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Advanced Search now available in Discover

Advanced Search now available in Discover

An exciting new search option was released for Discover during the maintenance window on Thursday, June 25.  The default keyword search is ideal for general topic discovery of resources. With the addition of this new feature, you also have the option refine your search for resources with a known title or known author. Advanced Search returns results from all six bento categories. You can also elect to refine by a specific focus view.

To illustrate the way Advanced Search can function to your advantage, consider these examples.

Example 1: Known title

Someone is interested in viewing the comic strip, Katzenjammer Kids. Because they know the title, they select Advanced Search and enter their terms in the title field, then further limit by Digital Collections. The top results include image thumbnails of all the digitized comic strips by that title from the Billy Ireland Cartoon Library & Museum.

Image of results for title search Katzenjammer Kids

Example 2: Known author

Someone read an online thought piece by Roxane Gay, and would like to read more by this author. By switching to the Advanced Search button and searching the author field only, they see that she has published both articles and books, and can now berrypick for something to read.

Image of search results for author Roxane Gay

Example 3: Known title and author

A user wishes to read Invisible Man by Ralph Ellison. They select Advanced Search and enter the terms  in the title field. Results that match that title are returned in most bentos.

A quick scan shows that some of the results are for the novel The Invisible Man by H.G. Wells, instead of the similarly titled book by Ellison.

Image or results for title search Invisible Man

To further refine, the user can add Ellison to author field, and also elect to search only within the Library Catalog view.  

Image of search results in library catalog of title Invisible Man and Author Ellison

The results are now more precise.

Bonus: the user may elect to access the full text via HathiTrust Digital Library:

Image of library catalog results showin access to Invisible Man for online access in HathiTrust


As you use this new feature and introduce it to users, we would appreciate your feedback. To do so, please click the Need Help? button in the results page and click the option for Feedback.

eSignature (DocuSign) at Ohio State

eSignature (DocuSign) is a University-approved solution for collecting electronic signatures on documents. Anyone can sign DocuSign documents, including people outside of the University. Ohio State employees can initiate requests for signatures after completing BuckeyeLearn training and requesting access from OCIO.  

Benefits of eSignatures

  • Faster Signatures: Routine approval processes can take weeks because physical documents must be walked or mailed for physical signatures. With eSignature, documents are automatically routed through the approval process as they are signed, eliminating timely travel.
  • More Visibility In The Approval Process: eSignature tracks each document’s location within approval processes in real time and who still needs to sign, with updates sent periodically to remind signers they have a document waiting for their approval. No more physical forms getting lost amid the clutter.
  • Easier Storage: eSignature utilizes electronic documents, eliminating the need to scan and store physical documents.

How to Get Training

There are 3 roles associated with DocuSign accounts: Signer (no training required), Sender, and Author. Senders and Authors need to complete the Institutional Data Policy course (if you haven’t already done so) and the BuckeyeLearn training associated with the desired role (See: Then after completing training, you will need to formally request your access from the Data Security Access team by filling out the DocuSign Access Request Form hosted in the OCIO Self-Service portal (Instructions at the bottom of this page:

Using DocuSign

You can log-in to DocuSign here: A detailed guide on how to get started is available at the eSignature site:

Have Questions?

Please contact


Qualtrics: The University’s Survey Platform

All Ohio State faculty and staff employees have access to Qualtrics, a robust and easy-to-use survey platform. If you are currently using SurveyMonkey, Google Forms, or another product for work-related surveys, please be aware that Qualtrics is the University’s approved survey solution: (login with your name.# and OSU password).

Qualtrics is also a viable option for web forms. In fact, Libraries IT has assisted our partners in migrating most of our WordPress and Drupal forms to Qualtrics. It might not be the best solution for your particular use case though, so please submit a ticket to the Hub if you have questions. 

If you want to learn more, is a good place to start. We would also recommend Qualtrics’ own customer support portal: 


Sierra upgrade planned for Tuesday, May 5

The Libraries IT Division is planning to upgrade Sierra to Release 5.1 (from 4.2) on Tuesday, May 5 beginning at 5 pm. This will require approximately two – three hours of downtime for both Sierra and the library catalog. We chose that time because it is during the normal Information Technology maintenance period and the number of people affected by the downtime will be diminished.

