Primo & Metalib

As well as recently seeing demos from Ebsco and Swets, last week we also looked at Primo & Metalib from Ex-Libris.  Some of us had already previewed Primo as the new British Library catalogue/discovery interface but we were keen to see the benefits we could expect as an existing customer of the Ex-Libris link resolver, SFX (we also discovered that we could discard our MARCIT service as Primo has this MARC import facility built-in).  Metalib was also one of the products we viewed around 4 years ago, so it was interesting to see how much things have developed since then.

Primo appears to integrate well with existing library catalogues (e.g. showing item availability) and institutional repositories, as well as providing a federated search for subscription databases.  We liked the sound of the features coming up in Primo 3 such as recommendations and multilingual functionality, and we’re also taking part in a webinar explaining more about the new version of Primo in the next couple of weeks.  The FRBRization of resources is also a valuable feature for us and something our users now expect, particularly when searching for both print and electronic versions of items.

As with all the systems we’re seeing, we have contacts to follow up and we’ll also be conducting user testing, as ever we are keen to pick the system that’s right for our users, not just convenient for us.

We have two more demos coming up this week, from OCLC and Encore.

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2 Responses

  1. The fact it integrates with SFX and that we wouldn’t need MarcIT is certainly a positive. I was just wondering with regards to Primo performing federated searches rather than being pre-indexed whether the fact some services/websites only accept certain types of keyword searches would hinder a federated search. Also with SFX the target search boxes don’t work with some providers. Would the same thing apply in Primo with keyword searches?

  2. In general, our approach is to pre-harvest wherever possible. In the decreasing number of cases where federated search is still necessary, the behaviour of a publisher’s end-user search interface is not usually a reliable guide to how their federated search (SRU/SRW, z39.50, XML or whatever they offer) interface works. Most publishers are now pretty good at handling fairly sophisticated federated search requests.

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