Minutes of August 8, 2012 Meeting

Joseph Deodato (chair), Sam McDonald (guest), Li Sun, Bob Warwick
Dave Hoover, Cathy Pecoraro, Gracemary Smulewitz

1. Searchlight Customization

Subject configuration

DIG continues making updates and minor changes to the configuration of Searchlight in an effort to improve performance. As noted in the past, the primary concern is that many subject categories contain irrelevant and/or inappropriate databases which negatively impact the quality of results. The fact that the product has been made more prominent by the homepage refresh makes the need to address this concern all the more urgent. Two weeks ago selectors were sent an email inviting them to review database assignments in their subject area(s) and submit any recommended changes via an online form. In particular, selectors were asked to choose which databases they wanted available for federated searching in their subject area(s) and to rank their selections as tier 1 (core) or tier 2 (related). Ranking databases in each category should help increase search speed and improve result relevancy. A brief set of guidelines were distributed with the email invitation to explain the Searchlight configuration process and assist selectors in choosing and ranking databases.

The deadline for submissions is today but so far only eleven selectors have responded. In order to move forward as quickly as possible, Deodato drafted a new configuration schema (posted on Sakai) and volunteered to make all possible changes by tomorrow. Any changes that require the acquisition of new connectors will be forwarded by Smulewitz to EBSCO and will be added if and when they become available. McDonald recommended that DIG create a spreadsheet documenting the current Searchlight configuration and ongoing changes. Deodato expressed reservations about the possibility of maintaining the currency of a separate document and questioned whether the perceived benefit warranted the additional effort.

Training Workshop

Judging by the submissions and questions received from librarians as a result of the configuration process, it seems that there may be a general lack of clarity regarding the role and functionality of Searchlight (or federated searching in general). Deodato proposed that DIG offer a "refresher" workshop to provide an overview of the product and respond to librarian concerns. The workshop will be held sometime in mid/late September after Deodato is scheduled to return from leave.

Custom Search Interface

Due to the need to move library services in order to accommodate the ASB power shutdown, the scripting required for the new custom Searchlight interface could not be completed in time for the original August 15th deadline. Given some of the concern raised with the homepage refresh and the fact that the interface may not be completed and tested in time before the start of the fall semester, the committee voted to postpone the launch for the time being.


Searchlight has been branded with the RUL color scheme and logo in order to achieve greater visual consistency with the website and help better distinguish it from other EBSCO products.

2. Goals

The committee reviewed the status of this year's goals and discussed possible goals for next year.

2011-2012 year-end status review

Goal Year-end Status
Customize Searchlight screens with Rutgers University Libraries branding Complete. Interface has been customized with RUL color scheme and logo.
Continue customizing Searchlight single search box screen In process. Pending completion of scripting and set of new launch date.
Update and review status of database connectors available for federated searching via EHIS Complete. An updated list of connectors was compiled and uploaded to Sakai.
Continue customizing Searchlight Advanced Search subject categories and functionalities In process. Most configuration changes are expected to be completed by tomorrow. Those requiring new connectors are pending availability and acquisition from vendor. This item will be rolled over into a new goal.
Continue to review feedback on link resolver (LinkSource) issues Complete. ILLiad was added as a target and PubMed was set up as a source. This item will be rolled over into a new goal.
Customize interface and functionalities related to the implementation of the ProQuest platform In process. Transition to the ProQuest platform was postponed until August 21, 2012.
Provide a forum on advances in federated searching (Searchlight) and link resolver (LinkSource) In process. Training workshop on Searchlight scheduled for mid/late September.

Goals for 2012-2013

Suggested goals for 2012-2013 included:

3. Feedback & Fixes

The committee reviewed the status of outstanding trouble reports.

Product/Case Problem Reported/Received By Status
LinkSource [EBSCO #922327] Links to WSJ in Factiva sometimes resolve to Japanese edition Mulcahy/Deodato
Searchlight [EBSCO #953731] PsycINFO response time in Searchlight is slow Mullen/Deodato
(but EBSCO claims there is little they can do about it)
Searchlight [EBSCO #???] Failure to export to RefWorks from Searchlight Oswell/Pecoraro

4. Announcements

At its June meeting, User Services Council recommended the formation of a committee charged with implementing VUFind and exploring matters related to discovery.

5. Next Meeting

The next meeting is scheduled for September 12th at 10am. Tentative agenda items include Searchlight configuration update and finalizing goals for 2012-2013.

Meeting adjourned at 12:00pm

Submitted by Joseph Deodato

URL: http://www.libraries.rutgers.edu/rul/staff/groups/dig/minutes/dig_12_08_08.shtml
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