Impact of Summon at GVSU

Serials Solutions send out a ‘breaking news’ item about the impact of Summon at Grand Valley State University (GVSU).

June 2, 2010 (SEATTLE) — An analysis of resource usage conducted at GVSU shows that the library’s implementation of the Summon™ web scale discovery service has had a significant impact on how students connect to content and the type of content they use.  The Summon™ service was introduced last year, enabling library users to search the breadth of library collections in a single search.

GVSU says Summon is sending students directly to full text and book shelves

Led by GVSU’s Head of Collection Development Doug Way, the library compared year- over-year use of databases, journals, and link-resolvers before and after the Summon™ implementation.  Results show:

  •  Summon™ is enabling students to go directly to full-text, boosting the use of a variety of databases.  For example, Academic Search Premier saw a usage increase of 92% and ABI/INFORM rose 354%.
  • Journal usage is up significantly.  Before Summon™, the use of individual journals in which the library had invested was generally going down.  However, after Summon™’s implementation at the close of August 2009, GVSU’s top 100 journals showed an average increase in usage of 48% and the top 1000 had increased usage of 82%. 
  • Increased usage occurs even for databases from content providers that are not participating in the Summon™ service, a result of the service’s indexing of the same content from alternate sources.
  • Summon™ is having an impact on the type of content students are choosing.  For example, the library has seen a significant increase in the use of newspaper content.

 “Because Summon integrates books into the search results, students are seeing what we have on the shelves that can help their research.  We’re really impressed and happy to see students using our great print resources,” said Way. 

Way presented the library’s findings at a webinar entitled “The Success of Web-Scale Discovery in Returning Net-Gen Users to the Library,”

GVSU is among the scores of libraries around the world which are embracing web scale discovery as their path to bringing students and faculty back to the library as the starting point for research. The first and only available web scale discovery service, Summon™ was built from scratch using an entirely new technology architecture that delivers a search experience rivaling those found on the Open Web.  Rather than federated search, the Summon™ service is powered by a massive single unified index that pre-harvests content from 94,000 journals from 6,800 content providers.  Despite the size of the index, the technology enables sub-second searches and true relevancy ranking across all of this content, delivering unbiased results.  

Summon™ can transform a library’s search experience in a proven, six-week set-up.  The service provides simplicity and portability (with a new mobile interface) for users and exposes the breadth of the library’s content, allowing more resources to be discovered – a boon for libraries, who want to get more from collection investments, and publishers, who want to drive greater usage.

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