Serials Solutions continues to expand the reach of its Summon discovery service, both in terms of the content addressed and the number of library subscribers, as it prepares to enter the realm of library automation.
At the 2011 ALA Annual Conference, Serials Solutions announced that it had begun the development of a library management product, generically dubbed as its Web-scale management solution. They announced a product that would follow many of the same principles that underlie its current suite of products, including knowledgebase driven workflows and deployment through software as a service. At the ALA Midwinter Meeting, Serials Solutions gave a progress report and unveiled the name of the new product —Intota. The product will be made available through three phases of development from 2012 through 2013, focusing respectively on data management, selection, and fulfillment. Serials Solutions has not yet announced libraries designated as development partners or early adopters. Smart Libraries Newsletter covered the initial announcement of what is now known as Intota in its August 2011 issue.
Summon, launched by Serials Solutions at the 2009 ALA Midwinter Meeting, now marks its third anniversary with ongoing progress in the growth of its underlying index and in the numbers of libraries now subscribing to the service. The company reports that Summon currently finds use in over 400 libraries in 40 countries worldwide. The Summon index has grown to over 840 million items, showing substantial growth past the 300 million items it addressed during its initial beta test period.
Some of the new capabilities added to Summon in recent months include Discipline Scoped Searching, where a Summon search box can be configured to limit materials according to a pre-defined subject or topic area. These scoped searches are based on subject classifications implemented at the item level. Currently 59 different disciplines are available based on a variety of authoritative classification tools, including Columbia's Hierarchical Interface to Library of Congress Classification, as well as from its own KnowledgeWorks and the Ulrich's knowledgebase. Libraries can place these search box widgets in any Web-based environment, such as courseware pages or LibGuides, and faculty members can create customized search widgets for use on their personal pages.
Serials Solutions reports that one third of the academic members of the Association of Research Libraries have selected Summon. Most recently, the University of Illinois at Chicago, announced it had joined the ARL members using Summon. This implementation also will include bringing the I-Share catalog, which spans the holdings of the Consortium of 76 members of the Academic Research Libraries in Illinois.