We’ve just made the report from the latest SUNCAT survey available on our website. The survey was conducted by Jisc in early summer and the feedback we received has been invaluable in helping us to identify any areas which need improvement or development to keep the service relevant to our users’ current requirements.
The vast majority of respondents were Information Professionals from a range to institutions, including HE, FE, the NHS and national libraries.
The two most popular reasons for using SUNCAT were related to:
- Locating serials for library users
- Checking serials’ bibliographic information
Respondents favourite features of the service were SUNCAT’s:
- Speed and ease of use
- Accuracy and currency of data provided
- Aggregation of serials and holdings data
- Comprehensive coverage
- Holdings information and display
Over 70% of respondents reported that SUNCAT saved them time:
â€œI can go to quality records easily, trusting the information there, without wasting time browsing in places like COPAC etcâ€�
Â â€œEnables me to locate locations to apply to for ILLs without needing to check individual library catalogues or use Worldcat which is often unreliableâ€�
Â â€œThere are a number of things I can see at a glance from the result page. When upgrading serial records, I can quickly move between several records in the SUNCAT display and the layout is easy to navigate.â€�
Â â€œIt is a more convenient union catalogue to use than copac for searching journals only, as it immediately shows all available holdings data for different institutions on each catalogue record. It also seems to run faster than both copac and Search25 much of the timeâ€�
- 77% reported that the effectiveness of the SUNCAT search was either good or very good
- 74% reported that with regard to ease of use SUNCAT was either good or very good
- 74% indicated that their overall satisfaction with the service was either good or very good
Respondents were also asked how likely they would be to recommend SUNCAT and why
â€œIn terms of locating UK serials information it’s unrivalled. Copac is not as comprehensive, Worldcat a lot more unwieldy.â€�
Â â€œVery useful for checking journals holdings for lots of libraries at once – ideal for sourcing locating for ILLsâ€�
Â â€œAs it is based on British libraries’ holdings it often records more obscure and rarer European periodicals, especially in foreign languages, than perhaps WorldCat. It is invaluable as a source of bibliographic information on serials as well as a record of quite detailed library holdings.â€�
Â â€œIt is so useful to have all serials in one catalogue to locate which library has what you want. Also saves a lot of time.â€�
Â â€œVery clear interface. Comprehensive coverage.â€�
Finally users were asked for suggestions for improvements to the service. These included:
- Better deduplication of records for the same title
- Improved exact title search
- Improving the visibility of the advanced search and browse options
- Enabling viewing of older as well as current tables of contents
- Providing a reset search button to clear previous search terms
The complete list or suggestions and our response to them can be found in the full report. We will be reviewing and evaluating each suggestion to enable us to prioritise our development plans over the next year.
Overall the results of the survey are very positive for SUNCAT. Respondents continue to have a high level of satisfaction with the service, finding it fast and easy to use. The redeveloped search platform has now had the opportunity to become embedded and appears to have been well received. However, the results also highlight a number of areas where improvements could be made. EDINA is aware of and has development plans around some of these and will investigate others as potential future developments.
For the last few weeks you may have noticed a new link appearing on MediaHub, both in the menu bar (see image below) and popping up as you browse and search, which points to our user experience survey.
If you have already taken part, then sincere thanks from the MediaHub team!Â If notÂ then we hope these fiveÂ reasons will help you understand why you taking a few minutes out of your day to respond to our survey means so much to us…
1.Â Tell us how you really feel
Your honest feedback means the world to us. Yes, even the less flattering comments.
In the last year we have enhanced the quality of video provided in MediaHub, we’ve been developing a new iOS App (due to launch imminently), we’ve been working on our help and support resources, we’ve added new external collections… But do you like what we’ve done? TheÂ User Experience SurveyÂ works a little like a school report for us – it helps us understand if we are focusing on the right areas, if you are happy with our work, and where you think we should be aiming for. Just be honest with us, be helpful, let us know what you’d like us to be doing.
2. Help shape the future
From improved citation information within the service, to those new mobile apps, your feedback throughout the year helps us ensure that MediaHub continues toÂ meet your needs, and those of your fellow MediaHub users, fans, and critical friends. We love talking to you at events, meeting you at webinars, and hearing from you via the Helpdesk but we would love to hear from more of you and the survey helps us to hear from a lot of people all at once. And the more people complete our user experience survey, the better chance we have of understanding what you love about MediaHub, what we could do more of, what we could do less of, what we could do better, and what we should be focusing on in the future.
