Thursday, June 7, 2007 11:29 AM
This morning, as I tinkered with slides for a talk that I'm giving at the ALA Annual Meeting on Google Scholar and Libraries, a recent statistic on our Scholar Library Links program caught my eye. In fact, it made me exclaim "Holy moly!" out loud, much to my cubemates' amusement. I was amazed to see that Library Links -- a program that we launched just over two years ago to facilitate the connection between Scholar search results and libraries' electronic journal collections -- is now more than 1,200 libraries strong.
This number is significant not only because of its sheer size, but more so because it indicates how successful the links have become in uniting many Google Scholar users to the digital content that libraries have licensed. In fact, participating libraries are seeing a 10-20% click-through rate on these links -- quite a high number considering typical user behavior on search results pages. Because we're invested in making research accessible to as many as possible, whether folks are searching from a library terminal or from home, figures such as these are encouraging. We still have much work to do, however, to fill the link-resolver gap and reach out to everyone that we can: numerous libraries with link resolvers have not yet shared their holdings information with Scholar, many libraries simply don't have resolvers in place, and others, particularly in developing countries, lack the resources to implement them, even if they have access to electronic journals.
If your library does not have a link resolver and you'd like to join the Library Links program, get in touch with us at firstname.lastname@example.org. We can help find a free solution that is right for you. And if you are working with a link resolver vendor to share your holdings information with Google Scholar, be sure to register the entire set of your IPs! The more exposure that we can provide to your licensed collections for all of your patrons, the better.
And for those of you following news about Google Book Search, just yesterday we announced that the CIC, a consortium of 10 Midwestern universities (the Big 10 plus the University of Chicago), has signed on as Library Partner. See the Inside Book Search post about this for more information.
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