Why We Implemented FindMore@NUSL

FindMore@NUSL was officially launched on 12 December as our default search on the portal. Even though LINC+ is still available, implementing a new search service is not a move that we take lightly. So what does FindMore@NUSL do?

Search across most of our subscribed journals simultaneously

The request to search across many databases has always topped our surveys since 2007. In July 2009, we launched InfoGate, which allowed searching across multiple databases. However, InfoGate was relatively slow and could only search a small number of databases. Yet it was fairly popular, showing that searching across multiple online resources is a highly desired feature.

Here are just two comments from the LibQUAL+ survey in 2009 which saw 5,415 valid completed surveys from NUS staff and students:

“The search engine does not include all the journal papers that the library has subscribed, still in text mode type, and not user-friendly.” – Staff from Faculty of Engineering

“Could the library provide an integrated platform for searching article? For example, one which integrates EBSCO, Proquest, Psychinfo, Sage and Science Direct? Most of the time I need to search separate databases, using the same keyword to search articles.” – Postgraduate student from School of Business

Due to the nature of scholarly communication, it is difficult to simultaneously search multiple databases because articles are stored in hundreds of silos owned by different publishers or aggregators all over the world.

While FindMore@NUSL cannot retrieve 100% of the articles published, it covers most major publishers and platforms such as JSTOR, Web of Science, ScienceDirect, Wiley, Sage, Taylor & Francis and hundreds more.

Retrieve full text articles by typing in the exact article title

The fact that FindMore@NUSL contains millions of journal articles also addresses one of the perennial bugbears that many users encounter, namely, retrieving the full-text of a journal article. Here’s a common feedback:

“It would be good if I can just type in the title of the journal article I want and be brought to the respective page (be it in LINC or to the external websites such as Informa), instead of having to go to Google and search for the journal (name of journal, year, volume, etc.) and then go back to LINC to search for the journal again.”

As FindMore@NUSL contains more than 79 million journal articles, 238 million newspaper articles, 3.7 million thesis, and 3 million book titles (as of Dec 2012), typing in an article title is likely to lead you to the full text article:

While this method is not foolproof as not every article is known to FindMore@NUSL (try the following method if it fails), it works in the vast majority of cases, saving you lots of time.

Locate full-text of books, journal articles and display of table of contents & reviews

Another popular request is to make the table of contents as well as full-text books and journal articles searchable. FindMore@NUSL doesn’t just search and match on table of contents and summaries, in many cases it also searches the full-text of the whole book.

For example, which book includes the phrase “We shall meet in the place where there is no darkness“? The answer? George Orwell’s 1984:

Get quick results from a clean interface

One of the comments we often hear from staff and students is that you want a clean and uncluttered interface that does the job quickly. We believe we have achieved this with FindMore@NUSL, which is not only aesthetically pleasing but also swift in returning results: 

Conclusion

Over 9,500 users have tried FindMore@NUSL since August during our testing phase and we have received very positive feedback. Here’s a sample:

As FindMore@NUSL is still a new service, we do expect some teething problems, so please give us your feedback on how to improve or just to let us know if we are on the right track. Want to know more? Refer to our guide or FAQs on FindMore@NUSL.

~Tay Chee Hsien Aaron
Central Library

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