3. Show off your own achievements
One of the things we get most excited about is hearing about MediaHub is used in practice, how you are using our service in your day to day teaching, learning and research. And we are just as keen to help you share your experience and best practice with others, which is why inÂ this year’s surveyÂ we are asking youÂ whether you would be interested in providing us with a guest blog post or case study on your use of MediaHub. If you say yes, then your story about how you useÂ MediaHub could be appearing on this very page and inspiring your peers and fellow MediaHub users soon!
We really would love to help you show off your own achievements, just let us know that you’d be happy to take part!
4. Help us to support you better
We want to support you whenever you need us to. We are therefore very keen to hear how you find our help and support resources – includingÂ this blog. The more we understand what you find useful, and what you would like us to do differently, the better the support we can provide. We are here to help you make the very best use of our diverse array of videos, images and sound, but you are the best people to tell us how we can do that…Â Do you want more webinars? Would you like more flyers and posters for sharing aroundÂ campus? Would you like new widgets orÂ digital training materials? Tell us!
5.Â DelightÂ the MediaHub TeamÂ
Whether you have lovely things to say, or constructive criticism to share, we love hearing from you. It really truly makes our week!
If you can spare 5-10 minutes from your day to complete our surveyÂ we promise you that we will be listeningÂ to what you have to say. Your comments help us to plan future developments, they contribute to how we planÂ future training, support and learning materials, and they alsoÂ help us to reflect on where our own successes have been.
Finally we should also add that we are, of course veryÂ happy to hear your honest feedback at any point in the year, not just whilst our survey is running. If you ever have a comment, question or just want to chat with us, you can leave a comment here on the blog, you can email us (via firstname.lastname@example.org), reach out to us on Twitter or Facebook, or give the EDINA Helpdesk a call (on +44 (0)131 650 3302).
- Take our MediaHub User Experience Survey.
- ExploreÂ the results of previous MediaHub User Experience and User Satisfaction Surveys, see also the associated MediaHub Quality Improvement Plan.
Weâ€™ve just published the reportÂ from the survey we conducted on the new look SUNCAT. The survey ran from the end of May to the end of June 2014.
The results of the survey were largely very positive but it did highlight a few areas where we can focus on making improvements.
The vast majority of respondents, 88%, found SUNCAT “Quite Easy” or “Very Easy” to use. Five percent reported that they found SUNCAT “Very Difficult” to use and on further investigation this was revealed to be due to a compatibility problem with older versions of Internet Explorer. However, as soon as we noticed these responses we investigated and we believe that these issues are now resolved, see the blog post: Problems using the new service on the IE8 browser
Further, 91% of respondents indicated that they found the new service better than the original one.
The most popular features on the new SUNCAT with the highest proportion of respondents reporting that they were either â€œVery usefulâ€� or â€œQuite usefulâ€� were:
- Links to library’s local catalogues in the holdings display (91%)
- Icons differentiating print and online holdings in the holdings display (90%)
- Electronic only/non-electronic only format limit on the advanced search page (86%)
- More search options on the advanced search page (86%)
- Library information pages (linked to from library name in the holdings display) (82%)
|Feature||Popularity (Percentage of Respondents Reporting the Feature as Useful or Very Useful)|
|Links to library’s local catalogues in the holdings display||91|
|Icons differentiating print and online holdings in the holdings display||90|
|Electronic only/non-electronic only format limit on the advanced search page||86|
|More search options on the advanced search page||86|
|Library information pages (linked to from library name in the holdings display)||82|
|Results automatically ranked by relevance||77|
|Post-search filters on left-hand side of the results screen||75|
|More flexible and granular library and location limits on the basic search page||68|
|Option to choose how many results to view per page||67|
|Expanded table of contents (available on more titles)||63|
|Auto-suggestions on entering search terms||54|
|Map of all Contributing library locations on the basic search page||26|
|Newsfeed from the SUNCAT Blog on the basic search page||17|
Respondents were also asked to comment on their favourite features. The most popular features were the format limiting, format filtering and format icons.
