ANN ARBOR, Mich., June 28 /PRNewswire/ -- At the American Library Association Conference in Washington, D.C., attendees got a glimpse of the future of search as ProQuest unveiled the latest developments for its all-new platform. Highly anticipated for its promise to unify all ProQuest content in a single framework, the new platform will now include ProQuest Extended Search, a Serials Solutions technology that will enable libraries to connect to other non-ProQuest databases as well. Users will not only discover a broader set of content, but will use the platform to gather, share and create it as well. The ProQuest platform is the highlight of a wave of new technology being released by the company throughout 2010 and beyond.
"We've built this platform purposefully to set an entirely new standard for what users can get from their libraries," said Marty Kahn, ProQuest CEO. "That means we're aiming at a moving target. We're uncovering both needs and new technologies we can use to address them every day. The new platform is a living service and there's much more to come. In fact, we're doing some very interesting things with visualization technology that we'll announce yet this summer."
Extended Search builds on ProQuest's diverse content for a rich result in one search
The genesis of the new platform is in library requests to capture all ProQuest content in a single search. While unifying the content will speed search results and simplify the administration of e-resources, its real power is in the breadth of content that's exposed to the user. ProQuest's databases are exceptionally diverse, encompassing journals, dissertations, digitized newspapers and books (historic and otherwise), business reports, books, and multimedia of all types that will provide users with a rich set of content in one search. ProQuest Extended Search will enable libraries to enrich results further by building connections to databases from other providers, using Serials Solution's popular clustering technology. Libraries will simply choose the databases they want to add from thousands of options and Serials Solutions will manage the connections for them.
The new platform's sophisticated technology tools will enable users to save, organize and manipulate all the content – whether from ProQuest or not -- in personal accounts.
User roles will expand from consumer to consumer and creator
ProQuest is also expanding the platform's content manipulation tools. As the platform develops, users will move beyond consuming content to consuming and creating content. The company is exploring this user role with the launch earlier this year of a variety of vertical social networks that connect scholars in subject disciplines. For example, EEBO Interactions enables early modern studies scholars to collaborate with one another and also contribute to Early English Books Online, ProQuest's most celebrated database.
Built for purpose through intensive studying and testing with end users
The platform's all-new technology architecture is built from scratch and designed "for purpose," – each feature addresses specific needs – and avoids added bells and whistles that don't add value to the user's research process. The agile development process was informed by "personas" – a dozen highly detailed user profiles – and regular testing with live subjects from every user group. The platform is a blend of new technologies and user-favorites from other legacy ProQuest and its brand family platforms.
ProQuest will begin migrating customers to the new platform in late summer. A careful process is being developed in conjunction with libraries, ensuring a smooth transition. Customers can stay up to date on developments by visiting www.proquest.com.
ProQuest creates specialized information resources and technologies that propel successful research, discovery, and lifelong learning. A global leader in serving libraries of all types, ProQuest offers the expertise of such respected brands as Chadwyck-Healey™, UMI®, SIRS®, and eLibrary®. With Serials Solutions®, Ulrich's™, RefWorks®, COS™, Dialog® and now Bowker® part of the ProQuest brand family, the company supports the breadth of the information community with innovative discovery solutions that power the business of books and the best in research experience.
More than a content provider or aggregator, ProQuest is an information partner, creating indispensable research solutions that connect people and information. Through innovative, user-centered discovery technology, ProQuest offers billions of pages of global content that includes historical newspapers, dissertations, and uniquely relevant resources for researchers of any age and sophistication -- including content not likely to be digitized by others. Inspired by its customers and their end users, ProQuest is working toward a future that blends information accessibility with community to further enhance learning and encourage lifelong enrichment.
For more information, visit www.proquest.com or the ProQuest parent company