GVSU says Summon is impacting student use of the library

An analysis of resource usage conducted at Michigan’s Grand Valley State University (GVSU) shows that the library’s implementation of the Summon™ web scale discovery service has had a significant impact on how students connect to content and the type of content they use.  The Summon™ service was introduced by Serials Solutions last year, enabling library users to search the breadth of library collections in a single search.  Serials Solutions is a business unit of ProQuest.
Led by GVSU’s Head of Collection Development Doug Way, the library compared year- over-year use of databases, journals, and link-resolvers before and after the Summon™ implementation.  Results show:

  • Summon™ is enabling students to go directly to full-text, boosting the use of a variety of databases.  For example, Academic Search Premier saw a usage increase of 92% and ABI/INFORM rose 354%.
  • Journal usage is up significantly.  Before Summon™, the use of individual journals in which the library had invested was generally going down.  However, after Summon™’s implementation at the close of August 2009, GVSU’s top 100 journals showed an average increase in usage of 48% and the top 1000 had increased usage of 82%. 
  • Increased usage occurs even for databases from content providers that are not participating in the Summon™ service, a result of the service’s indexing of the same content from alternate sources.
  • Summon™ is having an impact on the type of content students are choosing.  For example, the library has seen a significant increase in the use of newspaper content.

Way presented the library’s findings at a webinar entitled “The Success of Web-Scale Discovery in Returning Net-Gen Users to the Library,” which was hosted by Serials Solutions and Library Journal. The entire presentation is archived at http://www.libraryjournal.com/webcastsDetail/2140493351.html.

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