Friday, August 15, 2008

Ovid Updates

I am sure some you loyal Ovid users have already noticed the most recent update that went live yesterday (August 14, 2008). Ovid's enhancements will be delivered in two phases, workflow improvement (first) and new features (second). This most recent update was to fix a lot of the workflow and interface issues that many have been bugging Ovid about.

So here are the updates:
  • Search Tab Additions and Enhancements - New Multi Field Search Tab which according to Ovid it will "allow for a more targeted and specific search experience." Basically this tab reminds of searching in EBSCO, it allows you to easily search for multiple things within multiple fields all at one time.
  • Seach Aid Box is collapsible
  • Results Manager Box is collapsible and is available above and below the search results.
  • Search History Box can be moved either above or below the green Search Box.
  • Limits can be customized to display on the main search page.
  • Ability to create, edit, and add multiple annotations to a citation. (You must be logged into your personal account section for this to work.)
  • Browse Books and Browse Journals links are now on the Select a Database page
  • Font size is now adjustable from your browser
  • Users logged into their personal account area will now see their name and institution.

Coming Soon:

  • My Projects - a workspace area for saving and managing files
  • Ovid Universal Search - a cross platform search solution

I am happy with the new release. Heck I am just happy that the jumping screen was fixed. But the improvements on this new release are nice. However I have got to wonder why Ovid still clings to that Results Manager Box. Many other databases have a much nicer method for saving results. I especially like EBSCO's method. The reason I like it is that is clear and simple. It resembles how many Internet commerce sites allow you to shop and easily add things to the basket. In my opinion the Ovid Results Manager is confusing to regular patrons and it takes up space, they should go to the add to basket approach.

Enhancements I would like to see:

  • Cited References - MUST have the ability to add the cited references from a citation to your search results. I don't know why this ability was in place when searchers were given the ability to look at cited references. I would think this is an important feature. I know a lot of researchers who routinely look at the cited references for article.
  • HTML Email – This is another MUST HAVE improvement that is long overdue. Currently librarians or regular users are only able to email the search as a text file. That means all of the full text links to the articles are gone. People no longer want the citations just emailed to them, they want to view the full text of the article to the citation they like. Therefore you need to have the ability to send the email in HTML and preserve the full text links. PubMed already does this and frankly I don’t know why Ovid doesn’t.
  • Search Box For Journal Browser – How time consuming is it click J then click Next a bunch of times to finally get to the listing for the Journal of the Royal College of Physicians of London. A search box would speed up and make the Browse Journal process so much better.
  • Sharing Notes – I think it would be neat if two researchers working on the same topic could view each other’s retrieved searches and have the ability to include their personal account notes they made on the citations. I am not sure how that would work and whether Ovid’s My Workspace enhancement would do this, but I think it would be a cool enhancement.

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The Krafty Librarian has been a medical librarian since 1998. She is currently the medical librarian for a hospital system in Ohio. You can email her at: