The Darkening of Government Information
Christopher C. Brown
Reference Technology Integration
Librarian / Government
Documents Librarian
University of Denver, Main
Library
August 7, 2014
Discovery Tools Abound – But How do the Affect
Discovery of Government Information?
•
•
•
•
Summon (ProQuest)
EDS (Ebsco)
Primo (ExLibris)
WorldCat Discovery (OCLC)
2014 Western States Government
Information Virtual Conference
Understand Our Current Technology
• Library catalogs allow searching of metadata only,
no full text (FT) searching
• Vendors’ so called “federated search” tools were
a huge FAIL, relying on crude technologies like
Z39.50. No FT searching.
• Google (Web, Scholar, Books) allows searching of
full text, this putting pressure on vendors to
create a full text search products for libraries.
• Vendors rushed to create products that searched
a large swath of library journal, newspaper, and
book holdings, often down to the FT level.
2014 Western States Government
Information Virtual Conference
The Information Access Anomaly
Book (average)
Journal Article
(average)
Google
(Scholar/Books)
Typical Length - full
text (FT)
200 pages x 400 =
80,000 words
15 pages x 400 = 6,000
words
Surrogate Record
(SR)
SR to FT ratio
50-100 words (75 ave.)
300-500 words (400 ave. 1)
1 to 10,666
1 to 15
1 to 1
“Catalog Discovery”
“Index Discovery”
“Google Discovery”
1
http://www.writersservices.com/wps/p_word_count.htm
©2014 Christopher C. Brown
2014 Western States Government
Information Virtual Conference
In Older Search Tools, GovInfo was on par in terms of
findability with other kinds of info
Searching this:
40 words
187 words
To Retrieve this:
1:2,270
1:61
2014 Western States Government
Information Virtual Conference
90,822
words
11,365
words
Catalog Search vs. Metasearch vs.
Discovery Search
Catalog
Metasearch
Discovery
Searches metadata of library
catalog only
Searches metadata of library
catalog and other resources
via Z39.50 and other
protocols
Searches the “big pot” of
metadata and in some cases
full text, all of which has been
dumped into the “big pot”
Shallow searching; 1:10,000
Shallow searching; 1:10,000
Deep searching in many
cases; 1:1, otherwise
1:10,000
Gov info on par with other
info
Gov info on par with other
info
Gov info backgrounded, since
only CGP records exposed,
NOT full text of FDsys.
2014 Western States Government
Information Virtual Conference
Catalog vs. Discovery Platform
• DU Library Catalog: About 4 million records,
30% of records are documents records. No FT
discovery, only metadata discovery.
• DU Discovery Platform (Summon). 630 million
records. Hard to estimate, but likely less than
1% government documents content.
2014 Western States Government
Information Virtual Conference
Presence of Govdocs in DU’s Library
Catalog
4,500,000
4,000,000
3,500,000
3,000,000
2,500,000
2,000,000
4,000,000
1,500,000
1,000,000
1,200,000
500,000
0
Bib records
Govdocs
Bib records
Govdocs
2014 Western States Government
Information Virtual Conference
Presence of Govdocs in DU’s Summon
Instance
2014 Western States Government
Information Virtual Conference
Default Search Affects Results
Default Search box until
2011: Library Catalog
Default Search box 2011 to
present: Summon
2014 Western States Government
Information Virtual Conference
Darkening of Govinfo Over Time at DU
Default Search: Library Catalog
Default Search: Discovery Tool (Summon)
Note: If FDsys were included in Summon, more exposure to govinfo would
occur.
2014 Western States Government
Information Virtual Conference
What’s the Solution?
• Have each of the discovery vendors fully
cooperate with GPO. They need to acquire the
full FDsys content and update it regularly –
not just metadata, but full PDF content.
2014 Western States Government
Information Virtual Conference
Questions?
Christopher C. Brown
Christopher. [email protected]
2014 Western States Government
Information Virtual Conference
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