â€œI really like being able to tell at a glance whether a library has print or online holdings for a particular journal.â€�
â€œâ€¦ is especially useful as it alerts to licensing issues etc. and therefore prevents requests that will fail and saves timeÂ in getting information to the library user.â€�
Second to these were the additional library information pages and the links to local catalogues:
â€œThe improved links through to library information and the links to the local library catalogue is a big improvement.â€�
â€œThe new library information pages are very helpful as I work in Interlibrary loans and this feature gives me important information very quickly without having to try and locate it on the library’s own website or in the BL’s directory of library codes.â€�
Followed by the clear design, ease of use and general usefulness of the new service:
â€œCleaner, easier to read and navigateâ€�
â€œmuch nicer interface – much more obvious in terms of how to use itâ€�
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. The following table summarises the suggestions and EDINA’s responses.
|Suggested Improvement||EDINA Response|
|Ensure the new service is compatible with older browsers||We have investigated this and believe that the necessary changes have now been implemented|
|Add more libraries||We will continue to expand the coverage of the service and are currently in the process of adding new libraries|
|Improve deduplication||We are gathering information about suggested matches on the service and will use this information to inform the development of an improved matching algorithm which should improve deduplication in the long term.|
|Improve holdings information||Unfortunately, we have no control over this as we rely on the holdings information supplied to us by our Contributing Libraries|
|A bulk upload facility of ISSNs to enable scarcity checks||We are in the process of developing a holdings comparison service which should assist with scarcity checking|
|UKRR libraries limit||We are in the process of developing tailored or customised views onto SUNCAT, one of which could be for the UKRR.|
|Improve relevance ranking||We will investigate possible improvements in this area.|
|Reinstate subject heading browsing||This will be made available in an upcoming release|
|Provide better options for printing holdings dataPrinting results. It would be helpful if you could print a short summary with selected location details without the need to print irrelevant web-page data too.||We will investigate possible improvements in this area.|
|Provide information about policies on ILL provision and licensing agreements||We will investigate the possibility of pulling this information from sources such as KB+, while bearing in mind that recent changes to UK Copyright Law might make licensing information less relevant for ILL purposes.|
|Move the British Library code to appear beside the library name||This information is displayed on the Library Information page which can be accessed by clicking on the Library name in the holdings display. We feel that adding this information directly to the holdings display could complicate and confuse the display for general users, but we will keep this request under consideration.|
|Split up electronic and print holdings or show more clearly||We are working to improve how the format filtering works and will consider adding the format limit to the basic search page.|
The results of the survey are very positive for the new SUNCAT service and indicate it now provides an overall improved platform from which to continue to develop the service further.
Unfortunately there were some initial problems with compatibility with older browsers, which the survey very usefully highlighted. Otherwise the responses to the new features are encouraging, with the vast majority of respondents finding the new service easy to use and an improvement on the original service.
Key features appear as those related to identifying, distinguishing between, limiting to or filtering out particular journal formats. This reflects a high number of users wanting to focus on non-electronic formats due to licence restrictions on providing copies from electronic formats. However, the additional information provided on the library pages and the links to local catalogues also proved popular.
We will give further consideration to each of the suggested improvements and where possible investigate developing these as part of future releases. In some cases the developments are already in the pipeline and the survey provides an additional confirmation of their potential usefulness.
The survey on the new look SUNCAT service is available until Friday 27th June. Please do take a few minutes toÂ give usÂ your feedback. All comments are very welcome and will provide us with vital information on any areas which require further development. Thank you to all who have responded so far.
This month there are two surveys thatÂ Jisc MediaHub users should keep an eye out for and may want to let students and colleagues know about.
Firstly, we are currently running our annual Jisc MediaHub User Feedback surveyÂ for 2013/14. You will see a link on the main menu next time you browseÂ Jisc MediaHub and you may be asked to complete the survey via a pop up box during your next visit. We really value all of your comments and feedback from these surveys – they help us understand what we are doing well, what we could do better, and how you use Jisc MediaHub in your own practice.
The second survey is running as part ofÂ Project Enriched Playlists,Â a new projectÂ funded byÂ Jisc, and is open to anyone working with audio-visual collections including (but not limited to) Jisc MediaHub users. The BUFVCÂ are running aÂ short surveyÂ to find out how audio-visual collections inÂ Jisc MediaHubÂ might be developedÂ for Higher Education (HE) into â€˜enriched playlistsâ€™.
TheyÂ are really interested to hear the views of the following peopleÂ from any/all subject areas:
- Support staff
All participants who submit a completed survey will be entered into aÂ prize draw to win an iPad mini 16GB (Wi-Fi).Â Follow the link toÂ take the survey.
This project will help us understand and document how HE would like to use and get the most out ofÂ Jisc MediaHubâ€™s moving image, audio and stills collections. Both the BUFVC project team and the Jisc MediaHub teamÂ would be very grateful for your help. Please complete theÂ survey by Friday 13Â June 2014.
