Category Archives: Interfaces/Platforms

Credo’s Resource Link

I sat in on a Credo Reference webinar earlier this week, to get a better idea of the new interface and discovered something that wasn’t visible to me in the trial.  Credo has “Resource Links,” external links to a library’s other resources like the catalog, a metasearch tool, or a particular database.  Libraries can set-up the resources in the very detailed administrative module, proxy server stuff and all!

This is a really cool feature as it allows users to start research in Credo, get an understanding of the topic and various perspectives, then continue that search for books or articles in other resources.

More information on this feature and how to set it up in the Admin module are available in a Credo document.

New Credo Interface, my quick review

Credo has upgraded its interface.  I got a quick trial so I could check out some of the features (old and new).  Of course the best part of Credo is the ability to cross reference a search.  This allows researchers access to definitions, people, places, and general overviews of their topic from multiple disciplines and sources, a fantastic way to start your research.  Here are some highlights:

  • over 3 million entries in 366 titles (and growing), all cross-referenced
  • nice simple search screen – googlish, with options for advanced search and the concept map
  • interface is available in six languages
  • browse the collection by subject and title options
  • search results have faceted results for subject, pub date, entry type, media, and person
  • great multimedia features – audio files, video clips, flash, and dynamic table creation, images, and maps
  • optional display of the “gadget tool” with easy access to definitions, people, locations, crossword answers, conversions, quotations, and holidays and festivals (each category has a search box)
  • concept map is still there.  I believe I had previously called this “brainstorming on steroids.”  Nice visual and interactive way to search for concepts that are related.
  • store/mark records – easily done with checkbox.  ability to export saved results  – email, save, print, or export for multiple citation management systems
  • cite this source – APA, Chicago, Harvard, MLA
  • bookmark to social networking sites
  • Content sensitive HELP with index to all HELP items
  • customize for your institution
  • download marketing materials
  • lots of usage statistics

and a few snafus:

  • faceted results are great, but no way to turn them off, and no breadcrumb trail of facets
  • no breadcrumb trail to keep you oriented, but maybe you don’t want to be oriented in a cross referencing tool???
  • odd search results with the concept map.  my siberian huskies search kept displaying the map of a related person to huskies, maybe there just wasn’t enough content on huskies….
  • I was using Firefox.  After entering my search term and hitting the enter key my search would sometimes stop.  Once I clicked search it was fine.

For more information, visit Credo Reference, and ask David to give you a test drive!

If you are uncertain what titles to purchase, ask for their recommended lists….compiled by several people in the reference reviewing field.

Infobase to release eBook platform this Fall

Attention public, school, and community college libraries.

Infobase, publisher for Chelsea House, Facts on File, Ferguson, and Bloom’s Literary Criticism will release it’s own eBook platform this Fall.  However, titles will still be available from previously established interfaces.

Current titles and backlist titles will be available at launch (1800+) and forthcoming titles will also come in e version.

Looks like the business model is similar to GVRL – unlimited simultaneous access and an archival PDF copy of each title purchased.  Which, leads me to believe this will NOT be a subscription product.  No word yet on pricing.

I’m hoping to get a sneak peek at the interface in the next couple of weeks, so details on the interface bells and whistles to follow.

EBL’s new improved online reader

The new and improved EBL online reader is set to be launched on 23rd September 2008 and we’re inviting you to preview it…

The new reader features improved design and layout enhancements, and offers patrons these brand new features:

*  Fast-loading image view as well as PDF view -the image view gives readers the ability to scroll through pages rather than turn them one at a time.
* Maximised Reading Space on Screen – we’ve minimised headers and frames so that the patron can virtually open the ebook in the whole browser screen, providing a more immersive reading experience.
* Detailed Access Permission Information – more detailed access information, including total and remaining print and copy permissions.
* Intuitive Print Tools – enabling printing by page, page range or chapter.
* Enhanced read aloud controls – read aloud can now be launched for any title from the online reader toolbar.
EBL’s new online reader uses standard Adobe Reader software – there is still no custom plug-in required.

Your patrons will continue to enjoy EBL’s other popular functionalities, such as adding and exporting notes, linking by chapter, and full-text search within the book.

