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Michigan State U Adopts Unified Discovery Service

Michigan State University (MSU) has deployed a new discovery service to provide a single entry point to most of the resources in its libraries.

The university chose ProQuest's Summon discovery service, which allows "users to search and navigate a unified list of results drawn from a broad range of content types," according to a news release. "Summon also offers a variety of configuration options for faceted searches and filtering results, and helpful options such as content spotlighting and navigating by discipline."

"The Summon discovery service covers most of the library's collections, including resources such as books, e-books, journal and magazine articles, dissertations, and historical newspapers," said Steven W. Sowards, associate director for collections, in a prepared statement. "Library users will no longer face a confusing array of different indexes and databases: Summon opens up content from so many sources in a single search, with potential benefits for everyone from first-year students exploring a topic, to researchers seeking a cross-disciplinary approach."

Lee Sochay, chair of the task force behind implementing the service, welcomed "Summon's ability to display full citations without authentication" as it is consistent with MSU's land-grant mission.

"We're pleased to be implementing Summon for our users," says Clifford H. Haka, director of the MSU Libraries, "because it brings serendipity back into the research process. Users will discover resources in formats and disciplines they might not have found previously, when using traditional subject-specific indexes."

Founded in 1855, Michigan State University was the prototype for land-grant institutions created by the Morrill Act. Today MSU serves approximately 38,000 undergraduate and 11,000 graduate students with about 4,700 faculty and academic staff and 6,400 support staff. More information about the university is available at msu.edu.

More information about Summon discovery service is available at proquest.com.

About the Author

Joshua Bolkan is the multimedia editor for Campus Technology and THE Journal. He can be reached at jbolkan@1105media.com.

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