Preprint: Paths of Discovery: Comparing the Search Effectiveness of EBSCO Discovery Service, Summon, Google Scholar, and Conventional Library Resources
Andrew D. Asher
Council on Library and Information Resources (CLIR) Postdoctoral Fellow for Scholarly Communications
The Bertrand Library, Bucknell University
Lynda M. Duke
Academic Outreach Librarian, Associate Professor, The Ames Library, Illinois Wesleyan University
Library Technology and Resources Director, The Ames Library, Illinois Wesleyan University
College and Research Libraries
This article is scheduled for publication in July 2013.
In 2011, researchers at Bucknell University and Illinois Wesleyan University compared the search efficacy of Serial Solutions Summon, EBSCO Discovery Service, Google Scholar and conventional library databases. Using a mixed-methods approach, qualitative and quantitative data was gathered on students’ usage of these tools. Regardless of the search system, students exhibited a marked inability to effectively evaluate sources and a heavy reliance on default search settings. On the quantitative benchmarks measured by this study, the EBSCO Discovery Service tool outperformed the other search systems in almost every category. This article describes these results and makes recommendations for libraries considering these tools.
About Gary Price
Gary Price (firstname.lastname@example.org) is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. He earned his MLIS degree from Wayne State University in Detroit. Price has won several awards including the SLA Innovations in Technology Award and Alumnus of the Year from the Wayne St. University Library and Information Science Program. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at Ask.com.