The official launch of the new reader will be next Tuesday, September 23rd.
You can preview EBL’s new online reader here:

http://www.eblnewreader.eblib.com/EBLWeb/patron/

User name: ebltest1
Password:  EBLtest1

User name: ebltest2
Password:  EBLtest2

User name: ebltest3
Password:  EBLtest3

User name: ebltest4
Password:  EBLtest4

User name: ebltest5
Password:  EBLtest5

User name: ebltest6
Password:  EBLtest6

We encourage you to test the reader thoroughly before it goes live next week.  If you are happy with the general performance of the new reader, we suggest that you make the switch before the official launch next week to ensure that all features are working within your library’s local authentication and network set-up.

There is no work required on your end to change to the new reader, simply contact support@eblib.com to request the upgrade.  The existing reader will stay in place for the short-term so if your library does experience and teething problems with the new reader, we will be able to instantaneously revert to the old reader.

Until then, please feel free to preview EBL’s new online reader and provide us with any feedback. We’d love to hear what you think!

Regards,

Drew Watson
EBL Technical Account Manager
drew.watson@eblib.com

contact us  || www.eblib.com | www.ebooks.com | www.ebookscorporation.com

Credo Reference launches new interface

Credo Reference Launches New and Improved Interface

Innovative features greatly enhance research experience

Boston and Oxford, September 3, 2008 – Credo Reference, the award-winning online reference library, has completely updated and enhanced its interface. The new and improved platform now features key elements developed as a result of direct feedback and testing with librarians worldwide. Credo’s user-friendly interface has been optimized to address different types of reference questions.

Credo Reference and its continually expanding online collection provide cross-searchable access to more than three million entries from 300+ key titles and 60+ publishers. Now, with the newly revamped interface, Credo Reference users will be able to take advantage of such features as:

·         Faceted browsing – refine searches in many different ways, such as by subject, type of content, person or entries with images or audio.

·         Improved Concept Map – Credo’s visualization tool.

·         Direct linking to the resources of a library’s choice – view search results in another library resource with one click through Credo’s new “Related Resources” feature. Library configurable.

·         Multilingual interface – English, Chinese, French, Polish, Spanish and Urdu are currently available. More languages to follow.

·         Citation management – export saved results to the user’s tool of choice, such as RefWorks or EndNote.

·         Bookmarking in a favorite, social networking site, such as Del.icio.us or Facebook.

·         Explore titles by heading, person, place, image, audio or video. Hover over an entry in the index for a preview.

The beta-testers for this new interface raved about the enhancements. “One of the strongest features of the interface is Credo’s cross-referencing – ‘Related Entries’, which can help our students expand their research beyond their original search,” commented Gloria Rohmann, New York University Digital Access Librarian. “Our researchers will now be able to click directly from a Credo entry to a related topic, with no extra typing required. That will help make their research experience smoother and more thorough.”

“The new interface is a lot more intuitive, which makes it easier to maneuver through,” agreed Anna Grigson, Assistant Digital Resources Librarian at University of Westminster Library. “The vastly improved Concept Map – which is great for visual learners – helps to better visualize the relationships between topics, something that can be invaluable with more complex research topics. It’s great that Credo Reference is reaching out to all researchers no matter what their language or learning style.”

“We’re pleased to launch the significantly enhanced Credo Reference platform,” added John G. Dove, Credo Reference President. “We’ve listened carefully to all the feedback that we’ve received from librarians and end-users and have worked to develop a reference experience that matches our unparalleled and exceptional content.  Our intention is to save time for learners, which is what reference is all about.”

The enhanced Credo Reference interface is available via subscription at www.credoreference.com. Librarians can request a free trial at http://corp.credoreference.com/freetrial.

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Credo Reference, with offices in Oxford and Boston, has been offering completely customizable reference collections for libraries since 1999. Formerly known as Xrefer, Credo’s General Reference and Specialist Reference services combine extensive content from multiple publishers with unique cross-referencing technology, effortlessly delivering authoritative answers to over four million researchers worldwide. Visit www.credoreference.com.

Credo Reference

316 Stuart Street, Suite 301   Boston   MA   02116

A Visit to Encyclopaedia Britannica

Monday, August 11th I stopped by the Encyclopaedia Britannica offices on LaSalle street in Chicago.  I visited Michael Ross, Senior VP of Corporate Development.  Michael gave me a nice tour of the Britannica headquarters and I took some photos to share with everyone.  You’ll see some remarkable similarities between an international publisher and a library.

britannica-001.jpg They have bookshelves AND servers.

britannica-002.jpg 60+ servers in 3 locations as a matter of fact.

britannica-004.jpg No, this isn’t spaghetti, it’s Britannica ONLINE!!  Don’t cut the pink one….

britannica-011.jpg Despite the thousands of wires to support Britannica online, they still have a print library collection.

britannica-009.jpg And they use white boards to sketch out future plans.

britannica-005.jpg I even got a sneak peek at the cover art for the 2009 Almanac!

britannica-010.jpg And they dress business casual, just like me!