Your input is very valuable to us as it is integral to the planning of our future developments and priorities. You can find summary reports of previous user satisfaction surveys and the resulting planned actions, many of which have already been implemented, on the EDINA website.
We would be really grateful for your time and comments and would also encourage you to circulate the survey details as widely as possible.
The survey will be available until Friday 27th June 2014.
You can also continue to email any comments to email@example.com or to use the “Contact” link at the bottom of all the SUNCAT pages.
Thank you in advance!
On Thursday 13th June we ran our very first Digimap for Schools webinar. While we had a few sounds issues (which we will make sure are resolved for next time), the session was found to be reasonably useful by most of the 55 participants. Before commencing our virtual tour of Digimap for Schools, we asked participants to gauge their level of confidence when using Digimap for Schools in the classroom. While most suggested reasonable confidence when using the service, a few indicated anxiety about using the service in the classroom. We were really pleased to see those teachers in particular participating as our aim of the day was to increase confidence and possibly share a few ideas. We went for a topical theme and gave a tour of the service using Andy Murray’s upcoming Wimbledon appearance as our theme. We digitized over centre court, added a photo of Andy holding up a cup and created a 0.5km buffer around centre court to identify which streets will hear the crowd roar if Andy fulfills our hopes on finals day! We followed the virtual tour with a Q&A session which was particularly useful for us here at EDINA:
Q: Is it possible to automatically colour a building to identify land use?
A: Regrettably no. Because the background maps are images only, you need to digitize the building using the polygon tool changing fill colour as you go.
Q: Can I delete saved maps?
A: The only way to do that currently is to contact firstname.lastname@example.org and tell us which maps to delete. The ability to delete maps was asked frequently so we will be looking at how to deliver that functionality to you so it can be done locally by yourselves.
Q: Can I create subfolders of maps for different classes?
A: No, however you can filter/order maps according to entries in the class field. Again this question was asked by many so we will be looking at delivering this functionality.
Q: Will the annual password change purge all my saved maps?
A: No, your saved maps will be unaffected by the password change.
Q: Can I preview my map before generating a pdf?
A: No not yet but we already have on our development path the aim to have that function is place for you returning after the summer break so that before the pdf, jpg or png are generated you will be able to see the extent the map will cover in the map window and be able to move that around.
Q: Can I change the photo size on the map?
A: You can click once on the photo and see a larger version but you cannot change the size of the photo on the map itself. This was asked for several times so we will look into offering this flexibility.
Q: Grid reference points – can I save them and/or add multiple ones?
A: No the grid reference tool is not an annotation you add to the map, it is a temporary response to a map click only. There was interest in multiple grid references so we will look into the feasibility of this.
Q: Can the buffer tool be used along a line?
A: No it works on a single click only. However we could extend the buffer tool to work on digitized line annotations also. Again, we’ll look into the feasibility of doing this.
Q: Can children access Digimap for Schools from home?
A: Yes all they need is internet access and a browser and they can use the school login to access the service from home.
Q: Can you offer a route card type function for Duke of Edinburgh activities?
A: That’s not on our immediate development plan but it’s one to keep in mind.
Q: Can I add multiple markers by entering postcodes?
A: Not currently and it’s not on our immediate development path although we have considered a gpx upload function. We’re not sure if there’s huge demand for this.
Q: Is there a file size limit on the photo upload tool?
A: Yes, the file limit is 10MB per image.
Q: A student friendly summary sheet would be helpful
A: A user guide written by Mark Williams (age 14) is available http://digimapforschools.edina.ac.uk/cosmo/home?page=resources
Q: Can charts from Excel be imported onto the map?
A: Yes. If you save your Excel chart as a picture and select the jpeg option, it will be in a format that the Add Photo tool will be happy to accept.
Q: Is there a Digimap for Schools app?
A: No there’s not an app but the service has been optimized to work on Safari browsers on iPads.
Q: Can you enter a grid reference range and see the map within that area? I’m thinking about recreating maps from exams.
A: Not really but if you enter the superset grid reference into the search box you will be taken to that grid reference. Darren from Ordnance Survey also added Ordnance Survey are in discussions with Examination Boards exploring the possibility of obtaining past paper extracts that could be integrated within the service.
Q: Will the service extend beyond the UK in the future?
A: Maybe if demand exists!
Q: Is there any way of showing Geological information on a map?
