Discover an Easier Way to Research

By Lena Chapin

Discovery is the name, and searching is the game. Ohio University Libraries is updating, not Alden itself, but online. Now there will be no more fumbling through search sites or bumbling through links trying to find EBSCOhost. The Libraries’ new search engine, EBSCO Discovery, is sleeker and easier to manage. This single search box on the Libraries new home page will search and link to all of your favorite resources like those found through ALICE and EBSCOhost together in the ultimate treasure trove of information.

The Libraries chose to implement the EBSCO Discovery tool after testing three different products, Discovery, SUMMON and WorldCat Local. The Libraries’ task force for picking the product surveyed students and librarians in order to find out which system would be best suited for the University. In the surveys with students, EBSCO came out ahead as being more user friendly than other tools tested. 

“EBSCO seemed to offer the best transition to the discovery layer for our users.  Since our users are already very familiar with EBSCO databases, it means that using the EBSCO product should be second nature,” said Chad Boeninger, head of reference and business librarian. “While other products may have had more bells and whistles that I (as a librarian) appreciated, in the end it came down to the features that our users would appreciate the most.”

“The primary goal of the new tool is to allow for relatively inexperienced researchers to easily, in a ‘Google-like’ way, retrieve high-quality information from a variety of sources for their research projects and assignments,” said Kelly Broughton, assistant dean for research and education.

The Discovery tool doesn’t have the advanced searching features that an experienced researcher is going to want. For that, more comprehensive searches within the disciplinary databases will be required. But for getting started with the basics, Discovery pulls resources from many databases to give the researcher an idea of what is out there.

Students and researchers who have used EBSCO before will have no problem adjusting to the new interface. The new product was developed from the experiences and feedback that the EBSCO Company had received through years of supporting the EBSCOhost databases. The tool gathers indexing to nearly 50,000 magazines and journals, six million books, 20,000 conference proceedings, 825,000 CDs and DVDs and additional information, but it is designed with a simpler layout and is easier to navigate. The tool also searches resources within the Libraries’ own digitized collections.

Students seem to welcome the new search tool. Sagar Atre, a first year masters student in journalism said, “It’ll save a lot of time when you need a quick reference about something, which the long process of searching for info on databases does not allow. Saving time and quick results will be valuable by itself, I think.”

The new search tool can be previewed and utilized here. Also be sure to stop by the Libraries’ Facebook and Twitter pages to help name the new search tool.  It will become the main search tool this summer with the launch of the Libraries new and redesigned website. More info to come!