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With the introduction of Discipline Scoped Searching, users of the Summon® service will now be able to perform focused research by subject-specific discipline with levels of precision never before possible with database-centric discovery tools. With Summon, librarians can now easily create, customize and embed discipline scoped search boxes and search widgets in any web environment—including research guides, course management pages, collaborative research portals and more—to provide users with the ability to search for highly relevant materials from a discipline focused setting. 

Discipline Scoped Searching allows researchers to harness the full power and breadth of the Summon service—now including more than 800 million items in a single, unified index—with more precision by focusing their searches to a particular discipline or combination of disciplines. The Summon service is the only discovery service to scope searches by discipline at the individual item-level rather than by broad database groupings.  Item-level discipline searching provides deeper levels of granularity and accuracy to scoped searches across a breadth of content and content types that cannot be replicated by other discovery tools.

Eddie Neuwirth, Senior Product Manager for Serials Solutions, explained, “Other discovery tools attempt to provide broad subject scoped searches via the old federated model – by requiring librarians to lump databases into subject groupings. But as many large aggregator databases have become interdisciplinary in nature, this approach can overwhelmingly provide non-relevant, non-discipline specific results. Moreover, this approach can cause important content to be left out of the mix that may fall outside the scope of a traditional database.” 

The Summon service addresses this challenge by scoping searches to disciplines mapped to the individual item level rather than at a broad database container level. “This difference,” explains Neuwirth “ensures that the user’s results are precisely and authoritatively scoped to the desired discipline which has a positive impact on user satisfaction.” Currently, scoped searching is available for 59 disciplines derived from a combination of authoritative discipline classification sources, including Columbia's Hierarchical Interface to Library of Congress Classification (HILCC), the Serials Solutions Knowledgebase and Ulrich’s.

The Summon service takes discipline scoping far beyond journal articles to include content types not included in database-level subject scoping. Discipline specific searches using the Summon service can include books and e-books, conference proceedings, dissertations, government documents, audio and musical recordings, images, video recordings, archival material,  reference material, technical reports, book chapters, book reviews and much more.  This exposes researchers to the comprehensive breadth of the library’s collection while still concentrating search results on a focused area of research.

A new custom search box and search widget building tool is also now available to enable libraries to easily embed scoped search boxes and search widgets within any Web environment. Search widgets even provide users an opportunity to preview results before committing to view the full results set in the Summon interface.  This saves time, makes it convenient to revise searches and matches users’ expectations derived from searching the open Web. The Summon service’s search boxes and widgets can be scoped to a discipline or combination of disciplines, as well as virtually any combination of the facets and limiters available in the Summon service, including full text availability, peer review status, content type, language and more. In addition, depending on library preferences, access to create custom search boxes and widgets can be extended to individual users allowing researchers to build scoped search boxes for personal use or to ease collaborative research efforts in environments outside the library such as personal websites, faculty pages or social media sites.

Discipline Scoped Searching and the new search box and widget builder will be showcased at a Serials Solutions sponsored event at the American Library Association (ALA) Midwinter meeting in Dallas, Texas on Sunday, January 22nd featuring a live demonstration and special guests from Springshare, the creators of LibGuides research guides.  

19 Jan 2012 | Posted by Daniela Parmley

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