Campus librarians and CDL staff met on July 13 to plan the CDL-hosted multi-resource search tool, a function being planned for implementation in January 2000.

Attendees were Roy Tennant and Camille Wanat (UCB); Steve Mitchell and Margaret Mooney (UCR); Ann Hubble (UCSC); Marsha Fanshier, Christy Hightower, and Susan Starr (UCSD); and Laine Farley, Sherry Willhite, Lynne Grigsby-Standfill, and Nancy Gusack Crawford (CDL).

The primary purpose of such a tool, as defined in the “Project Plan for Multi-Resource Search Tool, January 2000 Release of the CDL Web Site” [http://www.cdlib.org/libstaff/system_services/projects/], is to move toward “one-stop shopping” for users.  Both inexperienced users and proficient researchers can be overwhelmed or misdirected by the profusion of databases, catalogs, search engines, directories, web pages, and other discovery tools offered via the CDL Directory.  An initial method of discovering relevant material across a variety of formats and locations will not only get beginning users off to a coherent start, but will direct accomplished users to the most relevant material without forcing them to conduct a long series of separate but possibly redundant searches.

The original path towards resource integration began with the Melvyl Union Catalog and Periodicals database.  The later linking of abstracting and indexing databases to serials holdings and then to full-text of articles were the next steps in the evolution of UC’s systemwide library.  CDL now offers access directly to electronic journals and OAC finding aids.  The multi-resource search tool will permit searches across several resources simultaneously.

The following resources have been identified for Phase I.  They are a stable representation of CDL’s core electronic resources, and support the technical underpinnings that will enable the search tool.  Some of the external abstracting and indexing databases and reference tools will be evaluated on a case-by-case basis to determine their technical adaptability to the multi-resource search tool.

  • Melvyl Catalog
  • California Periodicals Database
  • CDL-hosted abstracting and indexing databases
  • External abstracting and indexing databases (including those licensed by individual campuses)
  • CDL Directory
  • OAC
  • Infomine
  • Reference tools (Encyclopedia Britannica, Gale Associations Unlimited, CIS, LION, etc.)

Discussions of UCSD’s Portal Project using DBA (DataBase Advisor) and of UCSC’s and UCB’s versions of this software produced lists of design, weighting/sorting, resource, technical, and campus issues that will define the structure and scope of CDL’s multi-resource search function.  There was agreement that phase one of the new tool should retain the functionality of the latest version of Database Advisor.

Information gathered at this meeting will be shared among all the campuses and with the Tools and Services Working Group. Comments are welcome, and may be directed to Laine Farley or other members of the Digital Library Services group or the project team.