Discovery and the Disciplines: An Inquiry into the Role of Subject Databases through Citation Analysis

Alexa L. Pearce

Abstract

Libraries have adopted web scale discovery services with the goal of providing their users with a streamlined research experience. However, the single search box that characterizes web scale discovery is one option among many that libraries continue to provide, including subject databases and other legacy tools. Libraries lack evidence as to which of these tools are best suited to the various stages and levels of expertise that may characterize a user’s research process. A case study approach, focusing on the field of academic history, is employed to test the discoverability of a subset of scholarly work across several search platforms.

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