UIUC Library Gateway


Federated Search Pilot Project Implementation Team Goals

UIUC Main Library

Revised Goals for Feds

October 11, 2005

Explore and test the functionality offered by WebFeat.

Learn how to implement and customize WebFeat as an information service aimed at the University of Illinois large undergraduate population.

Determine which specific information resources should be included in the WebFeat undergrad service and how the selected databases should be presented to users for maximum effectiveness in finding needed information.

Analyze WebFeat’s strengths and shortcomings as a federated search system from the perspective of undergrad research needs, also bearing in mind the research needs of the entire University population.

Assess the vendor’s ability to work with the University of Illinois in customizing the product, including responsiveness to requests for help and/or information, flexibility in adapting the out-of-the-box interface to our specifications, and willingness to accept enhancement requests for future product releases.

Perform pre-rollout usability testing of UI’s WebFeat with a small group of undergrads. Goals: a) to assist in customizing the original service to meet perceived undergrad research needs; and b) to discover issues that need to be emphasized during future staff and user training sessions.

Work with the implementers of other new information services being developed by the University of Illinois Library on coordinated project branding for our systems that dovetail with campus and Library initiatives to heighten awareness of research services offered by the University.

Communicate with Library personnel to let them know the goals of the WebFeat pilot project and keep them up-to-date on our progress. Make it clear that this is essentially a research project.

Give Library personnel access to the new system at least two weeks prior to public rollout. Offer training programs for Library personnel on how to use WebFeat and where/how to get assistance with problems experienced by users once students and teaching faculty begin to use the system.

Have the first public version of WebFeat ready to roll out at beginning of spring semester 2006.

Starting at the beginning of spring semester 2006, actively market the WebFeat-based undergrad information service to undergrads and teaching faculty as a new service, but emphasizing that it is a research project. Provide introductory training sessions for both groups.

Observe how undergrads use the system during spring semester 2006. In addition to gathering anecdotal evidence from Library personnel, perform post-rollout usability testing with selected students and teaching faculty. Revise our assumptions about undergrad research practices.

Assess the value and usefulness of the system for undergrads and report to CAPT on our findings. Develop recommendations for CAPT for improving the usefulness of the system and enhancing it to better meet undergrad research needs. This should include recommendations how the Library should expect to support and further develop the system in the future, including personnel resources that should be assigned to these tasks. It should also include recommendations on mechanisms for monitoring the ongoing usefulness of the databases selected for the system and the likely need to add/delete specific resources over time.

Develop recommendations for CAPT on using the WebFeat product as the foundation for additional information portals aimed at other user groups within the University of Illinois population.