The survey on the preview of the redeveloped SUNCAT service and the preview itself is available until Monday 13th May. Please do take a few minutes to have a look at the service and let us have your feedback. All comments are very welcome and will provide us with vital information on any areas which require further development. Thank you to all who have responded so far.
We’ve now put up a short survey and would be very grateful for your input which will help to guide the ongoing development of the service. If you prefer you can also let us have your comments via the EDINA helpdesk at email@example.com
We would also encourage you to circulate details of the preview service and the survey as widely as possible.
Both the survey and the preview will only be available until Monday 13th May, but development work will still be continuing and so we will have more posts to keep you up to date with progress.
Please take a few minutes to let us know what you think!
We’ve just published the reportfrom our Benefits and Impact Survey for 2013. The survey was launched back in November and closed at the end of last month.
The report confirms SUNCAT’s primary role as a centralised source of serials information and UK holdings, with 75% of responses stating, either locating serials and articles, or checking bibliographic information, as the primary purposes for using the service.
The key features of the service which are most valued by the respondents include:
- SUNCAT’s comprehensive coverage
- Its aggregation and display of serials information and UK holdings
- The accuracy and currency of the data provided
- The speed and ease of use of the service
We are very happy to see that the vast majority of respondents find SUNCAT not only easy or very easy to use (86%) but that it also saves them time (89%). Further, 97% indicated they would recommend the service to others.
“It is such a comprehensive reference source it would take me much longer to check information elsewhere.”
“SUNCAT is easy to use and its coverage of UK serial holdings is great.”
“Very trustworthy, fast and comprehensive. Records are to a very high standard.”
“Find Suncat invaluable. If it wasn’t available I would try to source an alternative. Don’t know what though!”
We also used the survey to find out what improvements our users would like to see in SUNCAT so that we can use this information to plan and prioritise our future developments. A number of the suggestions related to the data provided by the SUNCAT Contributing Libraries (CLs), both requesting more detailed holdings information and also providing additional information such as licensing restrictions for electronic serials. While this area is not one EDINA has immediate control over we do take note of these ideas, in the hope that if our CLs start recording and linking such information to their serials records, we would be able to start incorporating this into SUNCAT.
However, with regard to suggested improvements related to the SUNCAT interface we are happy to report that a number of these will be addressed as part of the redevelopment of SUNCAT, announced in November and mentioned in the previous posting. These include:
- Moving the search functionality to the homepage of the service to integrate the service and website more closely
- Providing a print/electronic serials limit to the search functionality to enable users to pre-filter their search by format
- Adding print/electronic icons to the holdings display to enable users to more quickly and easily distinguish between print and electronic holdings
It is also good to know that our users are keen to see the service continue to expand and we will indeed be continuing to add new libraries throughout 2013.
SUNCAT is sending out a survey to Contributing Libraries on Monday, 4thFebruary, to discuss what the libraries are doing with regards to the adoption of RDA (Resource Description Access), the new cataloguing rules that are due to replace AACR2 (Anglo-American Cataloguing Rules, 2nd edition). The results will help with integrating RDA into SUNCAT, for example, in adding new MARC21 codes for display, new indexing routines, etc. The analysis of the answers will also form the basis of a paper that has been accepted for publication in Alexandria: the journal of national & international library and information issues (0955-7490), in a special RDA-themed issue.
As part of the SUNCAT Redevelopment we reported on last week, we will be introducing a new contemporary design for the SUNCAT web interface.
A number of designs were produced by EDINA’s in-house designer, based on a design brief submitted by the SUNCAT team based on
- User feedback we have received over the past few years.
- A survey of a number of commercial search engines as well as library and union catalogues in the UK, Europe and beyond. These sites included:
Feedback suggested that the current design was well liked but was starting to look somewhat dated so some key elements of the brief included:
- Keeping the SUNCAT logo and colours for continuity
- Keeping the search functionality at the heart of the design
- Incorporating other elements of the site into the search homepage to reflect a more portal style approach
- Trying to keep the design clean and simple.
After the initial set of designs was discussed and adapted by the SUNCAT team, the selection was narrowed to two preferred designs which were then circulated to EDINA colleagues for comment.
