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New local language interfaces, database recommendations and “cited by” counts increase research support from the industry’s first and only web-scale discovery service

Serials Solutions’ Summon™ web-scale discovery service celebrated the first anniversary of its market launch by announcing the latest in a series of new features added to the groundbreaking technology over recent months. New local language interfaces now support Japanese, Chinese, and Western European languages and are expected to fuel further international growth. Also, users will get even more research help in their results set with database recommendations and “cited by” counts from ISI Web of Science®. 

The Summon™ service captured the library market’s attention at Midwinter ’09 when it announced that it could create a simple entry to the breadth of a library’s collection.  Integrating all formats – including e-resources at the article level – in a single search box, the service creates a search experience with the familiarity of those found on the Open Web.  Karen Schneider reported in her “Free Range Librarian” blog, “My killer-app moment was with Summon… makes your typical metasearch tool look like a rusty wagon with square wheels.”  Since then, its appearance has prompted an industry-wide focus on discovery. 

Now in use at dozens of universities on three continents, the Summon™ service continues to be the only available web-scale discovery service, breaking away from dependence on federate search technology. Built from the ground up and based on extensive end-user research, the service’s every element was designed to bring students and faculty back to the library as the starting point for research, rather than the Open Web.  “We feel Summon is the best solution to date to address the ‘find articles’ problem, especially for undergrads. They have quickest needs, the tightest deadlines and the biggest hurdles in understanding how to get at the right resources for their assignments,” said Greg Rashke, Associate Director for Collections and Scholarly Communication NCSU Libraries.  “Summon cuts down silos of information and that makes it extremely promising for our needs.” 

At the core of the Summon™ service is a mega-index that pre-harvests content in a rapid, multi-threaded ingest process. Launched with key partners ProQuest, Gale, and 40 other publishers, the service’s content providers list has grown exponentially and now exceeds 6,000 and includes Ingram Digital, LexisNexis®, IngentaConnect™, ThomsonReuters, ABC-CLIO, Springer, Taylor & Francis, MLA, SAGE, and thousands of others. Half a billion records have been indexed from nearly 100,000 journals. 

The Summon™ service’s comprehensive coverage has been a key consideration for libraries evaluating the service. Grand Valley State University, the first Summon™ site to go live, compared the Summon list of covered titles with actual usage of the library’s subscribed content. Results revealed an average of more than 99% coverage. “It was impressive and the clincher for our decision to move forward with Summon,” according to Ron Berry, the library’s Director of Technology and Information Resources.  “I’m absolutely confident that we are providing access to the breadth of our collection. All it takes is five minutes of searching to see how many of our licensed resources are being utilized in the Summon result sets.”

Declared by Library Journal as having “upped the ante on discovery software,” the Summon™ service can transform a library’s search experience in a proven six-week set-up. The service provides simplicity and portability (with a new mobile interface) for users and exposes the breadth of the library’s content, allowing more resources to be discovered – a boon for libraries, who want to get more from collection investments, and publishers, who want to drive greater usage. 

The Summon™ service was created by Serials Solutions, a business unit of ProQuest.

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 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 is also part of 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 business unit of ProQuest LLC.

About ProQuest

ProQuest creates specialized information resources and technologies that propel successful research, discovery, and lifelong learning. A global leader in serving libraries of all types, ProQuest offers the expertise of such respected brands as CSA™, UMI®, Chadwyck-Healey™, SIRS®, and eLibrary®.  With Serials Solutions®, Ulrich’s™, RefWorks®, COS™, Dialog® and now Bowker® part of the ProQuest brand family, the company supports the breadth of the information community with innovative discovery solutions that power the business of books and the best in research experience. 

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 discovery technology, ProQuest offers billions of pages 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 their 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,

15 January 2010

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