New Discovery Services
The digital age has undoubtedly revolutionized the ways in which we seek out and consume information. Today, in the era of internet-connected smartphones and tablets, an incredibly vast wealth of knowledge is instantly available at our fingertips. In fact, nobody quite knows how much knowledge is available online. Some analysts purport that the total sum of online data is in the range of 250 Exabytes (one Exabyte is 1,099,511,627,776 megabytes), while others argue that the Internet is ultimately unquantifiable and any attempt to measure it would be a fool’s errand.
So how do we navigate through an ocean of information?
Most people would immediately answer with “Google,” “Yahoo,” or “Bing.” However, sometime searches require a particular type of fine-tuning or the scouring of niche pockets of information like journal databases, archives and periodical catalogues that are not publicly accessible through search engines. In these instances, discovery services are invaluable to the research experience.
Discovery services are touted as the next-generation approach to research and might be defined as an advanced search of high-end databases of specific branches of knowledge. For instance, libraries around the world that subscribe to services like PressReader are able to provide their patrons with the option to search across a catalogue of over 2,500 same-day newspapers and magazines from around the world, and powerfully narrow queries using criteria like keywords, date, authorship, country, language and title name. This is a tremendous value for researchers and information-seekers, as it provides them with unrestricted access to information not accessible anywhere else. The user-friendliness of discovery services disguises the complexity behind it.
The need for physical cataloguing is ultimately eliminated through discovery services, which represents a tremendous value for librarians and information professionals. Because searchability is central to discovery services, people are able to locate and access the data they desire faster and more accurately than ever before. And while library discovery services used to be for academic journals, the modern library is today offering discovery services on videos, images, and digital newspapers and magazines.
To learn more about our library solutions for public, academic and special libraries, visit our website here.