Two roads, one destination - Usability testing discovery layers

My colleagues, Karen Joc and Wendy Abbott, presented our paper at VALA16 today. The paper is a usability study comparing Summon and Primo discovery layers as Bond University Library migrated from Aleph/Summon to Alma/Primo in 2015.

Karen Joc, Peta Hopkins, Jessie Donaghey and Wendy Abbott / Two roads, one destination: a journey of discovery (Melbourne: VALA; 11 February 2016)
Persistent URL: http://www.vala.org.au/vala2016-proceedings/vala2016-session-15-joc

The adoption of resource discovery platforms has been a growing trend in libraries. However, few libraries have reported on the transition from one discovery layer to another, and only a few institutions have discussed two discovery layers available in the same institution at the same time. Bond University Library recently implemented Alma as its library management system, and with this change a new discovery platform, Primo, was implemented to supersede the existing Summon platform. This paper will present the results of a usability study undertaken at Bond University Library in the move from one discovery layer to another.

I will update this post with links to the full text in Bond's repository when it has been uploaded. In the meantime here are some tweets from the session:


The Sydney Conference - Somewhere Beyond the Paywall

I attended the Sydney Conference at Macquarie University last month. The focus was scholarly communication beyond paywalls – to reconceptualise the future of this communication process.
While there were a lot of librarians in attendance we were fortunate to have several researchers and publisher representatives along as well.

This was not a typical conference with papers being selected and presented. This was more like an unconference – albeit with a little structure.

The attendees split up into several threads to nut out issues, barriers, and ideas. We were provoked admirably by Penny Carnaby each day with challenges such as visualising a party to celebrate a momentous announcement – we had to figure out what the headline was!
I joined the Roles group and our first go looked a bit like this…

Like other groups we found it difficult to limit our focus to roles without considering other factors such as the format question, peer-review, barriers and data management which were the focus of other threads.
For example in our thread we had a darn* good go at scrapping peer-review in its current form and moving authority to the evidence being presented. This would make critical thinking and data review highly valued skills, and necessitate that the evidence be made available.
The chief protagonist in getting this conference off the ground was Jo-Anne Sparks who invited me to stretch my artistic muscles with sketch notes of the event. So I had a lovely time doodling and colouring in as well as throwing in my 2cents.

Created with flickr slideshow.

Explore the Storify Collection of everyone’s social media contributions.
Or check out #sydconf15 on Instagram and Twitter

There was also a musical parody encouraged by @JasonEnsor wherein the Roles thread group rewrote the words to a couple of well-known tunes, and accompanied by some ragged ukulele strumming by me sang…..

Somewhere Over the Paywall – What a Wonderful World

{subtitle:Apologies to Judy and Louis}
[C] [Em] [Am] [F] [C] [Em] [Am] [Am9] [F] [C] Ooh [Em] [F] [C] [F] [E7] [Am] [F]
[C] Somewhere [Em] over the rainbow [F]ten years from [C] now
[F] And the [C] dreams that you dreamt of [G] once in a symposi[Am]um [F]
[C] Somewhere [Em] over the rainbow [F] ideas [C] soar
[F] OPen [C] dreams that you dreamt of
[G] Dreams really can come [Am] true [F]
To [C] day we'll wish upon a star
And [G] wake up with the tipping point be[Am]hind [F] us
Where [C] paywalls melt like lemon drops
[G] High above the turbine tops that’s [Am] where you'll [F] find me
[C] Somewhere [Em] over the rainbow [F] research [C] counts
[F] Open [C] dreams that you dare to [G] dream really will come [Am] true [F]
I hear [C] some publishers [Em] cry and we [F] hear them [C] groan
[F] They earn much [C] more than [E7] we'll ever [Am] know
And I [F] think to myself [G] what a wonderful [Am] world [F]
Well I see [C] open [Em] access and I see [F] open [C] data
And the [F] brightness of [C] ideas [E7] flowing like [Am] wine
And I [F] think to myself [G] what a wonderful [C] world [F] [C]

The [G] impact of research still [C] flying high
Is [G] also on the faces of [C] funders passing by
I see [F] friends shaking [C] hands saying [F] how do you [C]do
[F] They're really [C] saying [Dm7] I value [G7] you

Well I see [C] papers are [Em] free and [F] books freed [C]too
[F] I'll watch them [C] shared for [E7] me and [Am] you
And I [F] think to myself [G] what a wonderful [Am] world [F]

[C] Someday I'll write up my research
And [G] wake up where the barriers are be[Am]hind [F] me
Where [C] problems melt and agro drops

[G] Looking at new journal streams that's [Am] where you'll [F] find me
[C] Somewhere [Em] over the rainbow [F] research [C] counts
[F] Open [C] dreams that you dare to [G] dream really will come [Am] true [F]

[C] Oh Ay[Em] [F] Oh[C] Ay
[F] [E7] [Am] [F] [C]

*see what I did there?


Word on Android Tablet

Trying out MS Word  for android tablet. It looks pretty easy to use and has a nice ebook reading mode.

It also offered a very easy option for connecting to dropbox


BlogJune - get your feeds here

I am not planning on blogging every day of June, but my small contribution to supporting the challenge is to provide the OPML file of the participants feeds.

You can use this to import into your RSS reader eg. Feedly to easily consume all the blogjune goodness.


You can register your participation in the challenge at Flexnib's blog.




I have been using SoundCloud for a while now as a way of improving my ukulele playing.

The latest app however, no longer supports commenting. Huh! I know right? I can’t even reply to other people who leave comments on my recordings without going to the website.

So I went looking for an alternative because I always like to try new things anyway.  Audioboo – now Audioboom – popped into my twitter stream from someone talking about using it with students to record podcasts from field trips.

So here is one I made earlier. The Android app for this also does not seem to support commenting. I also cannot get the app to work on my Acer Iconia tablet. Just crashes. But it’s OK on my Samsung phone.

More experimenting to be done with this I think.