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Librarians urge publishers to "get their metadata out there everywhere"

January 22, 2015

SAGE white paper presents collaborative opportunities for improving discoverability in 2015

Los Angeles, CA. What are the biggest challenges that librarians face in promoting discovery of scholarly content? What can libraries, publishers, and other members of the community do to overcome them? “Improving the Discoverability of Scholarly Content: Academic Library Priorities and Perspectives,” a new SAGE white paper out today, discusses new ways for members of the scholarly communications supply chain to come together to solve discoverability issues.

Lettie Conrad, Executive Manager of Product Analysis and Elisabeth Leonard, Executive Market Research Manager at SAGE surveyed 252 librarians about resource discovery practices and priorities. Survey findings include the following:

  • Librarians considered the highest potential for increasing discovery indexing to be mainstream search engines (Google) and in academic databases (A&I).
  • The library catalog remains a priority discovery channel for librarians.
  • Discovery issues preventing libraries from purchasing/subscribing to scholarly resources include:
    • Lack of metadata standards compliance = 23%
    • Lack of transparency around discoverability = 33%
    • Lack of collaboration = 26%
    • Lack of metadata = 33%
  • The biggest discoverability challenges are found with audiovisual and multimedia materials.

The paper discusses how content providers can promote discoverability by “getting their metadata out there everywhere.” For example, publishers can participate in open web and library resource discovery and access tools such as search engine indexing, high-quality, timely MARC records, and metadata standards compliance.
Furthermore, the authors recommend that librarians communicate openly and directly with publishers and others in the community about furthering their library priorities.
“The realities of how students discover and use academic resources are of critical importance to librarians, publishers, technologists, and all stakeholders in higher education and scholarly communication,” Conrad and Leonard wrote. “Studies such as the surveys summarized in this report highlight many areas for collaborative improvements toward a more optimized environment for content discovery and usage.”

For an embargoed copy of the study, please email


Those attending the ALA Midwinter Meeting are invited to join Elisabeth for a special in-booth presentation of the white paper results on Saturday, January 31st at 2pm in the SAGE Booth #4021. Dessert will be served. To RSVP, click here.

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