19 July 2010 News Releases

University of Michigan Chooses the Summon Service to Improve Discovery of Library Collections

The University of Michigan has chosen the Summon™ web-scale discovery service to make searching its library collections effective, fast and easy.

July 19, 2010 (SEATTLE) – After a comprehensive study of researchers’ needs and priorities at the University of Michigan (U-M), the lauded Big Ten school has chosen the Summon™ web-scale discovery service to make searching its library collections effective, fast and easy.  More than 50,000 students and faculty at all three of its campuses, which encompass more than a dozen libraries, will benefit from the Summon™ service.  U-M is one of many top-ranked institutions selecting the Summon™ service to create a familiar web searching experience for users, enabling access to the breadth of the libraries’ collections – no matter the format—from a single search box.  The Summon™ service is from Serials Solutions, a business unit of ProQuest.

“We surveyed our students and faculty and found there is broad interest in article discovery.  We also learned that a successful discovery tool must deliver on the respondents’ paramount goal of quickly finding the most relevant, useful content,” said Ken Varnum, manager of library web systems.  “Summon web-scale discovery provides far more of our respondents’ top-rated article search features than other products on the market.  Plus, it opens up new possibilities for integrating full-text article content into research guides, subject pages, and other tools.”

U-M formed the Article Discovery Working Group to evaluate a variety of discovery tools, including Google Scholar and the Summon™ service (http://www.lib.umich.edu/article-discovery-investigation).  The team analyzed “personas” – personality profiles of typical users—to understand the article discovery needs of U-M’s users.  The working group bolstered the analysis with expert reviews of the University’s three campus systems and then broadly surveyed its community, asking users to rank the importance they place on particular functions and features.  The team found that researchers were passionate about the value of articles in scholarly databases, but wanted to access them in a more familiar way, such as through a single search box.  Ultimately, the findings led them to the Summon™ service.

The Summon™ service was built from scratch using a technology architecture that’s entirely new for libraries and delivers a search experience that rivals those found on the Open Web.  At its core is a comprehensive single index that enables sub-second searches and results that are “content neutral,” based only on relevancy and never impacted by their provider’s technological prowess.

The Summon™ service has proven popular with students from around the world for its ability to simplify research.  “This is an awesome search engine,” said a student at Florida Atlantic University.  “I have completed three research papers with very little stress because of the easy and functional way that this engine is set up… thank you.” Librarians like the service’s power to transform their institution’s search experience in a proven, six-week set-up.  The Summon™ service provides simplicity and portability (with a new mobile interface) for users and exposes the breadth of the library’s content, allowing more resources to be discovered – a boon for libraries, who want to get more from collection investments, and publishers, who want to drive greater usage.  To learn more visit http://www.serialssolutions.com/summon.

About the University of Michigan

The University of Michigan Library in Ann Arbor is one of the largest university library systems in the United States. Serving the campus from many locations, the Library holds more than 8 million volumes and serves more than 3 million patrons per year. The University Library is a pioneer in digitization efforts, and its recent partnership with Google to digitize its collection will revolutionize how scholars and students work. Furthermore, the University Library is an educational organization in its own right, offering a wide range of courses, resources, support, and instruction for students, faculty, researchers, and the public.  To learn more about the Library’s rich collections, services, and expertise, please visit www.lib.umich.edu .

About Serials Solutions

Founded by a librarian for librarians in 2000, Serials Solutions is the global leader in E-Resource Access and Management Services (ERAMS) that serves more than 2,000 libraries of all sizes and types. Serials Solutions® KnowledgeWorks, the authoritative e-resource knowledgebase, is the foundation for Serials Solutions® 360, the only complete and integrated e-resource access and management solution. Serials Solutions recently introduced the Summon™ unified discovery service, a revolutionary discovery tool that provides instant access to the full breadth of the library’s collection through a single search.


Serials Solutions also is the exclusive source for Ulrichsweb.com™ and Ulrich’s Serials Analysis System™ worldwide, and represents the AquaBrowser Library® unified discovery interface in the academic market in North America. The WebFeat® federated search service recently acquired by ProQuest soon will be incorporated into the Serials Solutions family of access and discovery services.

Serials Solutions provides fast implementation, easy customization, and outstanding value to libraries throughout the world.

Serials Solutions is a business unit of ProQuest LLC.