Monday, November 9, 2009

LibGuides Search Box Standardization...

At Ohio University the method of search box creation has been standardized in a simple format for LibGuides. Though if anyone here, in the library, asked for it I could create more custom search forms for specific disciplines. At the moment we are using one simple search per field. See the search box page as an example.

This way subject librarians who want to use the different search boxes can just copy the appropriate box to their LibGuide and change the content to suit their needs. A good example of this would be this english studies research guide that a colleague made for a specific class.

From a usability standpoint I think this is a pretty good model for opening up search boxes to every subject librarian in the college. There are two downsides... If there had to be any updates to boxes then the inheritance structure would not work. There are still many databases out there that can not be searched this way directly. Oh well I can still bootstrap by using Metalib if I have to. Hopefully when OhioLINK releases their new OSearch interface it will allow for direct searching. I also hope other database vendors will allow for search widgets.

I'm evaluating the construction of an engineering based research portal (similar to the engineering subject based research toolbar that I created for Mozilla Firefox.

Friday, November 6, 2009

Libguides ... widgets

So over the summer and here recently I have been harvesting the URL search codes for many of Ohio University's library databases and creating tiny widget search boxes for Libguides. Libguides seems to be a great place for search widgets.

ProQuest - CSA has a search widget option...

So if you have access to an administrative account for ProQuest's Cambridge Scientific Abstracts you can build search widgets for CSA databases. This is great because the search URLs that are created for the widgets have enough malleability that they can be adapted to the toolbar and widgets.

So the OU Engineering Toolbar is now up to version 1.0.10 and includes the ProQuest CSA database Electronics and Communications Abstracts. Subject searching for engineering just became that much smoother.