ALCTS CRS College and Research Libraries Interest Group

Web Scale Discovery and the Open Discovery Initiative

  • 1.  Web Scale Discovery and the Open Discovery Initiative

    Posted Feb 06, 2013 04:00 PM

    ALCTS Continuing Resources Section – College and Research Libraries Interest Group

    ALA Midwinter meeting, Sunday, January 27, 2013

    08:30 am 10:00 am WSCC-TCC LL3

    Melissa Behney, Wesleyan University, chair

    Doralyn Rossmann, Montana State University, chair-elect


    Web-scale Discovery and NISO’s Open Discovery Initiative


    At this panel discussion, participants will learn about issues and opportunities surrounding indexed search and the preliminary results of NISO’s Open Discovery Initiative (ODI) survey.  This initiative is a collaboration between libraries, publishers, and discovery vendors. You will hear more about this initiative from a discovery vendor perspective and what it means to libraries as customers.  Finally, an academic librarian will present considerations of the importance of ODI initiatives based on experience with implementation of a Web Scale Discovery tool.  Lively discussion to follow!


    “Introducing the Open Discovery Initiative”

    Marshall Breeding, Founder, Library Technology Guides

    Marshall explained the evolution of library search and the basics of index-based discovery as well as the importance of understanding indexing depth. Discovery adds value to library collections/investments but also brings uncertainty to publishers and adds complexity. Key points to consider are the breadth of coverage of library collections, level of indexing (citation or full text), and how content packages are presented in the discovery service. It’s important to encourage a healthy relationship for libraries, content providers, and discovery service providers. The Open Discovery Initiative is bringing together the stakeholders to gather information and develop standards and recommended practices around data format and transfer, communicating content rights, indexing, linking, and usage statistics.

    Marshall Breeding is co-chair of the ODI Working Group.

    (see Marshall Breeding’s PowerPoint slides below)


    “Summon Web-scale Discovery Service”

    John Law, Vice President, Discovery Services, Serials Solutions

    Serials Solutions actively participates in and supports the Open Discovery Initiative, and John Law is a member of this working group. Libraries, publishers, discovery services are in this together. The primary goal of ODI is to help these groups work better together. How do we measure success?  Make resources accessible to and support the end user/researcher. Library systems have not kept up with user expectations. The library needs to demonstrate value by creating a digital front door. This requires having a unified index, full text book search from partners such as HATHI Trust, indexing of content packages, and the ability to expose native resources and to recommend specific resources. Libraries using Summon are seeing increased resource usage and improved return on investment. It is typical to see increases of 40-80% for some resources and big year-over-year usage increases. “We’re all in it together.” Through work on the ODI committee, key areas are defining/struggling to define best practices. COUNTER should be the keeper of metrics and formats (integrate with them).

    (see John Law’s slides below as PDF)


    “Web Scale Discovery Tools: An Institutional Assessment of User Behavior, User Expectations, and System Performance”

    Doralyn Rossmann, Assistant Professor & Collection Development Librarian, Montana State University

    Did we get what we paid for? Montana State University acquired a Web-scale discovery service (Summon) in June 2010 with a three-year contract. Rather than assess simply based on anecdotes, an assessment group was convened in January 2012 to look at link analysis, transaction log analysis, and Google Analytics as well as a holdings and indexing comparison to determine if another Web-scale discovery service would provide better indexing to match the library’s holdings. This allowed the librarians to look at user behavior, system preferences, collection coverage, and provide benchmarks. They are continuing work to turn off high offending databases, compare link success with other libraries using Web-scale discovery services, consider the placement and use of the service and the implications for instruction.

    (see Doralyn Rossmann's PowerPoint slides below)