Value with ProQuest Dialog
One such example is ProQuest Dialog. ProQuest Dialog’s recently revolutionized search interface adds value to every type of search, from a basic “Google-like” search done by a novice searcher, to a more advanced search incorporating filters and limiters, to a command-line search using Boolean terms.
The Administrator Module in the new ProQuest Dialog provides a wide range of tools for customizing the service for each user or group of users. Info pros can create what are essentially customized search engines, designed to focus the user’s search in the most likely sources and with the best search tools. Following are just a few of the ways info pros can customize ProQuest Dialog for their users.
I. Improve the overall search experience
Set the default search page to Basic Search or Look-up Patent to simplify quick searches.
Set the output citation style to one preferred by the organization.
Create widgets that embed a search box in a web page, with built-in search parameters to provide quick, effective searching from within non-library pages.
Allow users to download their search results into a professional-looking report, complete with the organization’s brand.
Add library branding and ways to contact a librarian for assistance on every page.
II. Improving search quality and comprehensiveness
Set the number of search results to 30 or more to encourage deeper browsing.
Set the search customization to automatically include both U.S. and UK spellings, a common blind spot for end users.
Set the search customization to include plurals and comparatives, as well as enable autocomplete, to help users include parallel terms in their queries.
Connect the user’s RefWorks account to the ProQuest Dialog account to simplify exporting or synchronizing records.
Create shortcuts with pre-selected databases that info pros know will be the most useful sources on a topic.
Tools for Rising Awareness
In order to effectively raise awareness of the library’s e-resources, info pros can use a range of techniques to catch their users’ attention in multiple settings and media. Following are some ways to communicate the value of the available digital content.
• Create cheat sheets that explain when to use resources on the web and when to use the library’s resources, for example: “If you want information on this topic, use these sources on the web. If you want information on this other topic, start with the ProQuest Dialog search widget on your group’s intranet page.”
• Create how-to videos or webinars on searching a particular library e-resource, introducing a new web resource, or even using Google more effectively. Keep them to no longer than 3-5 minutes long and include a reminder about the additional research services available through the library.
• Include QR codes in any print signage so that users are directed back to the library’s online presence. QR codes on staff’s business cards can link the user to that staff member’s web page.
• Develop one or more 15-second “elevator speeches” targeted toward different audiences (clients, upper management, etc.) describing the library’s services, focusing on end results—the problems solved, the insights that powered a strategic decision, or the patent awarded that was supported by library research.
• Create a clear explanation on the library’s website of the distinctions between searching the web and using the library’s digital resources—focusing on ease of use, quality of results, unique access to peer-reviewed material, internal resources, and so on.
• Make it easy to find the library’s e-resources. Offer widgets that embed search boxes within web pages, use chat tools to provide live support, or create customized search profiles for individuals and groups.
• Create sample reports and analyses to show clients what kind of research results they can expect. This is where the output formatting tools provided by ProQuest Dialog can help show value.
No longer a service - a stratagic partner
In order for an R&D organization to be successful, its research must go beyond the capabilities of a free, publicly available search engine. Google and other open search engines are commodities available to everyone on the planet. Info pros can show both end-users and upper management that serious research in a competitive industry cannot begin with a commodity.
The value that info pros provide is a critical piece of the R&D process. By deploying the right search tools—and effectively communicating our value across the organization—we can stake our claim as strategic partners who make key contributions to new discoveries.