Discovery Tool Evaluation: A Three-Pronged Approach
Web-scale discovery tools promise to deliver highly relevant, classic library catalog search integrated with article level search from a single search box. Amid the library industry buzz about web-scale discovery, questions remain as to how well it performs with your library’s own collection. In 2011, AUS trialed Ebscohost Discovery Service and Serials Solutions’ Summon to see if they offered better relevancy and article searching than the current solution, a combination of III’s Encore and Research Pro. Each system was evaluated independently from the standpoints of 1) usability, to gauge ease of use and user satisfaction with the searching experience; 2) relevancy of results and system functionality, to gauge the quality of search results; and 3) overall impact, to gauge financial, internal workflow and technological impact. This three-pronged approach to evaluation resulted in a comprehensive assessment of the products and their place at AUS Library. As a result, Summon was implemented in June, 2011. With Summon well into its first year of implementation, AUS Library has much to share about its evaluation as well as the Summon’s impact on users and collection use.