Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Summon beta soft launched at JCU

We soft-launched Summon, branded as One Search, late last week. Still poring over issues and reporting them to Serials Solutions, and learning a lot more about the product than we did, and scratching our heads about other things.

At the user group post-VALA a lot of other institutions reported resistance from liaison librarians, something I haven't had to deal with here, although some are quick to point out failings I don't see that as a bad thing, you can't address issues you're not away of. One reaction that I think could be wrongly interpreted as resistance, is the realisation that Summon is not universal in anything it does and is not meant to be the be all and end all of advanced research (at least not yet). I see it as a big step towards getting new researchers over the hump of where and how to start searching, and not a bad way of getting an overview of what's available in a subject area (the way some academics use Google). For more focused advanced research that requires comprehensiveness there are other tools, but by the time you need them hopefully you more comfortable with search and retrieval and have a relationship with your liaison librarian.

Each question I send to the client center opens my eyes a little more and reminds me of the 'cultural' differences between Ex Libris and Serials Solutions (sort of like McDonalds vs Burger King) I reported on back when reviewing our AARLIN participation. EL were a lot more open, focussed on client contribution and consensus, reporting issues widely, SS keep that sort of communication narrow channel between you and them. Both are responsive and there are pluses to both models and SS are widening those channels with reps responding on mailing lists which is good to see.

Things I've learned:
  • Summon doesn't use Ulrich's to identify peer-reviewed journals (yet), so using that filter will exclude some journals that are peer-reviewed.
  • If Summon doesn't get a response in 4 seconds from your catalogue it will have a link to the catalogue labelled 'Check availability' rather than the branch and loan status.
  • Records disappear and come back again, I imagine because of re-ingestion of existing records
  • Our library news item announcing it only inspired two pieces of feedback, clearly marketing is our next hurdle
I'm getting positive secondhand feedback from the liaison librarians in Cairns, so I live in hope. And SS are currently ingesting our institutional repository records (ResearchOnline@JCU).

Still quiet on the discovery layer front!


Bron said...

McDonalds vs Hungry Jacks!

Alan @JCU Library said...

Parochial antagonist! I've read an item about the differing management/corp culture styles of Maccas and Burger King - I know nothing of Hungry Jacks' approach and thus cannot cite it as an example. So there! Nyah, nyah, nyah!