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Explore – soft launch of new interface

Margaret Stone29 August 2017

explore_nuiA new version of the Explore search tool will be made available on Monday 4 September, in a ‘soft’ launch alongside the current interface.  The new mobile-friendly version will be reviewed and developed over the coming months in preparation for replacing the old interface at an appropriate time.

You can try out the new interface now and send your feedback through the form on the information page, or by commenting on this post.

The new interface searches all of the same content as Explore, and connects to the same library user accounts, but delivers some key benefits:

  • New look and feel, which adapts to your screen size
  • Single screen for each search result, reducing the number of clicks
  • On-screen text stripped back to essentials, for a cleaner view

It is still a work in progress and we are already aware of some issues with the new interface, which are being addressed with the supplier.  The two searches will run in parallel whilst we evaluate the new version, including consulting library users, and we will notify everyone well in advance of plans to retire the old version.

The new interface is based on an out-of-the box version from the suppliers, Ex Libris, and has been adapted by a working group of members from the Digital Libraries Team and Explore Advisory Group.

Explore: Citation Trail

uczcsvi18 July 2016

Later this week, we’ll be starting a month-long trial of some new functionality in Explore. The Citation Trail is intended to improve resource discovery for users by making it possible to look up an article’s citations/cited-by information without leaving Explore – probably a familiar process for anyone who has used Web of Science or Google Scholar.

How does it work?

On some article-level results, the two buttons highlighted below will appear:


Selecting the ‘Citations’ button will return a list of articles cited by the first article:


Selecting the ‘Cited by’ button will return a list of articles that cite the first article:


For a better idea of how it’ll look in action, see this short video from Ex Libris.

Things to note: 

  • The list of citations/citing articles may not be complete – this functionality is not intended to replace subject-specific, bibliographic databases and shouldn’t be relied upon for comprehensive literature searching. There will be a note about this at the top of the results screen, which we can re-word or emphasise as necessary
  • We may not have full-text access to all results returned by following the citation trail – please encourage users to check the full-text indicator highlighted in the screenshot above. For these results, clicking the ‘Services’ tab will redirect the user to an SFX page with links to ILL services and union catalogues
  • The citation buttons will only appear for some article-level, online content
  • The citation data itself comes from CrossRef – more information about how it is generated can be found here

We’ll be calling for feedback about this feature in mid-August, but if you have any thoughts/questions/suggestions before that or would like to pass along any user comments, please do so by emailing digital-library-support@ucl.ac.uk.

Explore: Enhancements and Fixes

uczcsvi19 May 2016

Update applied 13/05/16 – 18/05/2016:

  • Contributor and Subject fields have been reauthorised and standardised in Aleph. Cross-searching using these links in Explore will bring back larger, more accurate record sets.
  • Canned searches for Aleph items allows users to easily extend their search to COPAC and Senate House Library.
Explore screenshot

Click the image above to see the live version

  • ‘Eastman Dental Institute’ label changed to ‘Eastman Dental’ in facets and location tab
  • ‘UCL Journals’ dropdown scope renamed to ‘Journal titles’
  • View Online/SFX links to Eighteenth Century Collections Online (ECCO) eBooks are now resolving correctly
  • Records with diacritic characters can now be retrieved by searches including non-plain Latin characters
  • Hebrew Inflections are now also performed on the Subject field.
  • Misleading information about eBook holdings/availability has been removed

Please direct any queries or comments to digital-library-support@ucl.ac.uk

Reminder: saving from Explore Access Points

Margaret Stone9 December 2014

A quick reminder about the process of saving to USB stick from the Explore Access Points, and some hints and tips.

  • It is possible to save to a USB stick from any Explore Access Point (EAP).  Users should however observe the terms and conditions displayed via the link on the EAP homepage.  These include copyright guidance.
  • A few e-resources are only licensed for UCL members – these will present a UCL  login box when accessed via the EAPs.
  • Occasionally, a user’s USB stick may not be compatible with the EAP and will therefore not show up as available in the ‘Save’ dialogue box.  In this case, the user is able to purchase a basic USB stick at the nearest issue desk.
  • Journals from some publishers may take some time to download for viewing in the PDF viewer.  In these cases, we advise users to try and save direct to their USB stick for later viewing.  During the save process, it is possible to monitor progress to ensure the whole file is downloaded.  There is also an ‘Open’ button on the EAPs which users may like to try in order to view the downloaded file on the EAP.  See the help on downloading to USB.
  • If there are problems with a particular publisher’s resources which cannot be fixed as above, please use the problem report form to notify staff in the E-resources and Digital Libraries teams.