June 2, 2010 (SEATTLE) -- An analysis of resource usage conducted at Michiganís Grand Valley State University (GVSU) shows that the library's implementation of the Summon web scale discovery service has had a significant impact on how students connect to content and the type of content they use. The Summon service was introduced by Serials Solutions last year, enabling library users to search the breadth of library collections in a single search. Serials Solutions is a business unit of ProQuest.
Led by GVSUís Head of Collection Development Doug Way, the library compared year- over-year use of databases, journals, and link-resolvers before and after the Summon implementation. Results show:
- Summon is enabling students to go directly to full-text, boosting the use of a variety of databases. For example, Academic Search Premier saw a usage increase of 92% and ABI/INFORM rose 354%.
- Journal usage is up significantly. Before Summon, the use of individual journals in which the library had invested was generally going down. However, after Summon's implementation at the close of August 2009, GVSUís top 100 journals showed an average increase in usage of 48% and the top 1000 had increased usage of 82%.
- Increased usage occurs even for databases from content providers that are not participating in the Summon service, a result of the service's indexing of the same content from alternate sources.
- Summon is having an impact on the type of content students are choosing. For example, the library has seen a significant increase in the use of newspaper content.
"They're using newspaper content heavily, but they're discerning about what they use," said Way. The New York Times, The Washington Post, and The Wall Street Journal along with GVSUís local newspaper top the list of most-used newspaper sources. "Because Summon integrates books into the search results, students are seeing what we have on the shelves that can help their research. We're really impressed and happy to see students using our great print resources," said Way.
Way presented the library's findings at a webinar entitled "The Success of Web-Scale Discovery in Returning Net-Gen Users to the Library," which was hosted by Serials Solutions and Library Journal. The entire presentation is archived at http://www.libraryjournal.com/webcastsDetail/2140493351.html .
GVSU is among the scores of libraries around the world which are embracing web scale discovery as their path to bringing students and faculty back to the library as the starting point for research. The first and only available web scale discovery service, Summon was built from scratch using an entirely new technology architecture that delivers a search experience rivaling those found on the Open Web. Rather than federated search, the Summon service is powered by a massive single unified index that pre-harvests content from 94,000 journals from 6,800 content providers. Despite the size of the index, the technology enables sub-second searches and true relevancy ranking across all of this content, delivering unbiased results.
Called "absolutely fantastic1," "superb2" and "the best method3" by students around the world, the Summon service can transform a libraryís search experience in a proven, six-week set-up. The service provides simplicity and portability (with a new mobile interface) for users and exposes the breadth of the libraryís content, allowing more resources to be discovered Ė a boon for libraries, who want to get more from collection investments, and publishers, who want to drive greater usage. To learn more visit http://www.serialssolutions.com/summon.
1 Unsolicited feedback from student Heather H. at Edith Cowan University, Western Australia.
2 Unsolicited feedback from student Ellis P. "Your loyal Summon fan" at University of Calgary, Canada.
3 Unsolicited feedback from student at University of Liverpool, UK.
About Serials Solutions
Founded by a librarian for librarians in 2000, Serials Solutions is the global leader in E-Resource Access and Management Services (ERAMS) that serves more than 2,000 libraries of all sizes and types. Serials Solutions KnowledgeWorks, the authoritative e-resource knowledgebase, is the foundation for Serials Solutions 360, the only complete and integrated e-resource access and management solution. The company also developed the Summon web-scale discovery service, a revolutionary tool that provides instant access to the full breadth of the libraryís collection through a single search.
Serials Solutions is the exclusive source for the AquaBrowser Discovery Layer as well as Ulrichsweb.com and Ulrich's Serials Analysis System. It provides fast implementation, easy customization, and outstanding value to libraries throughout the world. For more information, please visit www.serialssolutions.com or call 1-866-SERIALS. Serials Solutions is a business unit of ProQuest LLC.