A new way to search: Global search discovery tool

Published on
May 22, 2012

With an abundance of information, the challenge is to find the correct information. For most people, an average Google search is enough to quickly find answers on the internet to everyday practical questions. However, the bar is a bit higher to find qualified peer-reviewed content on research and education. At Wageningen UR, the Library’s valuable collections can be easily searched using our bibliographies and publisher portals. Until recently, however, there was no good instrument to search through books, articles, bibliographies and "our own collections", such as Wageningen Yield and our catalogue, using one simple and user-friendly interface. But, we now have a solution: Global Search.

Global Search is a so-called Discovery Tool. The Library and tool’s supplier (ExLibris) decide which information sources are entered into this search engine, including databases that we deliver. This allows us to optimise the search engine for Wageningen themes. An important element in designing discovery tools is that the system’s supplier makes agreements with publishers and distributors of scientific information. Through these agreements, content that isn't easy to find using generic search engines is made easily accessible with a discovery tool. For this reason, Global Search is an easy tool for a quick, first search with sound results. For complex search questions, users can also consult individual databases and portals. Because the system uses a large number of different sources -- each with its own way of structuring metadata -- the search interface offers limited possibilities to filter results.

All library functions have also been integrated into the discovery tool, such as requesting articles, off-site access, direct links to PDFs, and saving citations and recommendations. The current version of Global Search has been introduced as a scientific version. In the coming months, we’ll be working on improving and integrating it into the new Wageningen UR Digital Library. Furthermore, expectations are that the content suppliers that are not yet part of Global Search will join in the near future.

We appreciate any feedback you have on this system!

Contact: Marc Loman

(newsletter 3-2012)