Seriously now, Britannica has a really cool feature coming to all of their online products sometime this fall.  Right now it is called “project darwin” but it will take on a new name online.  This new feature will bring web 2.0 features to Britannica online including user comment/feedback areas.    Some other facts about Britannica:

Over one million visitors use Britannica online every day.

Britannica offers multiple interfaces for their products (they manage over 30) – public (free, with annoy wear) , individual membership, institutional/libraries, and multiple foreign language interfaces including Japanese, Chinese, Korean, French, and 2 in Spanish.

They offer thousands of videos too.

Britannica Blog offers daily posts on thousands of topics, by hundreds of writers – many well known.

For more information, check out Britannica Online here:  www.britannica.com

And thanks, Michael, for the tour!

The Evolution of the Reference EBook

At ALA Annual in Anaheim ABC-CLIO hosted focus groups for academic reference librarians to discuss the changing face of electronic reference books and hear what they had to say about what they hoped to see for the future of these products.

Here are the items we discussed and the general feedback we received. We encourage all readers of the No Shelf Required blog to post comments or questions – we want to hear what you have to say too!

Is print reference still viable?
It was generally agreed that print reference is still viable. Whether or not the librarian would purchase the print version depended upon the subject of the title and if their budget prohibited purchasing the electronic version. However, nearly half of the 20 attendees said they are no longer buying print reference at all.

What comes first, the book or the eBook?
As stated above, most answered that they would purchase the eBook and not the print, so the question for them was moot. Others stated that they would be inclined to purchase an eBook version of a title prior to the release of a completed print version if subsquent updates were provided and the final print version would be available within 12 – 24 months.  The original release of the eBook version would have less content than the print, but both versions would be identical by the time of print publication.

Important Features

  • Unlimited simultaneous usage & remote access
  • Export to citation programs
  • NO plug-ins
  • Open to Google and federated searching – access to all eBook platforms through one search engine

Ordering

  • Make ordering easier by offering eBooks via the usual print distributors

Purchase vs. Subscribe
Continue reading

International Children’s Digital Library – New Enhancements

International Children’s Digital Library Unveils Breakthrough Enhancements

From PRWeb

Unique Technology Significantly Improves Translation, Readability

Boston, MA (PRWEB) June 17, 2008 — The International Children’s Digital Library (ICDL) Foundation (www.childrenslibrary.org), which is the world’s largest collection of children’s literature available freely on the Internet, today announced the completion and implementation of its ClearText technology which significantly enhances the translation and readability of the books available from the online library.

For easier reading of scanned books on a small screen, ClearText allows the user to simply click the desired text to display a magnified version of that text in place, or to read that page in a different language, the user just selects the desired language from a list under the page. The novel book reader technology was developed in-house at ICDL by Dr. Ben Bederson, library co-founder and Chief Technology Officer, working closely with a team from the Human-Computer Interaction Lab at the University of Maryland.

We are constantly working to expand the library and increase its relevance worldwide

For the translation feature, children reading at the ICDL can select the language of their choice at the bottom of each page. As for readability, the text provided by the ClearText technology is sharper than before and will “pop out” to enlarge as needed. Text can even be read with a screen reader to support visually impaired readers. The book reader allows users to see a different version of the text in place and enables the text size to be changed or read aloud using a standard screen reader. It works by visually removing the text from the original image of the book, and then using the Web browser to display the text on top of the image of the book.

Additionally, the ClearText technology allows for users of the library to have increased options in selecting a language in which to read a book. For example, thanks to ClearText, Croatian author Andrea Petrlik’s moving book The Blue Sky is currently available in three languages. In addition to the technology improvements, a massive translation project is currently underway, being conducted by more than 1,200 online volunteer translators. Once a book is translated, there is a second review to validate the translation and ensure accuracy.

“We are constantly working to expand the library and increase its relevance worldwide,” said Executive Director of the International Children’s Digital Library, Tim Browne. “The ClearText application was developed specifically for the ICDL and makes it possible for more children from more countries to enjoy more books. We are delighted to unveil what we view as our most significant advancement to date.”