Yesterday we had a return visit from EBSCO showing their Resource Discovery solution – along with colleagues from Wolverhampton. It was good to see a live demo and they told us that most of the major publishers were on board – with current exceptions being JSTOR and Proquest Dissertations ; Lexis US Academic (but not yet Lexis UK).
I felt the key question was unanswered though : when we saw the pre-indexed search return interface, one of the limiters was ‘items electronically or physically in the library already‘ : and we wanted to know: how did their Resource Discovery tool know about our subscribed e-collections? Was it from our catalogue (where it took regular updates from) or our link resolver knowledgbase ? EBSCO may well answer this later but I was disappointed they couldn’t confirm where the data was being sourced from. It made think that for all of these products – sorry for the image – ‘opera isn’t over till the fat lady sings': ie until the user gets to our ‘stuff’.
The quality of the link resolver becomes key – after all Serials Solutions seem to be building their Summon case on 360 Link, not 360 Search – and the nature of the metadata agreements that allow all this nice sharing of thin and not so thin data between publishers to go on. For the time being EBSCO seem to have got deals with nearly everyone – I just hope they don’t carry their reputation for signing exclusive deals into the resource discovery marketplace.
Also I think their interface looks like it needs to go on a diet…maybe EDS version 2.0 (due out in June 2010) will be a bit more easy on the eye.
image credit :jblyberg