More on reference books

The problem with reference publishing is discoverability. One answer is full-text indexing, with results integrated into mainstream search sites — especially our library catalogs.

See earlier post: Essential Reference: Not an oxymoron

2 Responses to “More on reference books”

  1. 1 Neil Schlager May 4, 2009 at 10:38 am

    True, Chris, full-text indexing could help with discoverability of electronic resources. But it comes with its own attendant problems, including very large search results. A student writing a paper about the Declaration of Independence would have to wade through a ton of results from our just-published Milestone Documents of American Leaders, or our earlier Milestone Documents in American History — to say nothing of all the other electronic resources the library may own. More selective search results at the article level would be better in many cases. Paratext’s Reference Universe does this, but at a price, and I doubt it’s found in many — if any — school or public libraries.


    • 2 Chris May 4, 2009 at 10:42 am

      Yep–the balance between too many vs. too few results is a tough one. I’m thinking of something like Ref Universe, integrated with catalog results; but in a separate tab labled Reference (or some other more user-friendly label). Faceted browsing with Reference as a facet might work as well.


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