We are expecting this upgrade will resolve several issues that are outstanding. Innovative has made a webinar available to everyone (no login required) that describes the updates to Sierra in Release 5.1.  You can also view other webinars from Innovative, including one outlining the Sierra Product Roadmaps Update

While we upgrade the system we don’t expect the system to be down for more than three hours, but we will send out an update should that time be extended for any reason. 

If have any problems following the upgrade, please report them to Hub ( 

Newly Available: Access HathiTrust content in Discover

HathiTrust Links added to Discover

As part of the Libraries’ ongoing mission to reduce barriers to access and simplify the process of accessing information for our users, the Libraries has implemented two new features aimed at surfacing access to online content through the HathiTrust.

Changes to Discover

As of April 23rd, the Libraries has updated Discover so that the application now includes links directly to the HathiTrust when it is determined that an accessible electronic copy is available.  Users working with discovery will see this new button:

Example HathiTrust Link in Discover

An example of the new HathiTrust link embedded in Discover

Which, when clicked, will direct users to the HathiTrust and directly to the content.  For resources being made available as part of the HathiTrust Emergency Access Service[1], resources will be automatically directed through the Ohio State University Single Sign-on service – allowing users the ability to view and checkout this digital content.  For content without access restrictions, the links will take users directly to the digital object.

Changes to the Catalog

In addition to updating Discover, the Libraries has updated the HathiTrust linking process found within the Library Catalog.  Previously, links to the HathiTrust were automatically generated to digital content unencumbered by copyright.  As with the new Discover functionality, this process has been updated, allowing links to digital content being made available through the HathiTrust Emergency Access Service.

Example of the HathiTrust Links displaying in the catalog

Example of the HathiTrust Links displaying in the catalog

Please note, links generated in the catalog utilize Javascript, and may require users to clear their browser caches for the updated links to show up.  These changes were made active as part of the Libraries’ Tuesday maintenance window, and are now available to users.  

Finally, many thanks to AD&S for working so quickly to make this functionality a reality.


[1] NewsNotes.  1 Million In-Copyright Books Opened for the Ohio State University by HathiTrust. 

AD&S Quarterly Report 2020Q1

Cloud Computing

Young woman playfully climbing a tree branch.We have been continuing our path to modernize our infrastructure by moving it to a cloud-based infrastructure, Amazon Web Services in this case. We have been engaging with the AWS consultants that the OCIO has engaged to help us work through the configuration and provisioning. Topics include storage strategies across zones, inter/intra networking, database clusters, log monitoring, and application routing.

Study Rooms Reservation on OSUL Mobile

We have been eagerly looking forward to the fruits of our partnership with the OCIO Mobile team to bring the functionality of the Libraries’ Room Reservation system into the OSU Mobile app. With their different perspectives of the service, we were able to find several improvements to make: load testing to improve performance, eliminating several calls to external servers, and moving reservations to a new system to prevent the rare duplicate hold. In preparation, we successfully moved this critical system to our Cloud Computing infrastructure — /room-reservation is now served from AWS! With the COVID-19 situation the Study Room Reservation system is not being currently used, but we are still making the final arrangements to allow patrons to reserve rooms in the OSU Mobile app.


Group of young people in matching shirts holding gardening tools.We had several initiatives running concurrently in Discover this quarter. Early in the quarter we released some date selection improvements for the Articles+ content. Later in the quarter we added the Connect With functionality which matches search queries with Libraries employees who have identified themselves as available to discuss those terms. Other options that we have almost completed, but not quite: changes to the Website Results to make it more obvious what type of resource is displayed, including results from the Staff Directory in the Website Results, improving the reindexing to drastically reduce the computational resource needed to index bibligraphic records. These were delayed for various reasons, but we are looking for them in the fist part of the coming quarter.

Libraries Catalog

To improve the consistency for visitors as they navigate Libraries web presences, we implemented new header and footer styling on the Sierra web interface. As part of that process, we created a code repository to better track changes to the catalog styles. This has started us on a journey to clean up how that code is organized. Also looking forward, we started some designs for the Database page, still one of our most used web resources.

