We’ve just published the report from our Benefits and Impact Survey for 2013. The survey was launched back in November and closed at the end of last month.
The report confirms SUNCAT’s primary role as a centralised source of serials information and UK holdings, with 75% of responses stating, either locating serials and articles, or checking bibliographic information, as the primary purposes for using the service.
The key features of the service which are most valued by the respondents include:
- SUNCAT’s comprehensive coverage
- Its aggregation and display of serials information and UK holdings
- The accuracy and currency of the data provided
- The speed and ease of use of the service
We are very happy to see that the vast majority of respondents find SUNCAT not only easy or very easy to use (86%) but that it also saves them time (89%). Further, 97% indicated they would recommend the service to others.
“It is such a comprehensive reference source it would take me much longer to check information elsewhere.”
“SUNCAT is easy to use and its coverage of UK serial holdings is great.”
“Very trustworthy, fast and comprehensive. Records are to a very high standard.”
“Find Suncat invaluable. If it wasn’t available I would try to source an alternative. Don’t know what though!”
We also used the survey to find out what improvements our users would like to see in SUNCAT so that we can use this information to plan and prioritise our future developments. A number of the suggestions related to the data provided by the SUNCAT Contributing Libraries (CLs), both requesting more detailed holdings information and also providing additional information such as licensing restrictions for electronic serials. While this area is not one EDINA has immediate control over we do take note of these ideas, in the hope that if our CLs start recording and linking such information to their serials records, we would be able to start incorporating this into SUNCAT.
However, with regard to suggested improvements related to the SUNCAT interface we are happy to report that a number of these will be addressed as part of the redevelopment of SUNCAT, announced in November and mentioned in the previous posting. These include:
- Moving the search functionality to the homepage of the service to integrate the service and website more closely
- Providing a print/electronic serials limit to the search functionality to enable users to pre-filter their search by format
- Adding print/electronic icons to the holdings display to enable users to more quickly and easily distinguish between print and electronic holdings
It is also good to know that our users are keen to see the service continue to expand and we will indeed be continuing to add new libraries throughout 2013.