Local Collections in Discovery Services: An Inquiry


Discovery Service
Local Collections
WorldCat Discovery Services

How to Cite

Yang, S. Q., Dawson, P. H., & Ding, J. (2019). Local Collections in Discovery Services: An Inquiry. International Journal of Librarianship, 4(2), 3–33. https://doi.org/10.23974/ijol.2019.vol4.2.153
Received 2019-12-22
Accepted 2019-12-23
Published 2019-12-29


Many libraries subscribed to discovery services in the hope of boosting the use of their local collections such as print materials, DVDs, or even subscribed ejournals and ebooks that are separate from licensed databases. However, anecdotal evidence shows that the implementation of a discovery service will increase the usage of the vendors’ electronic resources instead. This study aims to find out how well local collections are promoted through EBSCO Discovery Service (EDS), Primo, Summon, and WorldCat Discovery Services (WorldCat) by comparing results of queries in the discovery services versus the number of actual listings from these libraries’ traditional catalogs. 

Authors conducted three searches based on real-life student assignments in science, history, and sociology in each of the four discovery services. To offset the bias of location configuration, ten libraries with the same discovery tool were selected for each search and total results are averaged. ANOVA and Tukey Honest Significant Difference statistical analyses show differences among the four discovery services investigated. Discovery tools promote local collections in different ways. Some tools provide the possibility to list libraries’ local collections before listing the vendor’s database items, but others are less inclined to do so.  



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