Jinfo BlogContent discovery - connecting the dots

Friday, 15th June 2018 Sign in to MyJinfo or create an account be able to star items Click for printable version Subscribe via RSS to get updates as soon as Blog items are added Tweet about this item on Twitter Share on Facebook Share on LinkedIn

By Elizabeth Trudell

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To expand past research into content discovery, we have just concluded a research project, aimed primarily at organisations with strong STEM research functions. Through a survey and in-depth interviews, we delved more deeply into three top goals identified in the prior research. This post highlights a few findings which can be seen in more detail in the full report now available.


In 2017, we conducted a research project with the objective of gaining an overview of user needs for content discovery services. This research identified three key goals for content discovery:

  • Providing a single point of entry for search
  • Improving back-end integration
  • Gaining fresh insights through data analysis.

To gain a deeper understanding of these goals and information team perspectives on the service provider options, we carried out a follow-up research project in the first half of 2018. As the interest was strongest in organisations with strong STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) research functions, we focused on that segment.

The research included a survey, followed by in-depth interviews delving more deeply into these three distinct yet interconnected goals. This post highlights one of the key findings per goal, with the full research report, "Jinfo discovery report 2018", available to those with a Jinfo Subscription. 

Single point of entry for search

Most respondents agreed that the primary goal of discovery is to provide a single point of entry for searching diverse content collections. However, there are many approaches to offering this to end users. Many respondents are grappling with how to extend single point of access to encompass content beyond that offered by traditional database providers and content discovery services.

Improving back-end integration

The desire to extend the content pool, combined with the difficulties with cross-system connection points, highlights the need for the second goal: back-end integration.

Information professionals are clearly frustrated by the difficulty of working across different platforms. There is a strong desire for content vendors to form partnerships and content platforms such as SharePoint, to work together to enable "plug and play".

Gaining fresh insights through data analytics

The research confirmed that this third goal, while considered very important, is in a more exploratory phase. Many noted that they plan to put more staff resources into assessing this in the coming year.

This will be an area to watch for new implementation approaches as clarity on needs and options increases.


This is just a sampling of the insights derived from the research. There is a wealth of information about services being deployed and approaches to implementation which can be found in the complete research report, "Jinfo discovery report 2018" (Subscription content).

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