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veritas Harvard University Library Notes, For Harvard Library Staff, Number 1325 May 2005

Harvard University Library Notes / September 2005 / No. 1327

MetaLib Update

Since the June 30 launch of E-Research @ Harvard Libraries, users have begun to explore this new environment for conducting and managing electronic research. Perhaps even more important, they are starting to take advantage of the new federated search capabilities and personalization features that E-Research offers.

To date, efforts throughout the libraries have focused on revising curriculum to include E-Research in training materials and workshops. A brown-bag lunch was held on July 28 to discuss methods for helping users to learn and work effectively with the new system. Several participants remarked on their use of the "My Research" module to set up lists of resources and citations during initial research consultations. Additional brown-bag lunches—and further discussions—will be held during the fall.

The MetaLib Working Group is continuing to meet and to work on adjustments to the system in two major areas:

User Interface

Feedback from staff and users has been useful in identifying areas in need of clarification. Responding to user needs, several additional navigation links have been added to help with scrolling through long results lists, and expanded instructions, prompts, and tips are now available on each screen.


Despite initial testing with screen-reading software, the current release of MetaLib, which powers E-Research, has proven incompatible with at least one major screen reader, JAWS. Ex Libris plans to remedy this situation in its forthcoming Version 3.14 of MetaLib, which will most likely be available at Harvard in July or August 2006.

For the present, OIS is providing screen-reader access through a temporary, alternative-access site based on the portal's former e-resources menu. This site will be withdrawn once a more viable option for the current academic year has been identified and tested. E-journal information searchable on this page is up to date as of June 30, 2005, and efforts are now under way to ensure that e-journal information is completely current as soon as possible.

As before, e-journals that are part of large collections will not be included. For comprehensive and current links and information about individual e-journals, users will be directed to the EJ2: Supplementary List of E-Journals, which is located at http://sfx.hul.harvard.edu:82/sfx_local-e-collection/e-journals-A.html.

Links to the Screen Reader Alternative site have been added on:

Staff comments are both welcome and encouraged. Please use the E-Research "Comments" facility to ensure that your comments reach the full MetaLib Working Group.


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