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eResource management begins with Ovid SearchSolver

By Diana Bittern

For researchers, students and information professionals, in fact for all your end users, electronic resource management begins with the discovery process: 'what's out there for me to search?'

Once the desired resource has been discovered, the end game is to get to the full text, whether this is an article PDF, a copy of the print journal, a book passage, or gene sequence information on an internet site.

The proliferation of the internet and the impact of Google-type searching have created new challenges for librarians or information professionals subscribing to multiple search interfaces.

One of the first challenges they face is leading users through this discovery process in a way that helps them navigate with efficiency the myriad web-based resources - including A&I databases, journal and book content - to find the most relevant information.

One solution to this is federated searching: an optimal workflow method that allows open searching across a variety of information sources, that leads users to a comprehensive survey of results, and that then allows them to drill down into the appropriate search engine for search refinement followed by linking to the full text or other primary information source.

Powerful federated search tool

Ovid now offers the means to deploy this powerful method. Ovid SearchSolver is a new federated search tool. It helps to normalise the search experience by seamlessly integrating disparate silos of information and presenting the search results in an easy, web-based format.

SearchSolver provides advanced functionality to search an unlimited number of sources simultaneously, across all types of sources, from multiple vendors, including e-journals, bibliographic databases, internet portals, and OPACS.

The search results are the information source names (i.e. bibliographic database brands). Many of these are often unfamiliar to the new generation of 'Google' search professionals who desire fast, transparent results to a search.

Since the results are presented in a consistent format, the user can quickly display, rank, or export them in a single-step; then refine and limit the search results for further exploration. Users will find it easy to explore a topic further using a familiar database's native interface.

Once the right information is identified, often in the form of a bibliographic citation, the next challenge involves accessing the full text of the source document, whether it is in print, from the library OPAC, or a PDF downloaded from an e-journal, or a book chapter.

Fast, reliable linking tools are essential at this stage of the resource discovery process. Ovid LinkSolver allows the user to link out to external sources to access full text or to link to other OpenURL resolvers to find the right information.

For information managers, Ovid SearchSolver allows them to create a fully customised search tool, which can include branding and interface design options such as logos, as well as style sheets, non-standard fonts and European characters, in order to meet specialised institutional requirements or end-user search preferences. In addition, the librarian can select any or all of their database information sources. SearchSolver comes with a ready-made library of more than 2,000 database connectors to choose from, and adding local or other information sources is an easy process - meaning dramatically reduced implementation times.

Unlike other federated search solutions available, SearchSolver is designed for online environments. It is hosted online by Ovid, assuring reliable connectivity and uptime as well as fast deployment, and eliminating what can be a costly investment in IT resources for the institution.

Successful resource discovery depends on being able to identify the tools, perform precision searches, and then access the appropriate copy of the source document. While the end game is clear, the first step is to gain complete understanding of the needs of institutional patrons - the users - and then to find the right resource management workflow tools to meet them.

The benefits of federated searching with Ovid SearchSolver are clear. It offers a convenient, web-based interface; quick and easy access to all information sources in one location; precision searching with advanced functionality; and robust, reliable linking to the full text.

It is an ideal solution for today's end-user resource discovery needs - whether those of a novice or of an expert searcher.

Diana Bittern is director of technology product management, Ovid Technologies.

contact details

Email: Europe@ovid.com
Tel: +44 (0) 20 7981 0600
Web: www.ovid.com