Thursday, 27 August 2009

New resource: International Encyclopedia of Human Geography

Access to the fulltext e-resource International Encyclopedia of Human Geography (Elsevier) is now available.

The International Encyclopedia of Human Geography provides an authoritative and comprehensive source of information on the discipline of human geography and its constituent, and related, subject areas. The encyclopedia includes over 1,000 detailed entries on philosophy and theory, key concepts, methods and practices, biographies of notable geographers, and geographical thought and praxis in different parts of the world.

Access is available via 'Find e-Resource' in e-Knowledge on: and also from the e-link on the library catalogue record.

Tuesday, 25 August 2009

New Resource: Perdita Manuscripts: Women Writers, 1500-1700

Access is now available to Perdita Manuscripts: Women Writers, 1500-1700.

This e-resource contains digital facsimiles of original manuscripts from 15 major libraries written or compiled by women during the 16th and 17th centuries. It is produced in association with the Perdita Project based at the University of Warwick and Nottingham Trent University.

Access is available via e-Knowledge on

See also:

Friday, 21 August 2009

Our Evolving Library Catalogue

How do we improve the Library catalogue? Can the catalogue continue to add value in a rapidly changing information landscape? As Librarians, we know we have to respond to the rising expectations of our users, the increase in new kinds of digital resources and a nascent revolution in scholarly publishing. Such wholesale change demands a radical rethink on the facilities and services the catalogue actually provides. Our ultimate aim must be the provision of the optimal launch-pad for NUI Galway's scholarly activity.

Enter e-Knowledge 2.0, NUI Galway's new Library catalogue based on the Primo system from Exlibris. e-Knowledge 2.0 uses a whole panoply of recent advances in search engine technology and brings them to bear on our physical and virtual collections. As librarians, we have listened to our users, when they asked why they cannot search books and journals at the same time. We have selected a system incorporating the best elements of Web 2.0 to create a streamlined user experience. e-Knowledge 2.0 also comes with many embedding options and facilities for exploiting web services.

Some Highlights
This new catalogue is now a single point of discovery for all resources: books, electronic journals and databases, including NUI Galway originated research papers.

Faceted search leverages the work of this and past generations of NUI Galway cataloguers. For many years our catalogers have performed the equivalent of sophisticated semantic tagging using subject headings from a controlled vocabulary. It was a technology ahead of its time, which delivers move value now than ever before. Search for a term, and this descriptive metadata from the set of retrieved records is ‘sliced and diced’, ‘on-the-fly’. The resulting output gives users a powerful insight into how the set is composed, allowing them to zero in on what we have that best matches what they want.

In order to leverage the NUI Galway scholarly-community's input, and further assist retrieval precision and augment bibliographic description, we now provide facilities for user contributed semantic tagging, and user contributed book reviews.

A highly sophisticated Did-You-Mean facility is now available. This suggests appropriate search terms when zero hits are retrieved for a query. Utilising statistical natural-language-processing techniques and calculated on our actual catalogue content, this locally computed, and continuously updated word model offers the most locally relevant suggestions to user input.

The new catalogue was designed to be embedded within the University's virtual learning environment, Blackboard, and within the Library WWW site.

Studies have demonstrated that users, including academic researchers, generally only examine the first page of a set of retrieved search results. Accordingly, the ranking or order in which search results are displayed is crucially important. Google has shown how valuable a modern relevance ranking algorithm can be. This criterion was to the fore in selection of this new Library catalogue. We are striving for the seemingly magical properties that the best modern retrieval algorithms employ to "read the mind" of the user and present exactly what they want.

These are just a selection of the many features of this powerful state-of-the-art system. We take our responsibility of providing the launch-pad for NUI Galway's scholarly activity very seriously. We believe we have selected the best tool available to achieve this. You can judge for yourself by taking an e-Knowledge 2.0 testdrive at

Peter Corrigan,
Head of Organisational Development & Performance
T 091 492497 EXT 2497

Library Newsletter- latest issue

The latest issue of the Library Newsletter is available here:

Features of this issue include
  • Our evolving Library catalogue

  • ARAN update

  • Improve your chances of funding

  • STM- measuring success

  • 1911 Census for Galway now online

Monday, 10 August 2009