Wednesday, November 03, 2010

Summon Discovery Layer

All librarians know why patrons prefer the quick Google or Wikipedia search even though they know the library has better quality resources with ebooks and databases.  Students usually want immediate results so they turn to the easier tools. The downside to this is that the results they retrieve are often not as credible and reliable or as scholarly as the content the library has to offer.  Many universities are now using a type of federated search called "Web-scale Discovery" by Summon that promises to be as easy to search as Google.

The Summon service offers a single search which access the breadth of the library collection. This ProQuest product advertises  features which sound promising.

While touted as the holy grail of searching, a rather limited study by Lyle Ford shows that Summon is not superior to a Google Scholar Search and more investigation is needed.

However, after viewing their promotional video I was intrigued enough to consider seeing a live demo of the product. 

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