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Illinois State University Selects EBSCO Discovery Service™ to Update its Search It Functionality

~EBSCO Discovery Service™ Steps in Where its Existing Service Left Off with More Robust Searching Designed to Answer to the Needs of the End User ~

IPSWICH, Mass. —September 28, 2010 — Illinois State University (ISU) has selected EBSCO Discovery Service™ from EBSCO Publishing as its discovery solution—providing a single search experience and fast, simple access to the library’s print and electronic content. The university was looking for a new option to update its existing Search It resource to open up library resources to users.

When Illinois State University first introduced its Search It federated search technology was new, consortial funding was available and hopes were high. A few years later, with federated search a less than impressive experience and no more outside funding available, ISU began looking for a better option. Discovery services were offering to do what federated searching had promised to do so ISU began the process by requesting funding and initiating the RFP process. The library was looking for a resource that had a variety of features, provided access to a large amount of content and promised to increase access to the library collection.

The library compared EBSCO Discovery Service alongside other services and since it wanted a discovery option that would work with a federated search option, ISU determined that EDS plus EBSCOhost Integrated Search™ was the best option. The two EBSCO solutions provide students with the one stop search experience they have become accustomed to when using the Web while offering students and faculty the ability to search resources that cannot be locally indexed. ISU understands that while discovery services can be exceedingly comprehensive, not every library resources is appropriate or available for inclusion, hence the option of discovery plus federation. By using a rich discovery tool plus an added integrated search option, ISU is able to include resources such as citation-only databases both within the rich EDS search experience and via the optional integrated search—a feature that can pull additional resources into the discovery experience.
ISU Electronic Resources Librarian, Anita Foster, says students had mixed reactions to the federated search system behind the original Search It tool while faculty members were heavy users of the resources requiring federation. “EDS is an intriguing technology that helps us reach out to the entire university population. EDS brings our resources to students with the Google-like quality that students seem to want while giving faculty members the rich searching capability they require.” Because EDS is able to expand the number of resources available within the discovery result list, while also letting the library include results from traditionally federated sources, ISU is able to provide faculty members with a richer set of options and results while decreasing the number of federated connectors and lowering the cost of federation.

EDS also helps students and faculty explore resources that weren’t in the catalog creating a bridge between the link resolver and the discovery service and exposing researchers to information the library previously had difficulty letting users know about. Foster says a single search box will be highlighted on the library’s website. “We are planning to put the search box prominently on the current Web page as well as anticipating it will be prominent on the redesigned page.”

While the name Search It will not change, Illinois State University will promote the service to students returning in the fall as a new and improved Search It powered by EBSCOhost®. The customization options in EDS will allow the library to change the colors and include logos that will serve as visual cues that this is a new system for searching both the electronic and print collection at ISU.

EBSCO Discovery Service creates a unified, customized index of an institution’s information resources, and an easy, yet powerful means of accessing all of that content from a single search box—searching made even more powerful because of the quality of metadata and depth and breadth of coverage.

The Base Index for EBSCO Discovery Service forms the foundation upon which each EDS subscribing library builds out its custom collection. Beginning with the Base Index, each institution extends the reach of EDS by adding appropriate resources including its catalog, institutional repositories, EBSCOhost and other databases, and additional content sources to which it subscribes. It is this combination that allows a single, comprehensive, custom solution for discovering the value of any library’s collection.

The EDS Base Index is comprised of metadata from the world’s foremost information providers. At present, the EDS Base Index represents content from approximately 20,000 providers in addition to metadata from another 70,000 book publishers. Although constantly growing, today the EDS Base Index provides metadata for nearly 50,000 magazines & journals, approximately 825,000 CDs & DVDs, nearly six million books, more than 100 million newspaper articles, more than 20,000 conference proceedings and hundreds of thousands of additional information sources from various source-types.

About EBSCO Publishing
EBSCO Publishing is the world’s premier database aggregator, offering a suite of more than 300 full-text and secondary research databases. Through a library of tens of thousands of full-text journals, magazines, books, monographs, reports and various other publication types from renowned publishers, EBSCO serves the content needs of all researchers (Academic, Medical, K-12, Public Library, Corporate, Government, etc.). The company’s product lines include proprietary databases such as Academic Search™, Business Source®, CINAHL®, DynaMed™, Literary Reference Center™, MasterFILE™, NoveList®, SocINDEX™ and SPORTDiscus™ as well as dozens of leading licensed databases such as ATLA Religion Database™, EconLit, Inspec®, MEDLINE®, MLA International Bibliography, The Philosopher’s Index™, PsycARTICLES® and PsycINFO®. Databases are powered by EBSCOhost®, the most-used for-fee electronic resource in libraries around the world. EBSCO is the provider of EBSCO Discovery Service™ a core collection of locally-indexed metadata creating a unified index of an institution’s resources within a single, customizable search point providing everything the researcher needs in one place—fast, simple access to the library’s full text content, deeper indexing and more full-text searching of more journals and magazines than any other discovery service ( For more information, visit the EBSCO Publishing Web site at:, or contact: [email protected]. EBSCO Publishing is a division of EBSCO Industries Inc., one of the largest privately held companies in the United States.
For more information, please contact:
Kathleen McEvoy
Public Relations Manager
(800) 653-2726 ext. 2594
[email protected]

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