Matthew Reidsma

Work Notes

Updates from the GVSU Libraries’ Web Team.
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Journal Finder Updates Coming Soon

A few of our tools have updates that we’d like to take advantage of, and now that Spring/Summer semester is upon us, we’re preparing to test and roll out these upgrades. The schedule for updates is currently:

  • Monday, August 21: LibAnalytics will migrate to the full version of LibInsight (details coming Thursday)
  • Tuesday, August 22: 360 Link will be upgraded to version 2.0 (details coming tomorrow)
  • Wednesday, August 23: The Journal Finder (ProQuest’s EJP) will be upgraded to version 2.0 (details below)

I’m still working out the final details and tweaks for some of these updates, but I should have had all the conversations and worked out the various kinks in the migration plans by the days listed above. I will be posting more work notes with these details (and instructions for previewing or testing the upgraded versions) on the dates listed. Today, I will tell you about the Journal Finder update!

Journal Finder Upgrade

In 2016, ProQuest released the eJournal Portal 2.0, an updated journal search tool that replaced the legacy Journal Finder we’ve been using for years. In the early days, they had quite a few kinks to work out so we didn’t switch right away, but over the past year the tool has been quite stable. I’ve customized the user interface of the tool to match the rest of our site, and have activated a few of the new features that could make things a bit easier for our users:

New features activated
  • Open Access and Peer Review indicators, as well as the ability to filter results by either Open Access or Peer Review flags (this data comes from Ulrich’s, I believe.)
  • The ability to customize the order of the database listing for journal holdings. In the current version, database holdings are listed alphabetically. The new version allows us to customize the order (for instance, to put more reliable databases before flakier ones) but more importantly lets us use the database rankings we’ve already set up in 360 Link.
  • Autocomplete functionality in the search box
  • Expanded browsing navigation for subjects
  • “More intuitive page navigation for large results sets”
  • Cover images from Syndetics
  • Search inside the publication feature, creating a scoped Summon search for indexed journals right in the results set

Sample EJP2.0 results page

New features I have not activated
  • Integrated (or separate) eBook and Journal searching. Currently we only have it set up to search journals. We could turn on the eBook functionality and either have an integrated search of eBooks and journals or we could have separate pages for searching eBooks and Journals.
  • Ability to add integrated Ulrich’s Journal History and Details (if we have a current subscription)
  • Ability to add PubMed and DOI search boxes

If any of these features seem useful, let me know! We can talk with Sarah and Jeffrey about how they might be implemented.

You can read more about the eJournal Portal 2.0 on ProQuest/Ex Libris’s website.

A question about where to begin a journal search

Currently we have a page in the CMS that has an embedded search box that takes the user to the Journal Finder. This is because the current default Journal Finder homepage is so dreadful that I couldn’t bear to show it to anyone! (Think multiple search boxes, buttons, and drop down menus, like the love child of Lexis Nexis and Alta Vista circa 1999.) The new Journal Finder homepage isn’t bad, though, and we have the ability to decide what gets added there, if we wish.

The question is, which of the two should be our home page? The old one gives us the ability to customize, but doesn’t offer autocomplete or a dynamic list of browsable subjects. The new homepage makes customization a tad bit more difficult, but offers the benefits of browsable subjects and autocomplete. I’d love to hear your thoughts on which of the two you would prefer.

Previewing the changes

You can preview the new Journal Finder by installing the bookmarklet below. Drag the button to your browser’s toolbar, and when you are in the existing Journal Finder click the bookmarklet and the page will reload in the new 2.0 interface. From there, you can browse around in the new interface until you close the tab or leave the Journal Finder (but you can always get back by clicking the bookmarklet on a Journal Finder page again.)

Journals 2.0 Preview

I have a little help page on installing bookmarklets, including instructions by browser.

Here’s a ittle animation of the Journal Finder bookmarket in action:

Animation of the bookmarklet in action

It is slow, but some of this is from using the bookmarklet. Other institutions have said that running the service live made it quite a bit speedier. (Although it will likely stil be slower than the old version, since it is built with a slightly bloated framework (for a tool with such a limited scope, IMO).

If you see anything that isn’t working well, or that has changed for the worse from the previous version, please let me know. (Better yet: use the “report a probem” link at the bottom of the preview page you are on!) I’ll do my best to investigate and figure out what’s happening.

Tomorrow I’ll have details on the new version of 360 Link, and then Thursday look for more details about the LibAnalytics migration! As