One of the aspects of discoverE that makes life interesting for those of us who administer systems is the number and pace of improvements to the underlying software (Primo) from the company that makes it (Ex Libris). Since the major Version 4 upgrade in January/February, we’ve been testing several Service Packs for primo. These are not just “bug fixes” (although there are plenty of those); often they introduce new features or changes in how things work. Implementing these changes may require reprocessing the configuration of metadata in DiscoverE or reindexing, which often provides an opportunity for us to make our own changes and improvements, many of which have been suggested by librarians and users.
Upcoming, we have Service Packs 4.5 and 4.6, which have been implemented in our test system (http://discoveretest.emory.edu). We will be doing a reprocess of all records in discoverE and a complete re-index as a result of changes in these service packs.
Here are highlights of some of the additions, changes and fixes to look forward to:
Browse and Cross References: Since the major Version 4 upgrade implemented in January and early February, it’s been possible to browse Names (Authors and other creators), Titles, Subjects, and Call Numbers (LD, Dewey, SuDoc, and other kinds of call numbers). This adds some functionality that we have now in EUCLID to discoverE. Updates detailed in these Service Packs now make Browse even more useful: Cross-references from our authority records in Aleph are now added for authors, subjects, and series and other controlled titles, so if you browse search on a variation of the “preferred term”, you get directed to the right search result. We already have some cross-references in DiscoverE, but will need to reprocess all records for this to be complete.
Virtual Browse tab: From viewing a single item in search results, this feature/tab provides an easy way to see “what’s nearby” in subject – navigating through classified items (such as books on shelves) in a linear way – as if you were browsing a shelf of books in our “Stacks”. Brief information and a cover image, if available, are provided.
Dates. Are they important to you? Several new features may be of interest:
Refine your search results by Date – customize the date range using the “slider”: Before, discoverE would present you with fixed date ranges to refine your search results with; now, in addition to those, you can set your own date range to narrow down results.
Use specific Dates to qualify search in Advanced search too (we’ve had this since Version 4, but it’s worth mentioning in case you didn’t notice!).
Sort search results in date order, Ascending (Oldest first). This is an enhancement we introduced, and it seems to work well. We have noticed that sometimes sorting by date (in either direction) brings to light some data errors and typos – which can be a good thing. Let your catalogers know about these.
Permalinks are permanent links to your favorite discoverE full record view. You can get one by clicking on the “Actions” menu (formerly known as “Send To”) and “Permalink”. Just copy the URL into an email, web page, wherever you want to link someone to that record.
Need a citation? Also in the Actions menu is a link called Citation. This takes you to an application that will take information about the item you’re interested in and format it according to one of several citation styles you can choose.
No “dedup” for MARBL material. Because often important rare book cataloging information about specific copies may be lost when records are combined in the Primo deduplication process, we now have a way to prevent deduplication of those records based on location of an item in MARBL.
Along with these new features, the upcoming Service Packs promise improvements to searches that include ampersands, Russian ligature diacritics and other special characters, improvements to capture of citation information into RefWorks and possibly other citation software, and many more small fixes.
When the upgrade is finished, we’ll announce it to staff, and Library Core Services will welcome any reports from you of unexpected problems, as well as reports of appreciation for the new features.