January 27, 2021

Rollout Underway: ebrary Material Now Discoverable and Accessible Using ProQuest Platform

From a ProQuest News Release:

ProQuest’s all-new platform is rolling out in libraries around the world, bringing a flexible technological architecture that allows users to dive deeper into multiple content sources in multiple formats– wherever that information may reside.  With the new connecting technology, one search leads users to ebrary’s e-book content that’s side-by-side with relevant reports, videos, journal and newspaper articles, and more.  One click moves them quickly to the full-text whether it’s housed in the ebrary or ProQuest platform.

This first release supports discovery of titles in ebrary’s Academic Complete e-book database that contains more than 70,000 e-books.

Later this year, the integration will be expanded to enable a simultaneous search of ebrary’s rapidly growing selection of more than a quarter million e-books along with ProQuest’s eight centuries of highly-respected scholarly and popular content.  ProQuest holds extraordinarily diverse content, from dissertations and academic journals to trade publications, reports and magazines, as well as news content in multiple media.  Users can connect to full-text of any of the sources through the results screen, moving directly to relevant passages in e-books through ebrary’s ability to navigate directly to search terms and through relevancy ranking by document and chapter. Further, users will have access to both platforms’ cutting-edge research tools, such as ebrary’s InfoTools, which provides contextual linking across multiple online resources, and shareable bookshelves, which automatically store links to highlights and notes, and automatic citations with URL hyperlinks back to the source.  Users also benefit from new tools from ProQuest that enable users to share findings and create new content.

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“Users care about quick, accurate connections to information and the ability to work with that information when they find it.  They don’t care where it lives,” said Tim Babbitt, ProQuest senior vice-president of platform management.

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A pre-release of the linking technology will be available shortly for libraries with Academic Complete and one or more of ProQuest Central, ProQuest Research Library, and ProQuest 5000 on the new ProQuest platform.  Customers should watch for more information over the coming weeks. Discovery of ebrary content with full text searching will be available broadly in the fall.ads

If the announcement sounds like ProQuest beginning to providing a federated search, same here.

We’ve loved the concept of federated search, in theory, for a long time. However, we’ve been mostly disappointed with what we’ve seen and used in terms. Perhaps this time around it will be more effective. We look forward to watching and using ProQuest’s product and see if it will take the idea to a new level. The same goes for what others are most likely going to offer.

One thing that must be done and is taking full advantage of the quality material that’s available on the open web. This is easier said than done but for years we’ve pointed out that more time and effort needs to be put into collecting/curating the high quality material. At the same time linking proprietary resources with open web content would provide a lot of value for users. For example, if an article mentions a specific speech by the a U.S. President, making sure a link to the text of the speech and a video of the speech from WhiteHouse.gov is provided.

We will have more to say about what might be another attempt to make federated search work in a post early next week.

About Gary Price

Gary Price (gprice@mediasourceinc.com) is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. Before launching INFOdocket, Price and Shirl Kennedy were the founders and senior editors at ResourceShelf and DocuTicker for 10 years. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at Ask.com, and is currently a contributing editor at Search Engine Land.

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