New library search engine gets praise

Elizabeth Bailey

NMU’s Olsen Library has made researching even easier for students, with the recent switch to OneSearch.

This program allows students to find adequate results all in one place and cuts research time making students a lot happier.

“OneSearch is a great resource not only for NMU, but for high school students as well,” said Nicholas Sina, senior secondary education major.

Sina, is student teaching this semester and recently taught his students how to do properly research with the help of OneSearch.

“Being a student teacher, we’re constantly trying to find ways to make the researching process as painless as possible, and with NMU’s new database it makes researching and teaching that much easier,” Sina said.

The library gained access to the OneSearch index last winter, but it took a while to set up everything.
Over the summer, it was up and running, however the library didn’t promote it until this fall. The librarians wanted to make sure every aspect was fine tuned.

When implementing the new search option, the Olsen Library also reformatted the webpage, which took some time said Kevin McDonough, reference and electronic services librarian.

“The difference with OneSearch is that you’re searching the full text not the citations,” McDonough said. “You’re also searching by default full text that is owned by Northern.”

According to McDonough, searching citations is a thing of the past; in searching the old database, the results would only show the keywords that were searched.

He also said if any of the citations didn’t match all the keywords, those results wouldn’t even show up.
The chances of finding relevant material is a lot better when all the information is in the same place. McDonough said is exactly what OneSearch is doing.

“OneSearch used the model like Google scholar,” McDonough said. “All the relevant items are at the top and slowly taper out after the first couple pages.”

McDonough said students don’t have to spend as much time searching because the best results will be at the top instead of mixed in with all the other irrelevant items.

OneSearch also allows the viewer to narrow down publication date, content type and if it’s scholarly or newspaper; the possibilities are endless.

“I’ve heard from students and faculty that they like this product, I can’t possibly see why anyone would dislike it,” McDonough said. “It is worlds better what we used to have.”

McDonough said students do a search just to try it out, and if there are any problems go to the reference desk in the library.