The Pegasus Librarian published yesterday a blog article: Heads they win, tales we lose: Discovery tools will never deliver on their promise. That’s a pretty strong statement about discovery services but I don’t think the title exaggerates. If you are on the fence about the industry do take a few minutes to read the article.
I’ve raised the concern more than once about how users of discovery services are at the whim of the service owners who are providing them with access to content. Check out all articles tagged with “discovery service” in this blog or these articles in particular:
- What a mess!. My radar (Google Alerts) pointed me this morning to this article by Barbara Quint at Information Today. My first response to “EBSCO Exclusives Trigger Turmoil” was “What a mess!” Quint shares the saga of EBSCO and Gale lobbing volleys at each other during the ALA Midwinter meeting. EBSCO announces new acquisitions that were ‘exclusive to EBSCO for the library “marketspace.”‘ Major competitor Gale issued a letter to the library community urging “librarians to get involved in opposing publishers granting exclusives, at least to EBSCO.” Read Quint’s article for all the gory details. …
- Carl Grant on bypassing the library. There are two issues here. What value do librarians bring to their patrons and do discovery services erode that value? Carl’s latest piece on these subjects looks at the question of “how libraries might get bypassed in the context of e-book supply strategies.” He gives three criteria he believes libraries need to carefully consider when selecting a discovery tool (or e-content): “content-neutrality”, “deep-search and/or metasearch support,” and “The ability to load and search databases unique to your user’s information needs.” …
- Beyond federated search? The danger with relying on any one service to provide you with access to its indexed content is that the service’s criteria for source selection may not be yours. That’s why I recommend hybrid solutions to get the most out of indexed content and the freedom of including federated sources of your choosing as well.
And then we read about the mess with EBSCO pulling out of Ex Libris’ Primo Central:
As you may know, for the past eighteen months, we have been indexing in Primo Central a number of the EBSCO databases. EBSCO has now changed their strategy and will no longer permit third-party discovery services to load and index their content. Therefore, starting 1st January 2011 we will cease hosting of the EBSCO content in the Primo Central Index. EBSCO will, however, permit our use of a specialized API to search the EBSCO content ‘just-in-time’.
Read a fresh if unsettling perspective on discovery services at the Pegasus blog.
Tags: federated search