Workday Migration

Young people in matching shirts picking up plastic bottles off of the ground.We built a prototype of a transformation tool for exporting invoices from Sierra so that they can be brought into the Workday system. Many thanks to our Library and Workday partners for helping us work through the Sierra data and the Workday data. We expect that there will be changes as details are ironed out, but this is a strong first iteration of a bridge between the systems.

Security Policies & Procedures

In addition to the myriad patches and updates that we routinely do to keep our systems defended against intrusion, we have been systematically working with Jason Kolhepp and the OCIO Security team to improve our Information Security policies and procedures. We’ve taken advantage of OCIO security scans to identify and mitigate some security concerns. We’ve also been updating our procedures to align with best practices for centralized logging and change management.

Digital Collections

Young man picking up litter from the ground.

We upgraded the Hyrax software that runs our Digital Collections system. We have been doing some large batch edits for our partners in Metadata Initiatives, but we have a project this coming quarter to enable them to perform these changes without our intervention. This and some changes to the bulk import comprise a large amount of work in the coming months.


Young people in matching shirts posing for a photograph in and on a tree.Congratulations to Michelle Henley and Phoebe Kim in their presentation at the Design4Digital conference, UX is Negotiation: Getting to Yes: (One Sprint at a Time). Unfortunately they had to blaze the trail for folks who have had to present and attend conferences remotely.

We also bid farewell to Jason Michel after several years of toil together. He has moved on to new challenges in a non-scholastic setting and we wish him all the best. As a signifier of his dedication, he hustled to get us on the latest major version of Drupal before he moved on so that we’d be better able to support our website. Thanks Jason!

Updates for February 20, 2020: Library Catalog Banner & Footer Refresh

To improve consistency between various library applications, a new look for the library catalog will be put into production as part of the February 20th Maintenance window. Our Applications Development & Support team has updated the look and feel of the library catalog’s banner at the top, and footer at the bottom. With the update, when a user clicks through from the library home page to the library catalog, it will be a less jarring experience because of the similar style and color scheme. The library catalog maintains the same functionality, but the experience of using it will be more in line with the Libraries’ branding on other web pages. 

The new banner:

Image of updated design for catalog banner

Updated Design for Library Catalog Banner

The new footer:

Image of Updated Design for Catalog Footer

Updated Design for Library Catalog Footer

The previous banner:

Old Design of Library Catalog Banner

Previous Design for Library Catalog Banner

The previous footer:

Image of Previous Design of Catalog Footer

Previous Design of Library Catalog Footer

Please contact us if you have any questions or concerns.


Discover Update: Connecting users with library expertise

As part of the Libraries ongoing incremental improvement of the Discover application, a new addition to the service will be put into production as part of the Thursday, January 30th maintenance window. 

New feature: Connect With

Libraries’ IT will release an exciting new feature that we are calling “Connect With…”

One of the unique goals for the Discover application is to have it act as a bridge between our users and the Libraries by connecting our community to the wide range of experts that make up our organization. The Connect With feature promotes the people who can provide guidance related to research needs.  

How does it look?

If a user performs a keyword search that closely matches an area of consultation or subject guide associated with a librarian, the Connect With box will appear and display contact information and a link to any  related subject guides. In the example below, a user searches for engineering.  Information for two of our subject specialists is offered:

An example of Connect With after searching using the term 'engineering'

An example of Connect With after a user searches for ‘engineering’


The intention is to display only the most relevant information.  To that end, if a user performs a keyword search that doesn’t match  up with an area of expertise in the library,  Connect With will not display. 

How do people appear?

The following pieces of data are indexed and then searched producing results:

  • Subjects (only applied to Faculty members) i.e. liaison librarian’s subject areas.
  • LibGuides Subjects. Subjects that are applied to subject guides.
  • Library employees who have the “Public Expert” option checked in their bios.
    • All subject librarians will have this option checked by default. They have the ability to uncheck this option.
    • Staff members who have areas of consultation may check the “Public Expert” option with supervisor approval.
  • Up to five Areas of Consultation added to your bio page.
  • Hidden tags for Discover (part of Areas of Consultation section). 
    • Add tags that represent your areas of expertise and/or subject expertise.
    • Do not duplicate what you already have in areas of consultation or your subject terms (if you are a subject librarian). Rather, add terms that may be synonyms or terms you weren’t able to fit into the areas of consultation. 
    • These tags will not be visible in your Bio. They will be used solely for indexing for discover search capabilities.

