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Industry-first features and new interface raises the bar for web-scale discovery

Serials Solutions®, a ProQuest® business, introduces Summon® 2.0 creating another historical milestone for library discovery services. Optimized for academic research, Summon 2.0 represents groundbreaking features and a new, modern interface for the Summon discovery service that will resonate with users familiar with open web search engines. Streamlined navigation and contextual guidance features significantly advance the research experience for both novice and experienced researchers – and provides greater opportunities for librarians to deliver value through new ways of engaging with users.

A first for library discovery services, the new features Summon Topic Explorer™ and Summon Scholar Profiles™ information panes provide users with valuable contextual information to improve research outcomes. In addition, automated query expansion ensures that users don’t miss relevant content even when they may not know all the right keywords or appropriate controlled vocabularies to use in a search. Summon 2.0 delivers large-scale, data-driven contextual guidance to users at the point of need.

  • Summon Topic Explorer panes dynamically display background information for more than 50,000 topics including recommended research guides, and librarian profiles to encourage users to interact and benefit from the expertise of relevant subject librarians. Developed by analyzing global Summon usage data and leveraging commercial and open access reference content, as well as librarian expertise, this new feature helps users get started (presearch) with the research process and allows librarians to help users when and where they need it most.
  • Summon Scholar Profiles provide instant and authoritative information for more than three million scholars with profiles from ProQuest Scholar Universe which boost relevance, improve search precision and encourage exploratory searching of related key authors and researchers within and across disciplines. Scholar profiles in the context of the discovery environment foster collaborative research and offer librarians opportunities to participate in building, expanding and promoting their institutions’ scholars, faculty and researchers.
  • Automated Query Expansion™ improves search precision by including additional keywords and spelling variations for common topical queries. For example if a user searches the term “heart attack” their query would expand to include the term “myocardial infarction.” This ensures the most relevant results are returned. Users are able to suspend expanded terms when exact searching is desired.

"With the introduction of the Summon service just four years ago, we launched our mission to help return researchers to the library. We continue to innovate at a rate that keeps pace with changing technologies and users' expectations," said John Law, vice president, discovery services, Serials Solutions. "Through ongoing usability studies, analyzing usage data from hundreds of millions of Summon searches, and by listening to our customers — top research libraries across the world — we've learned a lot about how users do research. Summon 2.0 leverages this knowledge to meet users' needs while elevating the value of librarians and the library in the research process."

Summon 2.0 was developed in collaboration with advisors from libraries at the following institutions:

  • Arizona State University
  • Chalmers University of Technology
  • Duke University
  • Grand Valley State University
  • James Cook University
  • University of Huddersfield

Recognized for being proactive and forward thinking about improving the user experience, these libraries facilitated librarian and student feedback on prototype designs.

Employing responsive design techniques, with Summon 2.0 the interface is optimized for use with any device, creating a seamless experience on desktops, tablets and mobile devices — without loss of functionality. Simple but powerful administration tools enable libraries to easily customize features of the service for their local needs. Delivered as "Software-as-a-Service" (SaaS), Summon 2.0 features can be activated by customers beginning in June 2013 with no need to re-implement the service or additional cost.

Used by more than 500 libraries in more than 40 countries, the Summon service is the first and only discovery service based on a unified index of content, leveraging its unique "match and merge" technology to combine rich metadata and full text from multiple sources to ultimately make items more discoverable. The Summon unified index has grown from 200 million items at launch to more than one billion items — with the vast majority of article and book content full-text searchable. Proven to increase usage of library resources, the Summon service consistently meets user expectations by delivering innovative new features for enhancing discovery.

About Serials Solutions (

Serials Solutions provides industry-leading technology solutions for libraries worldwide. The company helps libraries work better by providing innovative, practical Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) solutions for discovery and management. Driven by a comprehensive knowledgebase and coupled with unparalleled client support services, these solutions uniquely merge unsurpassed understanding of libraries. Serials Solutions is a dedicated partner of libraries working to remain vital and relevant to their users and communities.

Serials Solutions, a ProQuest business, is headquartered in Seattle, Washington.

18 March 2013

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