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Series Title: How to improve collection access using simple SEO strategies
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This presentation provides an overview of an integrated set of techniques to promote and improve the discoverability of and access to primary resource collections and online materials through search engine optimization (SEO), including writing and/or editing Wikipedia articles. Implementing a few such simple actions (guided by a strategic plan) can produce a significant impact on accessibility for digital collections, making them more easily discoverable through general web searches. A simple case study on the implementation of these techniques will be provided. 1

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Why is it important to make scholarly collections available to general web searches? Most library research begins with general online searching and most researchers engage in scholarly research outside of libraries. They are often removed from traditional library social spaces, so librarians have few opportunities to serendipitously intervene and engage in informal training. [ Flikr Creative Commons licensed image from *w* http://www.flickr.com/photos/documentingtrees/131547704/in/pool mydesk ]. 2

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While the expectation is that Millennial students are experts at search skills to the scholarly search environment: they frequently search without authentication, unaware of search engine algorithms for determining relevance and ignorant of how to evaluate information for scholarly reliability and appropriateness. Librarians are viewed by many when working in libraries, many or most may not request help with library research. [ Flikr Creative Commons licensed image from UTC Library Library2010_028 http://www.flickr.com/photos/luptonlibrary/5063379244/sizes/l/in/pho tostream/ ]. 3

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There are many ways to improve access to library and archival collections replace traditional, proven methods and practices. The challenge is to make primary source materials (especially digital collections) fully discoverable, to the broadest potential population of users, with the goal of improving the quality of library research as it is being conducted by users. I think in terms of three approaches to improving access to collections (and contribute in a varying extent to each of these in my own work). [ Flikr Creative Commons licensed images by SarahWiseman Path to Somewhere http://www.flickr.com/photos/sarahwiseman/6345037130/ ]. 4

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One pathway toward improving access to collections is user education for example in library instruction and Information Literacy. [ Flikr Creative Commons licensed image by Mark Turner See http://www.flickr.com/photos/markturner/2073476600/ ]. 5

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Library instruction is valuable but scalability may be limited the scope of its impact. General, and archival resources unless specifically targeted as the focus of an instruction session. Courses for credit allow breadth of coverage and broader information literacy improvement, but even less scalability unless this is an institutional priority Creative ways to engage university students in information literacy include embedding librarians in dorms or departments, sponsoring gaming sessions with learning goals, etc. but all depend on reaching known populations and face limitations in their scope. [ Flikr Creative Commons licensed image by Sinclair Library]. Library Training Center. See http://www.flickr.com/photos/sinclairlibrary/770521872/ ]. 6

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A second approach or path to better access is to improve library tools, such as finding aids, item level metadata (associated with digital manuscripts and archives) and library catalog records (via OPACs) can have a positive impact on unknown and off site users. Catalog records may not be easily discovered in general web searches. To the extent that manuscripts are described in the catalog, according to best practice standards, they are treated at the collection level in library OPACs. source collections with relevant monographs and journal articles, but these are expensive to purchase and require complicated set up. [ Flikr Creative Commons licensed image by colinwood0 ]. Card Catalog. See http://www.flickr.com/photos/colinwood0/5814770594/ ]. 7

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Improving library tools: the OPAC links to collection level descriptions such as finding aids. Digitized collections are most accessible and useful with item level descriptions that have as much rich, textual content as feasible. Potential users may benefit from related research content that a curator may wish to bring together (on a landing page, for example) or may be to new to consider proven technologies. [ Hathi Trust public domain image]: Bacon, Frank R., Neil C. Churchill, C. J. Lucas et al. [1958]. Application of a telereference system to divisional library card catalogs: A feasibility analysis: final report Ann Arbor: Engineering Research Institute, The University of Michigan. Available online: http://hdl.handle.net/2027/mdp.39015030784410?urlappend=%3Bseq =19 8

