Super-size EBSCO ?

ebsco sweetieYesterday 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

Primo 3

SweetsWe recently had a demo of Primo 3 and it was interesting to see how quickly new developments and functionality had been added since the last demo in November

The issue of coverage is still a concern so it was good to hear about the Primo Publisher Program to encourage publishers to allow access to content. The success of these massive indexes is on the content they contain and with products from publishers such as proquest & ebsco I was keen to see what Primo could offer.

One of the most interesting features of Primo was the integration with the library catalogues. In the demo we saw availabilty information of items & the option to place a request from the Primo interface. I especially like the function of limiting your results to only view items which are shown as on the shelf. This however raised an interesting  question of whether a sepearate catalogue interface was really needed.  I can see a real benefit in reducing the number of front end interfaces to maintain although the key is if it can develiver the appropiate functionality. They have this functionality working with Aleph, Voyager and Unicorn to date.

Our next step is to try and talk to Primo customers and find out more about thier experience with the product.