We were then keen to consult our SUNCAT contributors to involve them in the final selection and to gather feedback which could be incorporated into the ultimate design. A short online survey was made available to SUNCAT contributing libraries for a week at the beginning of November. Sixty responses were received in total, from at least 26 different libraries.
Seventy-two percent of respondents preferred the design displayed below, one percent liked both designs equally and happily none of the respondents reported that they didn’t like either design. The main reasons for preferring the design below included:
- Simpler, cleaner and more user friendly
- Preferred colours and images
- Layout of search and filters on the screen
- Having a map of contributing libraries and a newsfeed easily accessible on the homepage
|New Design for SUNCAT Interface|
We will now be looking at some of the suggestions on how to improve the design, such as:
- Changing the colour of the “Find Now” to better differentiate it from the limit options
- Moving the Advanced Search and Browse buttons closer to the main search box
- Moving the Reset button to beneath the “Find Now” button.
Last year we asked you about your use of SUNCAT. We thank all of you who responded to this survey, the results have fed back into the service and we are using your comments to inform the redevelopment of the SUNCAT interface. This year we are asking some slightly different questions and value any responses we receive so that we can continue to evaluate and develop SUNCAT to meet our users’ needs and expectations.
The survey has 10 questions and should take less than 10 minutes to complete. We would not only appreciate your comments but would also encourage you to circulate the survey details as widely as possible, to library staff and particularly to end-users.
Thank you in anticipation!
The latest SUNCAT Benefits and Impact Survey Report is now available. The report highlights:
– How the service is being used
– How SUNCAT benefits users
– The current level of satisfaction with the service
– How users would like to see SUNCAT develop
Comments from respondents include:
“There are so many search options which you can use, it just makes my job so much easier!”
“If not for Suncat I would spend a lot of my time trying to locate material”
“More than my work taking longer, the quality of my work (catalogue records) would be lower”
“It’s easy to use, has a broad scope of materials held, and is very simple to use. I recommend it to students as well as library staff.”
For any questions about the report or SUNCAT in general please contact the EDINA helpdesk at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Last year we asked you about your use of SUNCAT. We thank all of you who responded to this survey, with the results having fed back into the service. This year we are asking some slightly different questions and value any responses we receive so that we can continue to evaluate and develop SUNCAT to meet our users’ needs and expectations. The survey has 10 questions and should take less than 10 minutes to complete.
We would not only appreciate your comments but would also encourage you to circulate the survey details as widely as possible, to library staff and particularly to end-users. Thank you in anticipation.
SUNCAT is presently carrying out a User Satisfaction Survey. We are very keen to find out your views on the service. The survey consists of 9 questions and takes less than 10 minutes to complete. We are constantly striving to make SUNCAT even better and so your feedback would be very much valued.
We conducted an impact and satisfaction survey on SUNCAT in April 2009. The majority of the respondents were library or information professionals but there were also responses from a small number of researchers, lecturing staff and postgraduates.
Responses confirmed SUNCAT’s primary purpose as a serials location tool with around two thirds of the respondents using the service to find where specific serials are held in the UK. Other purposes included:
- Checking if specific titles are held in particular libraries, cities or regions
- Checking the bibliographic details of serials
- Using SUNCAT records to improve or create local library serials’ records
Specific examples of usage also highlighted that SUNCAT regularly saved library staff time and money when trying to locate serials.
“SUNCAT is invaluable in helping me locate libraries that hold journals when British Library is unable to satisfy ILL requests. SUNCAT is my first choice for serials location checking. It is easy to use and has exceptional coverage. I use it daily to trace journals and correct reference information. It has speeded my work up tremendously since it’s introduction and I’d be lost without it.”
Desirable improvements or developments for the service which were highlighted included:
- Addition of more contributing libraries
- Reduction of duplication on the catalogue
- Linking from records on SUNCAT to equivalent records on libraries’ local catalogues
- Linking from SUNCAT records to Table of Contents services, e.g. Zetoc
- Saving records across sessions
- Saving searches across sessions
- Location based results based on users’ preference settings.
Finally, 92% of respondents indicated their overall level of satisfaction with SUNCAT as “Good” or “Excellent”.
This is excellent news for the SUNCAT service, with high levels of satisfaction for the existing service and positive support for developments in progress. The team realise, however, that there is still much work to be done to try and ameliorate the effects of duplicate records on the catalogue while also adding more new libraries to further improve the coverage and value of the service.