Monthly Archives: June 2011

I’m jetlagged (this is the first time I’ve had jetlag that feels like being drunk) and still coming down from an-ALA induced high, but here goes a blog post!

I’m currently fortunate enough to be a member of the Serials Solutions Summon Advisory Board, and last week saw the fourth pre-ALA meeting, this time in the one and only New Orleans, the home of hurricane cocktails, shrimp po’boys, high heat & humidity and more seafood than you can shake a stick at…

(seafood platter at the Grand Isle Restaurant)

Summon Advisory Board notes

  • there are now more than 250 Summon customers around the world
  • the company is currently concentrating on comprehensiveness (in terms of coverage and seamless access to articles)
  • gone are the days when Serials Solutions had to approach publishers and argue the case for them to make their content in Summon — most publishers now realise the value and are approaching the company directly to have their content added
  • John Law’s manta is currently “relevancy, relevancy, relevancy!” — with 800,000,000 items in Summon, relevancy is key to ensuring the user gets the right articles on the first page of results
  • it wasn’t until I saw some demo searches that the awesomeness of the deal with HathiTrust Collection integration began to sink in — librarians of the world, this truly is a game changer! (on a practial note, it’s going to take Serials Solutions a little while to complete the indexing of the entire HathiTrust Collection)
  • a pilot with JSTOR means that a Summon search box is integrated into the JSTOR web site interface — it appears when a JSTOR search produces only a small number (or zero) results, so that the user’s search can be expanded to other journal platforms
  • due to being en route from the UK to New Orleans, I’d missed this annoucement, but the long-awaited deal with Elsevier has been signed
  • for journal articles, Serials Solutions create “super records” that combine the best metadata from multiple sources — this is de-duping on steroids!
  • coming soon — discipline searching (currently 63 subject disciplines have been defined, which work at the journal title and journal article level)
  • coming soon — new article linking improvements (when relevant, Summon results will link directly to the article abstract page on the supplier’s platform, instead of using OpenURLs)
  • Daniel Forsman (Chalmers University of Technology, Gothenburg, Sweden) suggested that we should promote Summon to our users as being more comprehensive that Google Scholar
  • although librarians often get hung-up on what’s not in Summon, some analysis by a Summon customer indicated that the non-indexed content is often low quality “filler material” added by aggregator platforms to bump up journal totals

(a bourbon nightcap after the Advisory Board Meeting)


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