Texas Digital Library Conference System, TCDL 2013

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Uncovering the Mysteries of Metadata Harvesting: Optimizing Digital Library Content for Summon Discovery Tool Access
Kelsey Renee Brett, Santi Thompson

Last modified: 2013-03-26


One of the most valuable attributes of a discovery system is its ability to harvest locally owned digital materials and make them discoverable through a single search box along with the rest of the library’s collection. At the University of Houston Libraries, we sought to make local digital content more findable in our discovery system, Serials Solutions Summon.  In order to do this, we had to better understand the way digital library content in CONTENTdm mapped to Summon and work within the constraints of each commercial product to achieve our desired outcome.  While investigating the ways Summon harvested our digital content, we discovered that a majority our digital material was being described by a catch-all content type called “Archival Material” and the extensive efforts made by our metadata librarians and staff to describe digital items were being lost in the harvesting process.  We also discovered that there was no way to limit a search to exclusively digital library materials. This motivated us to explore the details of the Summon harvesting process and develop solutions to enhance the discoverability and description of digital materials within Summon.

Our poster will outline our efforts to increase the findability of digital materials, including our research of the OAI mapping process that was happening behind-the-scenes at Serials Solutions, our discussions with them about the possibilities of modifying the default mapping that was currently in place, and the strategies we developed achieve our desired outcomes.  We will discuss the challenges and successes that we had throughout the process, and how we modified our local content to work well with our discovery product.


discovery systems; metadata; metadata optimization; digital harvesting; Serial Solutions Summon; digital collections

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