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PerX (Pilot Engineering Repository Xsearch) is a two-year JISC Digital Repositories Programme project to develop a pilot service which cross searches a series of engineering content sources. The pilot service cross searches a range of content of interest to the UK FE/HE engineering community, including but not limited to Open Access (OA) materials, and has been used as a test bed to explore a range of practical issues.
A number of services currently exist which focus solely on OA Repository materials (e.g. ARROW, BASE, DARE, DiVA, Intute Repository Search).
There is potential for subject based services which cross search OA repository content along with other relevant materials and which reflect the real complexities of end users’ information landscapes (Fig 1).
“Subject-based end-user services are regarded as extremely valuable, as it is through their subject that many end-users will wish to interact with content” (1)
“Resource discovery tools that focus only on materials in repositories, and ignore materials found in other sources are unlikely to be regarded as an essential information retrieval tools” (2)
OA Repositories – Not the Only Fruit!
Web based feedback questionnaire (n=50);
- 94% believed there was a need for an engineering cross search service.
- 79% said that they were able to find useful information using the Pilot.
- 89% thought that adding more content would increase its usefulness.
Quotes from focus groups;
"My number 1 improvement to Perx? CONTENT, CONTENT, CONTENT…If core content such as IEEE Xplore and IEE were included you'd have a pretty good number of sources of information coming together”
"The full text and content is remarkable - Overall an excellent resource.“
"Google is so good it is hard to compete against it."
PerX Pilot Service
Project Partners: Heriot Watt University, Cranfield University, Institution of Civil Engineers, GROW, RSC East Midlands
(1) Swan, A. and Awre, C. (2006) Linking UK Repositories - Available online at http://www.jisc.ac.uk/uploaded_documents/Linking_UK_repositories_appendix.pdf
(2) MacLeod, R. and Moffat, M. (2005) Engineering Digital Repositories Landscape Analysis, and Implications for PerX. Available online at http://www.icbl.hw.ac.uk/perx/analysis.htm
(3) Moffat, M. (2007). PerX Setup and Maintenance Issues. Available online at http://www.icbl.hw.ac.uk/perx/setupmaintenance.htm
(4) Moffat, M. (2006) 'Marketing' with Metadata - How Metadata Can Increase Exposure and Visibility of Online Content. Available online at http://www.icbl.hw.ac.uk/perx/advocacy/exposingmetadata.htm
(5) Moffat, M. (2006). Shared Services Report. Available online at http://www.icbl.hw.ac.uk/perx/sharedservices.htm
(6) Chumbe, S et al (2007). Building Bridges with Blocks: Assisting digital library and VLE integration through reusable middleware. Available online at http://eprints.rclis.org/archive/00009545/
PerX – Investigating Subject Based
Resource Discovery Issues in Digital Repositories