)
Proceedings of the Nat’l Academy of Sciences
Landes Bioscience
Academy of Sciences
Future Science Group
Houghton Mifflin
Museum Tuscalanum Press
EDP Sciences
Examples of Extensive Content Support
• Society publishers
ACM, The Institute of Physics, AMA, American Institute of Physics, Optical
Society of America, American Economic Society
• Open access content
Directory of Open Access Journals, Hindawi Publishing Corporation, and
arXiv e-prints
• Major authoritative bibliographic databases
Econlit, Sociological Abstracts
• Government and NGO databases
GPO, Medline, ERIC, Agricola, PILOTS, TOXLINE, and OECD
Additional publishers since public announcement
Alexander Street Press
Infobase Facts on File
American Accounting Association
American Association of Physicists in Medicine
International Centre for Diffraction Data
American Association of Physics Teachers
Computer Society
American Astronomy Society
The Institution of Engineering and Technology
AHS International - The Vertical Flight Society
The Institute of Noise Control Engineering
American Industrial Hygiene Association
IS&T - The Society for Imaging Science & Technology
The American Physical Society
Laser Institute of America
Acoustical Society of America
MAIK Nauka/Interperiodica * Russian Academy of Sciences
American Society of Civil Engineers
National Institute of Standards and Technology
American Society of Mechanical Engineers International
Physics Essays Publication
AVS: Science & Technology of Materials, Interfaces, and
SkillSoft Books 24x7
EDP Sciences
SIAM: Society for Industrial and Applied Mathematics
The Electrochemical Society
The Society for Information Display
The Society of Rheology
Environmental & Engineering Geophysical Society
Earthquake Engineering Research Institute
The Tire Society
Human Frontier Science Program
The Society of Exploration Geophysicists
More Content Support
• Hundreds of providers supplying content so far
• 50,000+ journal and periodical titles
• 400+ million items indexed currently
• Publishers and other content providers joining the
Summon service weekly
What are content providers to do?
“How Readers Navigate to Scholarly Content”
Simon Inger and Tracy Gardner (Sept 2008)
• A key measure of publisher success is the usage which
can be maximized by enabling all the routes to its content
… Library technology plays a key role in user navigation
• Publishers need to support all conceivable routes to their
content … through the open distribution of XML metadata
catalogues, collaboration with library technology vendors
and through working with major gateways and search
The Summon Unified Discovery Service
A new unified discovery service developed to help solve a problem for
libraries, content providers and academic researchers
Provides a Google-like search for the library
Enables simple, easy and fast discoverability of authoritative content
Increases content usage – a key measure of success
Helps boost renewal rates

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