By Eddie Neuwirth, Product Manager Lead - Discovery
As much as we’d like it if researchers always started their research via the library’s website, we know that’s just not the case. Increasingly, researchers are beginning out on the open Web and then will sometimes find their way (or, unfortunately not) to library resources. A new browser plug-in from Google Scholar makes accessing library collections from any web page a whole lot easier – especially if the library has Google Scholar configured to interact with a link resolver. And, that’s where 360 Link comes in.
Together, the Google Scholar button and 360 Link make it possible to access hundreds of millions of articles in the library’s collection from any webpage. After installing the “Scholar Button” browser plug (available for Firefox, Chrome and Safari) and enabling the “Library Links” feature in Google Scholar settings, here’s what a user will experience:
1. From any webpage a user can just highlight an article title, author, citation, etc. and then simply hit the Scholar Button in the browser.
2. The highlighted article or item is searched in Google Scholar and the Scholar Button plug-in displays available links to the item – including the library’s 360 Link link!
3. If the library has the new 360 Link Sidebar Helper frame (or one-click features) enabled, the user is taken directly to the article as made available from the library’s collection (see image above).
The combination of the Google Scholar Button and 360 Link offers tremendous value for libraries. Prior to the release of the Scholar Button feature, Google Scholar already was the number two referring source to 360 Link (after the Summon discovery service) and accounts for tens of millions of searches yearly. The new Scholar Button now extends the reach of Google Scholar to any web page. Imagine users simply highlighting an article referenced in Wikipedia or, for that matter, in any bibliography of any online article, and being able to get the full text of that article with a few clicks through the library’s various access points. That’s exactly what the new Scholar Button offers for libraries – high visibility for, and easy access to, the library’s collections.
By promoting the Google Scholar button in combination with the latest 360 Link features, libraries can now feel confident that when users begin their research on the open Web this behavior may actually lead to increased and more valued interactions with the library and library resources rather than fear that users will be further disintermediated from the library.
As mentioned in a previous blog post “It’s Time to Re-think Linking,” the library’s link resolver increasingly serves as the front door to library resources as users frequently rely on Google Scholar, Pub Med, Scopus and other search engines. So the link resolver’s reliability and navigational features are often the first impression a user gets of the library. If either the library’s link resolver user experience or reliability are not up to par, features like the Scholar Button could actually be bad news for the library. A few bad experiences with failed links or a confusing user experience and users will stay away from the library in the future.
The latest enhancements to 360 Link with Index-Enhanced Direct Linking and the new Sidebar Helper frame have been specifically designed to improve both linking reliability and user experience. With the Sidebar Helper frame users are not only directly linked to the desired article but they are also able to see all of the library’s alternative access options at the same time. Most importantly, the Sidebar Helper frame provides persistent branding opportunities for the library to ensure the library gets credit for provisioning the content being discovered. Without this users don’t always realize that it is the library that’s actually paying for them to access full text of articles found via Google. The Sidebar Helper frame (or full 360 Link menu) provides further options for the library and librarians to promote additional services and, via integrated chat and report a problem features, can even promote interaction with librarian’s in real time when and where users need help the most.
Download “The new Google Scholar Button and 360 Link – A Winning Combination” to see more images and details on how the Scholar Button works with 360 Link. It’s great information to share with colleagues or students.
Or, read more about the latest 360 Link enhancements with Sidebar Helper frame and Index-Enhanced Direct Linking.