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Serials Solutions Delivers New Contextual Research Assistance in the Summon Discovery Service

-- Summon® Suggestions brings together librarian expertise, community collaboration and global usage data to enhance the discovery experience

SEATTLE, Nov. 1, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Serials Solutions®, a ProQuest® business has launched Summon® Suggestions, a suite of features designed to enrich the Summon discovery service with automated and contextual research assistance that will lead users to better research outcomes. These features bring together a unique blend of librarian knowledge, community collaboration and global usage data to optimize the user experience and provide unprecedented research guidance at the point of need.

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With Summon Suggestions, librarians can directly influence and improve the overall user experience through localized recommendations, automated search guidance and live reference help integrated seamlessly in the Summon discovery environment. Automated topical refinement suggestions embedded in the search results provide users with options to intelligently expand queries to improve results.

"Our true Software as a Service model enables us to offer libraries unprecedented levels of local customization and librarian engagement via easy-to-use administrative tools that don't require complex local programming skills," said John Law, vice president discovery services, Serials Solutions. "By leveraging Summon usage data from our global user community to improve discovery we are just now beginning to scratch the surface of possibilities for globally-informed data-driven features – previously the sole domain of open Web search engines – which will continue to deliver game-changing improvements for library discovery."

Designed to deliver research help to users at the point of need, Summon Suggestions includes:

  • The new version of Database Recommender provides libraries local control over database recommendations to ensure users are directed to resources pertinent to their research and in the context of their queries. Libraries can locally curate recommendations as well as take advantage of global "community-sourced" recommendations to guide users to valuable, targeted research resources.
  • "Best Bets" are locally controlled, library-generated recommendations that expose users to resources such as research guides, specialized collections, library web pages, course reserves, search tips, help tools and more. "Best Bets" highlight important information and resources based on the context of a user's query.
  • Related Search Suggestions provide users related concepts and expanded queries that can lead to better search results. Leveraging real-time, global Summon usage data, related searches offer users scholarly and multi-lingual suggestions for query refinement. Topical suggestions for new queries, similar to what users experience in open Web search engines, are available at the time of query entry (Autocomplete) as well as embedded within search results.
  • Embedded Chat and Reference Widgets allow users to receive real-time help from reference staff without leaving the Summon user interface. Libraries can seamlessly integrate and customize chat and reference widgets in the Summon environment with easy to use administration tools.
  • Custom Text Editor allows libraries to locally modify text in the Summon user interface to ensure their users see textual information preferred by the library. For example, libraries can locally control and edit labels and text – including error and informational messages, facets labels and limiters – in any of the 34 interface languages and dialects available in the Summon service.

The Summon Service
Used by more than 500 libraries in more than 40 countries, the Summon service is the first and only discovery service based on a unified index of content, leveraging its unique "match and merge" technology to combine rich metadata and full text from multiple sources to ultimately make items more discoverable. In just three years, the Summon unified index has grown from 200 million items to more than one billion items – with the vast majority of article and book content full-text searchable. Proven to increase usage of library resources, the Summon service consistently meets user expectations by delivering innovative new features for enhancing discovery.

About Serials Solutions 
Serials Solutions provides industry-leading technology solutions for libraries worldwide. The company helps libraries work better by providing innovative, practical Software as a Service (SaaS) solutions for discovery and management. Driven by a comprehensive knowledgebase and coupled with unparalleled client support services, these solutions uniquely merge unsurpassed understanding of libraries. Serials Solutions is a dedicated partner of libraries working to remain vital and relevant to their users and communities.

Serials Solutions, a ProQuest business, is headquartered in Seattle, Washington.

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