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New library research tool allows full database access

By Erin Williams
On April 19, 2012

  • The new software will help students in searching already existing databases. Erin Williams, The Setonian


On Wednesday morning, the University unveiled a new re­search tool, the "Discovery Lay­er," which will allow students to search almost all of the hundreds of databases of Seton Hall at once.

The tool will aide students in searching the Seton Hall databas­es for academic resources, accord­ing to Professor Beth Bloom.

"Most students use Google be­cause they are confused by the many databases," Bloom said.

The databse is much like the Google search engine but only produces academic search re­sults, according to Dr. Marta Dey­rup.

In the past, students were re­quired to individually search da­tabases for the information they needed. This was not only time consuming, but also required knowledge of where specific in­formation could be found within the database system, Bloom said.

"It is much more sophisticated and gives students much more power over their search," Bloom said.

The Discovery Layer is a totally unique new technology in library searching, according to Erda Lipp, Ph.D., a visiting professor from Germany.

"It is uncommon for a library to have this," Lipp said. "It is a new step in searching."

Unlike other tools used in the past, the Discovery Layer will include relevance ratings across all information rendered after a search, according to Deyrup.

"We want students to feel com­fortable when doing research," she said.

The Discovery Layer is a prod­uct manufactured by the EBSCO Company, according to Bloom. It was chosen by Seton Hall among similar products manufactured by other companies.

Bloom and Deyrup expressed their gratitude towards IT Servic­es, which funded the purchase of the Discovery Layer and played a major role in selecting the tool.

The Discovery Layer has been running for several weeks now, but debuted on the library homep­age on April 16.

After the ceremony on Wednes­day, a representative from the EB­SCO Company was in the Dean's Suite to give more in-depth tutori­als explaining how to use the new tool.

A kiosk will also remain in the library throughout the upcoming weeks to help explain to students how to utilize the new tool.

Erin Williams can be reached at erin.williams@student.shu. edu.

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