InfoTech: Deep Indexing Exposes Graphical Content, and Librarians Want More

  • Tenopir supplies background
  • Academics say users want universal access from existing databases
  • ProQuest predicts exponential growth of content exposed by deep indexing.
Close to 200 attendees participated in LJ’s May 20 webcast Deep Indexing: A New Approach to Searching Scholarly Literature, which was sponsored by ProQuest. Carol Tenopir, LJ’s Online Databases columnist, launched the panel by providing background on the research behind the development of “tables and graphs” indexing, now known as deep indexing. Her research partner, Robert Sandusky, University of Illinois at Chicago, offered his insights on the relevancy of types of searching and indexing for various disciplines, particularly the sciences. Practitioners added real-life examples of the advantages to deep indexing as part of the discovery process. Emily Schmitt, a Nova Southeastern University biology professor, cited the research work she requires of her upper-level undergrads and how accessing graphs and tables is important to future job success in medicine, science, and technology. Accessing enhanced content without making researchers change their habits has been key to the discovery of deep-indexed content through CSA databases at the Colorado School of Mines Arthur Lakes Library, reported Lisa Dunn, head of reference. “They don’t want another database—they just want to get everything from the ones they use now,” she said. Dunn also emphasized the need to be patient, suggesting that at Mines it can take six to 12 months for faculty and students to adopt new data sources, despite library marketing efforts that include emails, flyers, newsletter articles, and presentations.

Exponential growth

ProQuest’s Mark Hyer followed up with some nuts and bolts discussion on CSA Illustrata Natural Sciences, the vendor’s first deep-indexed database, and predicted exponential growth in the amount of content that will be uncovered due to deep indexing. The Q&A session demonstrated a desire from librarians in all subject areas for deep indexing of content (ProQuest revealed that several new areas will be rolled out in the coming months, beginning with Technology, expected to launch June 2008). Other questions concerned digital object identifier registration, use of metadata, and deep indexing of open access journals, PDFs, and web sites. An archive of the webcast is available here.
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