I’m still kind of wrapping my head around the bigger picture involving interoperability, crosswalks, federated searching, metasearching, and more. But when I read the first two articles below, I was reminded of an experience I had earlier in the week.
I had clicked on the link from our calendar to read the article “What we want (and don’t want) to know about faculty using digital images,” (Lordy, I won’t even TRY to link it here) and was directed to an Ebsco page that called for a password. I backed out and went to the UA Library to find the article. On a whim, I entered part of the title in quotation marks into Scout to see what happened. That also brought me to an Ebsco page that asked me to click on a database. I chose Academic Search Premiere.
Then, I tried doing an advanced search several ways and got nothing. Big sigh of frustration and several glances at the clock. I know I’m spending way too much time on this already. But now I feel like I can’t let it conquer me.
So I try to add on databases. Nope, won’t let me. I back all the way out again. I go back to the Library’s home page and click “Databases” under the rubric of Library Science. Ok, NOW what database to check? I click on Academic OneFile.
Nope, nothing there either. THIS time I can see that I can add on databases. So I add on about 5 more. Then I search using the same original title search.
It popped right up. It was under the LISTA database. Is that even Ebsco?
In one of the articles, the author mentioned the “UI Nightmare” of being faced with the questions “What database should I use?” I know that feeling.
The other author seemed to imply that, although we can make library catalog UI’s more simple and streamlined, we shouldn’t think we have to compete with Google because, well, complex research is SUPPOSED to be difficult.
Why exactly is it supposed to be difficult?
Thinking critically. THAT is inherently difficult. Learning and integrating new ideas. THAT is inherently difficult. Studying. THAT can be difficult. Deciding which resources are worthy. All difficult, yes.
But if I know what I want, and I have to jump through several hoops and waste a good 15-20 minutes of valuable study time, what exactly is the perceived value there?
Searching for quality research articles should not involve a minor hazing ritual.
I think that interoperability and metasearching are very intriguing concepts. Maybe metasearching seems simplistic because it just needs time to get the wrinkles ironed out. I can’t see it as anything other than a worthy goal, myself.