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So many of you know that I love a vendor floor so I thought I’d post four notable vendor events/news/product things from ACRL. By no means all of the vendors I spoke to or heard from, but these were the ones that stick out in my mind:
Serials Solutions’ discovery tool is called ‘Summon.’ The idea of these discovery tools is that they pre-index information from all of your databases, your catalog, IR, and other sources (they recently added Hathi Trust records) and you use one search box to search all of your content. Villanova (home of vuFind) has even integrated it with VuFind as the front end. I first saw Summon two years ago when they announced it and it has improved significantly since then. They take all the metadata that exists for an item and create one uber-record. So if one database has institution, one has added authors, one has keywords, one has full text, one has citation mapping, then all of that goes into one master record for the item. Very powerful and they are becoming the standard for most large research universities. The main competition for Summon is Ebsco’s Discovery Service (as you might imagine). Susan and I spoke with our rep at the Serials Solutions booth and they are going to come give us a demo in the weeks ahead. Stay tuned!!
Sage Research Methods Online
Sage has a new product called ‘Sage Research Methods Online‘ where they have brought together books, encyclopedias and journal articles on research methods into a pretty snappy little online product. Mary Beth and I sat through a demo of it in their booth on Thursday and then they had a panel at breakfast on Friday where various faculty and librarians discussed issues with research methods and how they incorporated SRMO into their classes. I have a hard time telling if it would be a useful tool for us, but luckily we will get to find out because I won a 1-year subscription to it at the breakfast. When it is up and running (this summer) we will get Sage to come demo it and have some training/info sessions for faculty who might use it. I will keep you posted.
Sage Product Innovation Panel
On Friday I sat in on what turned out to be a lightening round of sorts from Sage where editors presented ideas for new products and the library panel gave feedback. In 90 minutes we were presented with 12 new ideas ranging from an iPhone app for engineers (not so relevant here) to a new statistical database on the US states (VERY relevant). It was such fun to hear how they are thinking and to see how similar and different our needs are from other institutions.
Gallup World View
So Gallup, the public opinion folks, have a new database called Gallup WorldView. They have spent the last five years going into every country on the planet and asking at least 1000 people each year a series of public opinion questions. And they have turned this into a very promising database. International public opinion is hard to come by (especially in English) so this product really excited me. I see two problems with it, neither one deal breakers, but they make we want to see if they improve them. First, they don’t ask every single country the same set of questions so some question data is not available for some countries. Second, you can’t pick a country and get the entire list of questions from that country. But I think they will remedy that soon. Included in the database is a good deal of US public opinion data as well. Worth watching.