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March 2011

One major trend in the library automation industry that I have been following in recent years is the evolution of discovery systems toward a model that provides access to a more comprehensive representation of library collections. A variety of products and projects have emerged with the ambitious goal of addressing the content represented in a library’s subscriptions to electronic resources in addition to the books and other materials managed in the integrated library system.

One of the strategies behind these products is the creation of massive consolidated indexes created out of citation metadata or the full text of articles harvested from the publishers and providers of content to libraries. This model of discovery creates an index spanning all types of library content that can provide fast retrieval of search results. With articles represented in the index, users can more easily discover items of interest to their research, and click through from the search results to the electronic article on the provider’s server. By making metadata or full text available to the discovery service, a publisher of electronic content gains better exposure of their content, while retaining control over the display or delivery of that content.

--Marshall Breeding

Also in this Issue:

  • Net neutrality: Libraries Rally to Preserve the
    Open Internet
  • News on the ILS Front
  • New Issue of Library Technology Reports
    Offers Detailed Exploration of Web Scale
    Discovery Systems

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