As you may well know, Cinahl is moving (or has already moved, depending on your perspective) from its Ovid platform to Ebsco. The Krafty Librarian has recently posted on this here. I found the post illuminating and, honestly, quite frightening. The part where she describes how one cannot simply export all references in a search set is absolutely earth-shattering. This is something that I take for granted with the Ovid platform. How could Ebsco not build in this functionality?
If you have seen my post on the Ovid interface (I did a survey on its interface and how users adapt to it) you will know that I have an interest in how interfaces help or hinder the user. I must admit that I have not used Ebsco since about 2005. I do not recall it being particular good or bad. However, I cannot say that I am looking forward to being forced to use it come December (when the switch occurs for us).
The librarians at the Becker Library in the US have created a nice Powerpoint presentation to give users an overview of Cinahl’s new layout and functionality.
If the complicated and sometimes counter-intuitive functionality that the Krafty Librarian describes is a hindrance for many informaticists, then it must be one as well for clinicians, students and laypeople. Perhaps this is an intentional way for information professionals to put up a 3 metre barbed wire fence around our territory? Meaning, if it were simply to search, then who needs us? Just playing devil’s advocate, as part of me thinks that interface designers probably do try to make things intuitive, and midway through designing an interface, throw their arms in the air and give up. Or the board/Executive management intervenes/interferes because they haven’t pleased enough people. Who knows.
Will blog again after I have had the pleasure of using Ebsco Cinahl.