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UK and Australia libraries join US institutions in bringing web-scale discovery to academic research

Less than a month into its official launch, the Summon™ web-scale discovery service has its first commercial adoption in Australia. The University of South Australia joins such American institutions as Arizona State University, one of the world’s largest ARLs, in enabling single search-box access to the breadth of their collections – digital and print, audio and video, single articles to entire e-journals, and every format in between. The Summon™ service is from Serials Solutions, a business unit of ProQuest.

“We were first attracted to Summon because its simplicity had much in common with the Google® interface so popular with our students,” said Stephen Parnell, Deputy Director, Information Infrastructure for University of South Australia. “As soon as we tried out its searching capabilities, it was obvious that it was going to provide an attractive way to integrate searching our online databases with searching our local catalog and repository. We were also impressed with the way users can refine the results of their Summon search with a set of faceted browsing options, including date, topic and format.”

The Summon™ service is the world’s first and only available web-scale discovery service designed specifically for libraries.  Built with entirely new technology and based on extensive end-user studies, its simple, library-branded search box eliminates the confusion users have in finding a starting point for their research. According to Jane Burke, vice president and executive director of Serials Solutions, “Early adopters are telling us that the Summon™ service not only attracts researchers back to the library, it also exposes more of the library’s content to them—earning more value from investment in collections.”

The Summon™ service has been developed in close cooperation with the library community and the content providers who serve it. Among its content contributors are ProQuest, Gale, Lexis-Nexis Academic, Publishing Technology – provider of the scholarly research platform IngentaConnect™ – and Thomson Reuters ISI Web of Science.®  In total, the Summon™ service includes content from more than 6,000 publishers.  Library beta sites around the world have helped refine the service.  Sites include Dartmouth College Library, Oklahoma State University Libraries, University of Sydney, University of Calgary, Western Michigan University and University of Liverpool. 

True to Serials Solutions tradition, the Summon™ service is designed with library needs in mind.  It’s hosted, making set up nearly effortless.  In fact, new library sites are ready for use in about six weeks.  It’s also built with an open API so that it can be integrated with existing library Web sites or campus systems. 

About Serials Solutions

Founded by a librarian for librarians in 2000, Serials Solutions is the global leader in E-Resource Access and Management Services (ERAMS) that serves more than 2,000 libraries of all sizes and types. Serials Solutions® KnowledgeWorks, the authoritative e-resource knowledgebase, is the foundation for Serials Solutions® 360, the only complete and integrated e-resource access and management solution. Serials Solutions recently introduced the Summon™ web-scale discovery service, a revolutionary discovery tool that provides instant access to the full breadth of the library’s collection through a single search.

Serials Solutions also is the exclusive source for™ and Ulrich’s Serials Analysis System™ worldwide, and represents the AquaBrowser® Discovery Layer in the academic market in North America and Australia. The WebFeat® federated search service recently acquired by ProQuest soon will be incorporated into the Serials Solutions family of access and discovery services.

Serials Solutions provides fast implementation, easy customization, and outstanding value to libraries throughout the world. 

Serials Solutions is a division of ProQuest LLC.

About ProQuest LLC

ProQuest creates specialized information resources and technologies that propel successful research and lifelong learning. A global leader in serving libraries of all types, ProQuest offers the culmination of experience from many respected brands, including CSA™, UMI®, Chadwyck-Healey™, SIRS®, and eLibrary®. With Serials Solutions®, Ulrich’s™, RefWorks®, COS™, and Dialog® brands now in the ProQuest family, the company continues to build on its legacy of responsive people in partnership with librarians.

ProQuest consistently seeks new ways to support researchers and quality research. More than a content provider or aggregator, ProQuest is an information partner, creating indispensable research solutions that connect people and information. Through innovative, user-centered technology, ProQuest offers a depth and breadth of global content that includes historical newspapers, dissertations, and uniquely relevant resources for researchers of any age and sophistication—including content not likely to be digitized by others. Inspired by its customers and end users, ProQuest is working toward a future that blends information accessibility with community to further enhance learning and encourage lifelong enrichment. For more information, visit or the ProQuest parent company website,

12 August 2009

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