Ivies+ Discovery Day 2016

I attended the Ivies+ Discovery Day at MIT on Monday.

Chris Bourg gave the opening talk. The importance of serendipity in discovery was her main focus. How do we build serendipity into our discovery environments?

I think it is important to consider how machine learning and artificial intelligence can be used in a library context. Can we leverage the API libraries of large systems like Alexa or Siri or open source versions of these to offer “intelligent” interfaces to research?

Laura Morse gave an update on the NISO Open Discovery initiative. She encouraged us to review the completed Conformance Statements and the library talking points sections.

Some takeaways from the show and tell of discovery environments:

  • Google Sheets is a common tool used to generate Best Bets of resources
  • Bento box design is pervasive though Harvard went with a unified intermingled list; is Bento still the best choice as columns/containers continue to grow?
  • Use of Blacklight is pervasive.
  • Showing all results with a blank search- facets or other limits to focus the results afterwards
  • Call number browse to show related items
  • Displaying images in a grid
  • Smart fulfillment using Umlaut
  • Penn showed many options up front in their search box
  • Separation of articles and books

There wasn’t any discussions around how indexing decisions were made in Solr – maybe that could be an activity for next year?

Yale presented on their path to building unified discovery

  • They started with Columbia’s code
  • Moved to 360 Link
  • Project went from 2013 to 2016; ended up with 4 developers focused on the project
  • Integration of Spotlight and Avalon are upcoming
  • Move to use evidence based design
  • Create a MARC driven database list using Blacklight

Nancy Pressman-Levy gave some tidbits of things she heard from various meetings she had attended

  • Yewno had a big presence at ALA – MIT and Stanford are testing
  • The new Refworks will work more like Zotero
  • In late fall Proquest Summon will have a citation trail feature, Database Recommender will have more staff editing abilities, improved topic explorer, searching by database name, personalization

A followup related to Google Analytics – 360 Link can be integrated into analytics but requires some vendor setup.

Links to review in more detail