The Libraries has always been about more than just its resources. While the book tower is the first thing that a user sees when they walk into Thompson, it is the faculty and the staff, that make the OSU Libraries special.

Is receiving Qualtrics email notifications important to you?

After hearing from a colleague about inconsistencies she had experienced with not getting Qualtrics’ email notifications, I started investigating this issue. I looked through a huge number of Qualtrics knowledge base articles (XM Support), confirming that we were correctly setting up our notifications however couldn’t identify or explain the cause of their failures.

Not finding any concrete answers, I started exploring the XM Community, where other Qualtrics users share tips, tricks, or solutions. I came across an entry that was surprising but also an answer to my struggles with the issue at hand since the inconsistencies were so random and well inconsistent!

“… I’ve run into a few gliches with emails not sent using the email trigger. Qualtrics support last month said the most updated and reliable email trigger is the one set in the Actions Tab…”

I used the Action Email Task and tested the submission notification and it worked beautifully. After my test results supporting the functionality of the Action feature I switched the form’s notification from Email Trigger to Action Email Task.

So I wanted to share this experience since we all utilize Qualtrics for our various survey, forms, and feedback needs and a breakdown in notifications would impact the services we provide to our colleagues and constituents.

So, please use Email Tasks for your future notifications and update your existing forms and surveys if receiving submission notices are important to you:

2019 in Review: AD&S Services and Projects


Strategic direction: Enrich the User Experience: Seamless discovery access, and delivery

Patron Data Loads for Sierra

Strategic direction: Model Excellence: Organizational efficiency and impact; Enrich the User Experience: Exceptional service

  • Rewrote process to accommodate both PeopleSoft and Workday
  • Significantly increased performance of process
  • Participated in end-to-end testing of Workday Person Service

Digital Collections

Strategic direction: Enrich the User Experience: Seamless discovery access, and delivery; Empower Knowledge Creators: Leveraging distinctive collections for use

  • Completed upgrade to Hyrax
  • Added/mapped new fields and metadata
  • Scripted large bulk transformations of data

Room Reservations in The Ohio State App

Strategic direction: Enrich the User Experience: Exceptional service; Engage for Broader Impact: Campus and external partnerships

  • Initiated an ongoing collaboration with OCIO’s web and mobile team to add room reservation functionality into the mobile app

Special Collections Registry

Strategic direction: Empower Knowledge Creators: Leveraging distinctive collections for use; Enrich the User Experience: Seamless discovery access, and delivery

  • Redesigned the user interface
  • Improved the layout and navigation of collection container lists
  • Added linkages to similar collections, related digital collections, and cataloged materials
  • Made it easier for patrons to contact curators from within a collection

Libraries’ Website

Strategic direction: Enrich the User Experience: Seamless discovery, access, and delivery; Enrich the User Experience: Iterative assessment and development

  • Continuous improvement of content, design, and functionality


Strategic direction: Model Excellence: Organizational efficiency and impact; Model Excellence: Agile planning and operations

  • Migrated Drupal from Pantheon hosting to Amazon Web Services
  • Moved WordPress instances to Amazon Web Services
  • Launched first production app on new cloud infrastructure
  • Explored containerization and other new technologies
  • Worked on more robust logging, monitoring, and alerting
  • Strengthened change management process

User Experience (UX)

Strategic direction: Enrich the User Experience: Iterative assessment and development

Risk Management

Strategic direction: Model Excellence: Organizational efficiency and impact

  • Collected evidence and documentation for the 2019 Information Security Self-Assessment (ISSA)
  • Continued to integrate information security best practices into our systems and workflows

Service Management

Strategic direction: Enrich the User Experience: Exceptional service

  • Resolved 2,146 tickets!

AD&S Team

  • Chris Bartos
  • Sue Beck
  • Stephen Cassidy
  • Eric Haskett
  • Travis Julian
  • Ousmane Kebe
  • Phoebe Kim
  • Jason Michel
  • Russell Schelby
  • Beth Snapp
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