Competitive Analysis

The tabular search box is a common theme among university library pages.

University of North Carolina Libraries have a pared down tabular structure. Only three tabs (Articles+, Catalog, Google Scholar) account for the site’s main search function.

The site search is down in the footer of the page. There is a link ‘Search This Site‘ that takes the patron to a new page full of disclaimers and search tips. They also have a site map for the patron who likes to click their way to information. The search function is powered by Google. A quick search reveals that they maintain the UNC skin once a search is performed, reinforcing the fact that it is a site-specific search.

The University of Texas Libraries tab’s are a bit more robust than those at University of North Carolina (All, Articles, Catalog, Databases, Journals and Site Search). They also facilitate greater flexibility and (possibly) transparency in what the patron is searching.

They have a federated search feature called scoUT that seems to be similar to Illinois’s Easy Search. scoUT powers the All and Articles Search, and it is is easy to discern that from the tabbed box. Articles, Catalog and Journals have radio buttons where the patron can specify what kind of resources (ie online or in print, peer reviewed, format etc.).

When searching the UT catalog from the main page the patron can specify format, and the resources being searched are fairly transparent.

Google powers their site search, and they maintain the UT skin on the search results page.

Simmons Library has a site-tab search structure. The tabs are called: e-resources, articles, catalog and reserves.

To search the e-resources the user must select a database first. They seem to have less electronic subscriptions that Illinois. Everything is fairly straightforward, and is happening on a smaller, more manageable scale. The site search is on the upper-right hand side of the page. It is powered by Google, but maintains the Simmons skin.

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