Serials Solutions has added a new cluster of features to its Summon discovery service, announced in November 2012, designed to provide additional research assistance to library patrons beyond the presentation of search results. These features, based on the context provided by the user's search query, provide automated tools that can be customized by the library as well as real-time assistance capabilities.
Summon has previously included a Database Recommender feature that suggests specific databases that a user might want to explore directly, based on the context of the search query. The Database Recommender has been updated and enhanced to give libraries local control over the recommendations. The library can now control which subscription databases are subject for recommendations, can set its own tags to trigger recommendations, and can create its own database descriptions. A “Best Bets” feature allows the library to include local content pages or resources, such as research guides, course reserves, help pages, schedules of opening hours, or library Web pages in response to specific query terms.
Summon will also generates related search terms presented as suggestions automatically generated based on associations calculated from aggregate usage data of the service. Auto-complete suggestions offered as users enter queries also help users through the presentation of valid search term expansions or refinements.
A new embedded chat and reference widget allows the library to activate live assistance from within Summon. Summon currently supports the LibraryH3lp widget from Nub Games (http://libraryh3lp.com/) and the LibChat widget from Springshare. The library can select the location on the Summon search and result pages to present the widget and the image to use to brand the service. Together, these tools help to improve the ways that users perform their research from within the Summon interface, prodding them to explore topics or collection areas that they might not otherwise be apparent and to provide the means to conveniently reach out to the library reference personnel when further assistance is needed.