In the Metasearch Infrastructure Project, the CDL is working to create metasearch tools and software that campus libraries can use to craft search portals tailored to specific audiences.  The “Core Collection” portal is targeted towards undergraduate students doing research for papers, as well as researchers doing research in subjects outside of their areas of expertise.  The primary goal of the metasearch service is to assist users in efficient discovery of information across a range of resources.  After a thorough review of leading commercial metasearch products, the CDL purchased the MetaLib application from Ex Libris and has been working with them to further develop the software.

In October 2004, CDL staff conducted usability tests and a focus group session with undergraduate students at UCSC, one of our campus partners on the project. The purpose of the testing was to predict the expected performance of actual users interacting with the current MetaLib interface, as well as detect any serious usability problems prior to the release of this service.  The purpose of the needs assessment portion was to determine whether students would perceive this service as useful.

A report of the testing is available at http://www.cdlib.org/inside/projects/metasearch/core_ucsc_oct2004usability.pdf [PDF]

Metasearch Infrastructure Project

Update (The metasearch infrastructure project is no longer active.  See: http://www.cdlib.org/services/d2d/metasearch/index.html)