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I mentioned iSoton a few weeks ago, an exploratory twopointification of a University of Southampton web presence (and see the follow-up conversation on Brian Kelly’s blog). As many readers will know, Southampton is the home of major R&D, advocacy and support activities for open access (see the eprints.org page).
I was looking for the eprints pages earlier and landed on the University of Southampton’s search pages. Very nice, I thought. Rather than just offer a straight search they try to anticipate some of the ways in which people might be looking for things, and they offer trails into appropriate parts of the website, as well as several different searches across University content. I was particularly struck by the fact that they offer a search of the University’s Institutional Repository, labeled ‘research publications’ alongside ‘people’ and ‘experts’. It is entirely reasonable that the University Website search page should offer a search of University research outputs; I wonder will such a search option on the institutional website ever become universally routine or expected?
Noticeable also are the links to Del.icio.us, which are present throughout the website. These link to the University of Southampton presence on Del.icio.us, and are an interesting example of an organization piggybacking on other services. I hope that there is some investigation of how this approach works, as we have very little real information about the impact of initiatives like this where there is a designed attempt to amplify a web presence through leverage of widely used, network-level channels.