Tuesday, 3 June 2008

EBSCOHost 2.0 coming

Several LLs from Morris Miller attended a live webinar on the new Ebsco interface this morning. Because of "technical issues" we could only have a one way telephone link and see the presenter's slides and commentary. (The beta should be available on 9 June and the final release in July).
Here a few points of interest.
  • The new interface is more visual with bigger icons, embedded images and very visual clustering and limiting tools.
  • Addition of "Visual search" which allows you physically move and rearrange search elements
  • "Smart text" searching allows you to paste a whole block of text (usually from another highly relevant article) and the software will interpret it, create a strategy and perform a search to find similar articles. (I thought this was quite clever).
  • the "cite" feature gives clear guidelines on how to reference the results you find in a number of styles like APA, Chicago, Vancouver etc. There was some indication that we may be able to add our Harvard style as well.
  • All articles have persistent links and our EzProxy wrappers can be added if we request it. These persistent links will be relocated from the body of the record to the browser URL bar for easier bookmarking. Lecturers can easily embed these in MyLO.
  • Users can register and log into their own portal. They can save item to their own portal and access them from home or elsewhere.
Most of the features presented are available for you to view via the EbscoHost 2.0 link on the Ebsco Support centre, and most of the new feature are neatly summarized on this page in the Support site.
Our concensus was that not a lot was changed, but it is presented in a more user friendly way.
Viewing the tutorial is highly recommended (only 6minutes)
(Thanks to Juliet for organizing the demo).


Felix Wilson said...

In relation to the visual search, I was quite impressed with this interface development. Although it probably isn't something I would use to search regularly, it certainly is a god way to demonstrate to students how adding keywords to a search string will narrow results. The presentation really made me think about how much money is being spent on interfaces to these big databases and how much better for everyone it would be if they would cooperate and develop a standard interface, or at least standards so that third parties could tack on their own interfaces . CrossSearch is a real development in this area but leaves a lot to be desired in terms of functionality compared to some of the individual interfaces.

KP said...

At the risk of repeating some of Roger's excellent summary here are my notes:

• EBSCO Publishing releasing EBSCOhost 2.0 – new platform for EBSCO research databases
• Teleconference provided live demo of new search platform www.ebscohost.com/2.0
• For a quick shortcut click on this page to Interface Enhancements Flash Demo
• Settings can be customised and folders set up – these individualised/personal folders can be accessed anywhere – and folders can be shared
• Note icon which will give abstract details
• Session versus Persistent link – proxy link to customise and authenticate for remote access
• See http://support.ebsco.com for FAQs and then click from there to the Support Centre at http://support.ebsco.com/ebscohost2/ for Help sheets, flyers, printable brochures http://support.ebsco.com/ebscohost2/faqs.php#help