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Libraries can offer their users a powerful research environment that goes where they are when ProQuest introduces a mobile interface for its new platform in the first half of 2012. The ability to discover, manage and share ProQuest’s unique content via smart phones and tablets is part of a series of enhancements launching as the company completes the first phase of its platform roll-out. It’s also one of a variety of mobile initiatives underway across the ProQuest enterprise, including a new dedicated mobile app from ebrary for the iPad®, iPhone® and iPod touch®.
"From the beginning we've set out to create an experience for the end-user that makes the library the best, most satisfying source for research," said Tim Babbitt, Senior Vice-President, ProQuest® Platforms. “Researchers, especially students, tell us mobile is an essential element of the flexibility they expect from the library. It brings the library to where they are working."
The ProQuest® interface will automatically optimize for any user tapping in from a phone or tablet. The ebrary® app provides optimized on- and off-line access to e-books, content uploaded to ebrary's platform by librarians with DASH! ™ (Data Sharing, Fast), and an end-user’s own personal research from other sources. Future plans are to integrate the ProQuest® and ebrary® tools.
"The ebrary® app is focused on providing the best mobile experience to use ebooks and content uploaded by the library to the ebrary platform," explained Mr. Babbitt. "Whereas, the ProQuest® mobile initiative optimizes the broad discovery and use of content. Working with users, we'll continue to iterate to the best of overall experience, with innovative functionality around specific content, like ebooks."
ProQuest introduced its groundbreaking, unified platform in 2010, enabling libraries to explore it and plan for the change at their own pace. Built from the ground-up, the platform creates a research experience that supports the user at every stage of the research process, from discovery to collaboration to output. About 90% of ProQuest's customers around the world have now adopted it, with the balance migrating in 2012. With a critical mass of users now accessing the environment, ProQuest launched an intensive "voice of the user" feedback system. The company is using the feedback to identify areas for improvement to the research experience, analyze the unique habits of different segments of users and tap a continuous stream of direct comments and ratings. Consistently, users connect their satisfaction to the breadth of content available and the ability to navigate it easily.
"In a competitive information environment, users are in the driver's seat," said Mr. Babbitt. "We’re keenly aware of that at ProQuest and are committed to supporting the library by ensuring their users are genuinely satisfied."
About ProQuest (www.proquest.com)
ProQuest connects people with vetted, reliable information. Key to serious research, the company has forged a 70-year reputation as a gateway to the world's knowledge — from dissertations to governmental and cultural archives to news, in all its forms. Its role is essential to libraries and other organizations whose missions depend on the delivery of complete, trustworthy information.
ProQuest's massive information pool is made accessible in research environments that accelerate productivity, empowering users to discover, create, and share knowledge.
An energetic, fast-growing organization, ProQuest includes the ProQuest®, Bowker®, Dialog®, ebrary®, and Serials Solutions® businesses and notable research tools such as the RefWorks®, and Pivot™ services, as well as its' Summon® web-scale discovery service. The company is headquartered in Ann Arbor, Michigan, with offices around the world.