Date of Original Version



Library and Information Science




The main task undertaken by the HELIN Data Analytics Task Force was to conduct a proof-of-concept usability test of HELIN OneSearch, which is the Consortium’s brand name for the Encore Duet discovery service. After the initial meeting in November 2014, the Task Force met 6 times in 2015 to plan and execute a prototype test. Staff members from EBSCO Information Services’ User Research group acted as usability test advisers and coordinators and attended all meetings, either onsite or via WebEx. Task Force members collaborated to come up with specific scenarios and personas which would best emphasize patron likes, dislikes and general understanding of OneSearch. Using a small sample of volunteer student test subjects from 3 different HELIN institutions, testing took place in mid-April. The results were analyzed by EBSCO and presented at the final meeting of the Task Force on April 28. Based on this limited testing, general findings were as follows:

  • Students who don’t receive prior information instruction are generally not aware of OneSearch.
  • Students who do know about OneSearch do not necessarily understand the difference between OneSearch and the HELIN Catalog.
  • Most students still continue to do their research by searching database lists, LibGuides, the Journal A to Z list, and the HELIN catalog (although not necessarily in that order).
  • When features and operation of OneSearch are explained to students, they recognize its usefulness (especially facets, which many referred to as “filters”).
  • Lack of clarity on how to get directly to full text items causes frustration.

A larger and more comprehensive usability test would be needed to draw out more specific conclusions.

Secondary tasks undertaken by the Task Force included trials and reviews of 5 data analysis tools, as well as a review of EBSCO User Research, which is quantitative data on the use of OneSearch available directly from EBSCO.

The remainder of this document is a detailed account of the proceedings of the HELIN Data Analytics Task Force.

Encore Duet Analysis Report 3.25.15 (EBSCO).pdf (604 kB)
HELIN Encore Duet/EBSCO EDS Usage Data report

Encore Duet Usability Study compiled by Khalilah Gambrell (EBSCO).pdf (485 kB)
HELIN User Research Report compiled by Khalilah Gambrell, User Researcher at EBSCO