Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to evaluate and compare open source and proprietary discovery tools and find out how much discovery tools have achieved towards becoming the next generation catalog. Design/methodology/approach – The paper summarizes characteristics of the next generation catalog into a check‐list of 12 features. This list was checked against each of seven open source and ten proprietary discovery tools to determine if those features were present or absent in those tools. Findings – Discovery tools have many next generation catalog features, but only a few can be called real next generation catalogs. Federated searching and relevancy based on circulation statistics are the two areas that both open source and proprietary discovery tools are missing. Open source discovery tools seem to be bolder and more innovative than proprietary tools in embracing advanced features of the next generation catalog. Vendors of discovery tools may need to quicken their steps in catching up. Originality/value – It is the first evaluation and comparison of open source and proprietary discovery tools on a large scale. It will provide information as to exactly where discovery tools stand in light of the much desired next generation catalog.
Library Hi Tech – Emerald Publishing
Published: Nov 23, 2010
Keywords: Online cataloguing; Libraries; User interfaces; Open systems; Function evaluation