DMU Library has begun to explore the potential implementation of a “Discovery System”. A Discovery System is software which “ideally” joins together different silos of library content & information (library catalogue, eJournals A-Z List/link resolver software, institutional repository etc) & allow library users to search across this content from one search box (a la Google).
The library will be exploring what it would want in a Discovery System, & the key issues/factors involved in the choice of Discovery System & provider. There are a number of systems available & established on the market. With this in mind, I think some of the key themes would be (in no order of relevance or priority):
- “Findability” of library online resources – linking to third-party resources, potential for publisher bias or exclusivity towards content?
- Accessibility to resources – seamless links/authentication to library systems (via DMU Single Sign On).
- Metadata quality & retrieval (system knowledgebase) – MARC/catalogue records, correct & up-to-date journal titles lists.
- Provider support – level of customer service offered during implementation & aftercare.
- Compatibility/interoperability with other library systems (DMU Library catalogue, Find it @DMU service, DORA, ExamNet etc).
- Value for money (VfM)/Return on investment (ROI) – ongoing system cost.
- Flexibility of system – can the library make changes as the system develops?
- User personalisation of system – potential links to Blackboard, myDMU, social media.
- Promotion of system to library staff/library users & stakeholders
To be continued…