New Frontiers in Discovery

by | Nov 5, 2020 | 0 comments


Session summary: Discovery has been around for over a decade now, and new, recent advances are making it much smarter. Researchers no longer have to settle for brute force keyword searches that drown them in irrelevant results. Instead, recent leaps in subject and linked data mapping, as well as exciting steps forward in natural language comprehension, language recognition, and systems intelligence have led to platforms that can understand the user’s intended context and can help novice researchers execute expert level searches.

What’s exciting about the new mapping capabilities is that they democratize research. Essentially, no matter your background, no matter your dialect, discovery can understand you. This means that search is now more equitable and opens the world of research to users who previously would be locked out of meaningful research discovery. In addition to these advances in the intelligence of search, great strides have been made in intuitive usability, as discovery platforms borrow a page from the innovations made by such commercial digital service.

Melissa Hoffman and Heather Dalal, Associate Professors and Librarians, Rider University said that the best way to teach search is to introduce students to advanced search right away and use the databases to help them find the keywords. They must look beyond the first 3 results and learn to search in different way, so they will get more results with simple searches. It is important not to have too many learning objectives in a single training session. The process looks like this;

Search Process

Ashleigh Faith, Director, EBSCO described how they supplement “preferred” labels and map natural language to subjects using a form of linked data.

Connections between subjects are expressed as triples: subject1–Relationship–Subject2; for example, Queen Elizabeth–monarchof–Canada. Semantic connections can also be depicted as web-like visuals. EBSCO’s Discovery Service Concept Map is now available on EDS. Concept maps are very useful to novice searchers because they let them see broader and related terms in a pleasing visual way.


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