A: If you have a photograph or an image in jpeg format then yes it can be added to the map. There is of course also a wealth of digital geological data that the British Geological Society makes available. Adding this geological data to Digimap for Schools is something we have considered but haven’t detected as much interest in compared to say e.g. historical data and/or aerial photography.
Other discussion points included a general interest in MapStream (http://mapstream.edina.ac.uk) EDINA’s web mapping service for use in desktop GIS. There seemed to be a bit of interest in MapStream and even a request for a dedicated webinar. Prior to deciding to subscribe to MapStream a school needs to decide upon a desktop GIS to use the service in, but we are happy to run a webinar demonstrating MapStream in a variety of desktop GIS. Email email@example.com if you are interested in a MapStream webinar, we’d love to hear from you! We had several schools identify problems with losing annotations from saved maps. We’re actively working to identify what’s causing this intermittent problem. Again if you’ve experienced lost annotations please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org because we really need as much evidence as possible to resolve this problem.
We wrapped up the session asking if the webinar had been useful, over half of participants indicated it had, which was great to hear:
‘thank you very much, we have found this very useful’
‘thank you very much – has really helped to clarify some points’
‘accessed this webinar from home via iPad without any problems – just had to download an app to open the webinar’
‘I think this is a really good way of sharing information and it is nice to know I’m not the only person sitting in my room after school! thank you’
‘we love digimap’
‘thank you for your help today. If you offer further webinars I would be interested in attending’
‘Superb session. Thanks’
‘Use digimaps a lot in school with different year groups. thanks’
We will be making a video of the session available very soon. Watch this space!
We made a preview version of the new service available at UKSG in early April and just closed this off a few weeks ago. During this period we put up an online survey and encouraged emails to the EDINA helpdesk to ask our users for their views on the functionality and ease of use of the redeveloped service. A full report is now available on our website.
Overall, the response was very positive and any significant issues which were raised, EDINA were already aware of and are currently busy trying to resolve for the next release, due this autumn. Over 70% of the respondents reported that the preview service was better than the current service and we hope to improve this figure further as we iron out the glitches.
“Very bold design, clear and simple. A great improvement. Will encourage use of the service.”
We are happy that the vast majority of respondents found that the basic search facility was easy to use, 89%, and that the newly introduced post-search filters were found to be useful to 83% of respondents. Respondents reported that both the pre and post search filters would be good tools for reducing large result sets and filtering out holdings which might not be of interest, e.g. electronic or print holdings.
“Having the basic phrases in the first drop down box allows an easy search but also one that can still be refined without having to go to advanced search. Limiting locations and institutions is useful, especially for us as a public library as we know a number of locations will not lend so we can limit to those that do.”
Some respondents reported issues related to the display of the results list and the advanced search and work is on-going to resolve these. We were already aware that the Exact Title search was a little too exact – requiring exact matching on punctuation and letter case! Further, the relevancy ranking was not always working as expected, so these are another two areas we are currently concentrating on getting optimised.
The feedback received has been extremely useful in confirming areas we had concerns about and so helping us to prioritise immediate fixes for the next release, while also highlighting other interesting suggestions we can investigate for future releases.
This is the second in a series of blog posts highlighting some of the new features which will be available in the redeveloped SUNCAT. In this post we are going to focus on how the post search filters will improve the new service, enabling the use of faceted browsing to lead users to the most relevant journal titles and holdings for their needs.
Post search filters will be available from the search results display, down the left hand side of the results list, and will provide similar functionality as you will be familiar with via other discovery services and many commercial shopping and travel websites.
At this point we plan to include the following facets:
- Institution (the institutions holding the journals returned in the current results list)
- Format (includes electronic and print formats)
- Author (organisation associated with journals where relevant)
- Year (first published)
- Place of publication
You will be able to combine filters to drill right down to journal titles matching quite specific criteria, but you will then also be able to simply remove filters to widen your results back up again.
An interesting side effect of displaying the filters is that it is now possible to easily see the variation present in the records supplied to SUNCAT, which goes a long way to explaining why not all the records which we would like to match together do! Part of the next step of the development work will be to try and amalgamate some of the filters so that they display in a more manageable and helpful fashion. For example combining year filters containing no numerical characters, such as “||||”, “uuuu” etc. into one “Unknown” filter. Also publication place filters such as “london”, “London.”, “London,” etc. into one filter for “London”.
You can see the faceted browsing in action on the preview service which will be available until Monday 13th May, so please take a look and let us have your comments via the online survey or by email to email@example.com
The following screenshot shows the filters on the preview service: