I-Search: IUP Libraries Discovery Service

  • What is I-Search?

    I-Search is a new resource discovery service that was first acquired by the IUP Libraries in 2012. Since then, we’ve been tailoring the system to our collections, and refining it to help our library users discover the breadth of resources available at the library.

    We’re now launching I-Search Beta on our home page, so you can begin a library search as soon as you access our site, and discover the kinds of information we can help you find.

    What is a Discovery Service?

    In modern libraries, library users have a tremendous amount of information to review and search in order to find the resources they need to complete their work. Usually that means looking through online catalogs, research guides, and lots of electronic databases in order to find some results. If you've been through this, you know it's sometimes difficult to figure out what subject area was the "right" one for the search, and it can be overwhelming trying to work through them all.

    Enter the discovery service: in a sense, a discovery service is a master index to the databases and resources available to the library. Searching in it searches across many different databases, the catalog, and other resources to give the user an idea of what kind of materials exist. In other words, it lets you discover what’s out there. 

    Does I-Search search everything in the library?

    Not quite. While I-Search covers many of the resources we have, it does not include everything. That’s why we like to emphasize that this is a tool for discovery, rather than the “one-stop shopping” tool to find everything we have.

    It is possible that it will not locate materials in some databases, and we encourage users to use it as a starting point for searches, rather than the only place they go. Also, since I-Search looks in many different databases and information resources, if you have a specific research topic and you know what databases are best for that topic, it's most likely better to go directly to those resources.

    What isn't covered by I-Search?

    The most significant "gap" in I-Search coverage is databases provided by ProQuest, such as BioOne, ProQuest Dissertations and Theses, PsycINFO, PsycARTICLES, and several others.

    This does not mean they are entirely excluded from searching—when you search in I-Search, you will see results from some ProQuest databases on the right-hand column, and in some cases I-Search can access information from the publishers whose materials are in those databases. However, I-Search can't access ProQuest databases with the same depth or power that it can other resources.

    Also, our I-Search setup is limited to materials within our collections. I-Search could include items from other libraries, other data sources, and so forth, but we are keeping it focused (for now) as we evaluate it.