EBSCO Information Services and Infotrieve this month launched a new partnership that will pair the metadata and search functionality of the EBSCO Discovery Service (EDS) with the e-content access and management features of Infotrieve’s Mobile Library, enabling “mutual customers to combine their search, content access, rights management, and document delivery into one platform,” according to a joint announcement. Essentially, the deal will let researchers purchase immediate access to content that shows up in search results, but to which they don’t already have full text rights.
EBSCO has rolled out Research Starters, a new feature for EBSCO Discovery Service (EDS) that presents student researchers with short, citable summaries on frequently searched topics. Drawn from sources such as Salem Press, Encyclopedia Britannica, and American National Biography, more than 62,000 of these 500- to 1,500-word summaries are accessible, offering students an authoritative overview of their chosen subject, as well as links to other research starter summaries, or peer reviewed research where they can delve deeper into a topic.
There is great hope that these rapidly maturing discovery products will not only promote information literacy strategies but also deliver what metasearch (or federated search) has failed to achieve—a Google-like interface that provides a fast, single point of entry to an institution’s relevant and vetted scholarly content. However, at the moment, even as libraries are struggling to reestablish themselves as a compelling place to start research, the three constituencies—libraries, content providers, and discovery service vendors—cannot even agree on a common vocabulary to describe what they do.