May 26, 2022

New Conference Paper: “Information Searching Using Discovery Tools and OPACs. Strengths and Weaknesses”

The following paper will be presented this August at the 2015 IFLA Annual Meeting/World Library Information Congress in Cape Town, South Africa.

It was made available online in the past day.


Information Searching Using Discovery Tools and OPACs. Strengths and Weaknesses

Blanca Rodríguez Bravo
University of León, Spain

IFLA Web Site


There is general agreement that discovery tools represent progress towards attaining the ultimate goal of libraries, which is none other than to help users discover content in a range of formats that can be accessed from a library. Evidently, this should be achieved without detriment to the appropriateness of the results retrieved. In order to learn more about the strengths and weaknesses of both tools, we selected three universities which met the following requirements: 1) they taught Library and Information Studies, since our expertise in this scientific field would enable us to determine the relevance of the results retrieved, and 2) they had implemented different tools. We conducted several subject and author searches in both tools, with the overall objective of exploring the efficiency of the search process and the relevance of the results retrieved when using each tool. The specific objectives were: to determine the comprehensiveness of the relevant results retrieved in a parallel search of OPACs and discovery tools; to identify the filter functions for selection and how they were organised in discovery tools and OPACs; to determine the ease with which the results could be refined and/or the search could be widened by making use of facets, indexes, or advanced search features; and to assess the usefulness of recommendations of related documents and user opinions/reviews in the form of tags, comments and ratings.

Direct to Full Text Paper (13 pages; PDF)

About Gary Price

Gary Price ( 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, and is currently a contributing editor at Search Engine Land.