The impetus for this project was a tendency for novice researchers to rely on internet sources that may not be up to the standards required by their professors for college-level research (read: Google & Wikipedia). Unfortunately, those users were not only beginning, but ending their search with those websites, without ever trying the library’s subscription databases, or even making it to the library’s website.
Stevens is currently undergoing a trial of Ebsco Discovery Service (EDS), a federated search tool which includes the library catalog data. To make it easier for students to search the library resources, we decided to create a bookmarket that eliminates the step of having to go to the library website first before searching library resources.
The bookmarket provides an important bridge between common search behaviors (especially among undergraduates), and the “deep web” content located in library-funded, proprietary databases, thus easing their transition into scholarly research. You just drag-and-drop it into any browser, after which a search can then be initiated from any webpage the user visits. When the bookmarklet is clicked, the search terms default to the title of the page (so it works especially well with Wikipedia articles), and a prompt is displayed that allows the user to edit the terms, if so desired. When they press the OK button, the search is automatically executed in the Discovery tool and the results are displayed in a new browser window.
A short demo:
Barbara and I will be participating in a webinar for the Metro New York Library Council
in December, demonstrating various tech tools for libraries. See here for details: http://bit.ly/aYud4Q
11/19/10 – NOTE:
Ken Varnum at the University of Michigan has used our code to create an ArticlesPlus bookmarklet for their users. To make it easier for other developers to adapt our code for their projects, here it is, in its entirety. You’ll have to edit it to use whatever search tool you want it to run, and change it to link to your own Google Analytics account (or just take that part out if you’re not using GA), and we ask that you keep the attribution statement in there.