I emailed U of Rochester to find out more about their articles search. Judi Briden gave me permission to post her responses to the wiki. -KD

Original question:
I'm doing a quick look over the library websites of our comparison institutions to try to determine how they're using federated search (or other types of single-box article searches). I'm also gathering information on the product used. Due to your login requirements, I wasn't able to determine what you're using for your article search. Is it a commercial product, or something developed in-house? If you're using a commercial product, have you heavily modified the out-of-the-box user interface? If you have plans to change your article search in the future, I'd be interested in that as well.


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-----Original Message-----
From: Briden, Judi [mailto:jbriden@library.rochester.edu]
Sent: Tuesday, August 31, 2010 12:25 PM
To: Dunn, Kathryn M.
Cc: Burns, Vicki
Subject: RE: quick question: technology underlying Articles search?

Hi Katie,

[...]

Our Articles search uses MetaLib from Ex Libris, but we have our own custom user interface that was built in Cold Fusion and is now ported to Drupal.

Our search interface and results display were designed to resemble Google--which isn't so startling now, but was in 2002 when we first released it on top of Endeavor's federated search product. We kept the interface and have improved it several times since switching to MetaLib in 2006. There is also a lot of enhanced technology behind delivering items to users from search results.

I've attached a Word document with (partial) screen shots of Basic and Advanced search, as well as the top of a results display.Please let me know if you have any more questions--Judi



Judi Briden
Digital Librarian for Public Services
University of Rochester River Campus Libraries
jbriden@library.rochester.edu 585.275.9299



-----Original Message-----
From: Dunn, Kathryn M. [mailto:DUNNK2@rpi.edu]
Sent: Tuesday, August 31, 2010 1:15 PM
To: Briden, Judi
Subject: RE: quick question: technology underlying Articles search?

Dear Judi,

[...]

I have one more question if you have a little more time. What's your sense of how the eXtensible Catalog project will impact your federated search service? Will it make it easier to combine catalog data with federated search results? Admittedly I haven't been through all the documentation available on the XC website. Feel free to pass on answering this question if I should just do a little more reading!

[...]
Katie

-----Original Message-----
From: Briden, Judi [mailto:jbriden@library.rochester.edu]
Sent: Tuesday, August 31, 2010 8:06 PM
To: Dunn, Kathryn M.
Subject: RE: quick question: technology underlying Articles search?

Katie,

[...]

Thinking about how Articles will share space on our library pages with the eXtensible Catalog (XC), we don't know, yet. XC won't incorporate federated search anytime soon, so Articles search will remain useful and needed.

Early research showed that our undergraduates failed at finding articles using the library's website (Jennifer Bowen et al., "Serial Failure,"
The Charleston Advisor 5 (2004)). Consequently, the focus for our federated search has always been to deliver a smaller number of highly relevant articles in a single list, rather than everything from each database, and to enhance OpenURL linking for simpler delivery.

At first, we included our catalog (Voyager) as a default database, but students were confused finding books in this context, since the searchbox was labeled "Find Articles". (Voyager is an option on the Articles' advanced search page, but is not used significantly.) We also have the ability to place a federated search box, attached to a custom set of databases, in specific course environments.

I hope that a demo version of XC will be available soon--I can't wait to try it! After that, we can learn how to present both XC and Articles in ways that make sense to our users. Lots of exciting times ahead!--Judi