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The one‐stop shop search engine: a transformational library technology? ANTAEUS

Nicholas Joint (Andersonian Library, University of Strathclyde, Glasgow, UK)

Library Review

ISSN: 0024-2535

Article publication date: 20 April 2010




The purpose of this paper is to form one of a series which will give an overview of so‐called “transformational” areas of digital library technology. The aim will be to assess how much real transformation these applications are bringing about, in terms of creating genuine user benefit and also changing everyday library practice.


An overview of the present state of development of the one‐stop shop library search engine, with particular reference to its relationship with the underlying bibliographic databases to which it provides a simplified single interface.


The paper finds that the success of federated searching has proved valuable but limited to date in creating a one‐stop shop search engine to rival Google Scholar; but the persistent value of the bibliographic databases sitting underneath a federated search system means that a harvesting search engine could well answer the need for a true one‐stop search engine for academic and scholarly information.

Research limitations/implications

This paper is based on the hypothesis that Google's success in providing such an apparently high degree of access to electronic journal services is not what it seems, and that it does not render library discovery tools obsolete. It argues that Google has not diminished the pre‐eminent role of library bibliographic databases in mediating access to e‐journal text, although this hypothesis needs further research to validate or disprove it.

Practical implications

The paper affirms the value of bibliographic databases to practitioner librarians and the potential of single interface discovery tools in library practice.


The paper uses statistics from US LIS sources to shed light on UK discovery tool issues.



Joint, N. (2010), "The one‐stop shop search engine: a transformational library technology? ANTAEUS", Library Review, Vol. 59 No. 4, pp. 240-248.



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Copyright © 2010, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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