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Third and finally, I want to discuss the surprisingly powerful SEO practices that are capable of assisting users who we might never know exist, but whose general web searching may be improved by our simple, have to know what they need [ Flikr Creative Commons licensed image by planetina Path ( Kommetjie Beach, Slangkop See http://www.flickr.com/photos/planetina/401810440/in/set 72157594553516377 ]. 9

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SEO is supported by IT experts and technicians they can enable efficient search engine access to digital collection contents. changes to their contents and indexes, so complete access depends on knowledge and behavior of human search engine users). The open source Sobek /CM developed at my library has been developed with these goals in mind (and is freely available online). However, curators themselves should strategically create SEO content, or supervise the content creation of others. 10

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With the technical considerations addressed, what concrete activities are available to a collection curator once one has committed to employ new strategies with Search Engine Optimization as a goal? Using the example of the J. M. Derscheid manuscripts collection, I can results that I can see every time I conduct a general search online. Created a landing page to bring related resources together and to provide a logical target for external links to connect to the collection Uploaded a complete index to the UFDC site as an overview Uploaded a translated biography to my Institutional Repository Wrote a Wikipedia biography expanding on the original text Secured the permission of a researcher to upload the full text of his monograph to UFDC to provide the research context for others Wrote newsletter articles, blog entries and other promotional materials and solicited colleagues to link to the collection on their blogs and websites [Public domain image of J. M. Derscheid from http://ufdc.ufl.edu/AA00006036 ]. 11

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rich textual content and specific, relevant links to related materials (such as online finding aids to describe the contents and their research context). Item level metadata and contextual research resources will help alert and attract general online research users, who may not be aware that the collection and its contents are relevant to their own research needs. Example of a UFDC landing page: http:// www.ufdc.ufl.edu/derscheid 12

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SEO requires a basic understanding of how general web search engines work fundamentally, they rank pages in results dynamically, based on connections to content in trusted and popular web sites. But SEO strategies are available and accessible to curators and developers of digital online resources or collections. The creation of rich textual resources and relevant research content should be the responsibility of those who know the collection and its contents the best (or they should supervise this process directly). Because Wikipedia is a trusted and highly ranked source, search engines use the contents of this online encyclopedia as one of the key sources for determining the rank of search engine results. Creating and editing Wikipedia articles is a public service that has a noticeable impact on the discoverability of scholarly research collections by general online searches. Wikipedia search: http://www.wikipedia.org 13

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This strategic and integrated approach to making the Derscheid Collection materials more readily discoverable in general online searches was recognized in April 2012 with a Primary Resource Award for Access by the Center for Research Libraries (CRL), a respected organization specialized in providing support and primary resource access to member libraries. CRL Spring 2012 Focus on Global Resources 31(3):3 4. Available online: http://www.crl.edu/focus/article/8132 14

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The proximate goal of undertaking SEO strategies is to increase the discoverability and accessibility of library and archival resources through general, public web searches. From this perspective, success may be measured qualitatively through the improved placement of a collection in search engine results. Similarly, access at the level of files viewed on the digital collections web server can be measured quantitatively through standard site statistics reports. The ultimate goal is support for research needs and scholarly impact, measured in traditional terms by bibliographic citations and other accepted scholarly forms of acknowledgement and recognition. 15

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The advantage is that they can assist general (nave or uninitiated), unauthenticated users, off site (unknown to the curator) in the course of their normal itself identify the collection by name), with the resulting high placement of the Derscheid Collection due to my own SEO contributions. Google search results: http://www.google.com 16

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The impact of undertaking SEO strategies is demonstrable through file access statistics as reported monthly by the site server. [Private UFDC page available only to authenticated page owners or editors]. http://ufdc.ufl.edu/my/stats 17

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Review learning objectives: I hope now that you can: 1 ) define Search Engine Optimization (SEO); and 2 ) name at least one practical action that will make your collections more visible in search engine results. Thank comments. Feel free to contact me at any time at the email address you see here. Image credits Slide images are in the Public Domain or available via Creative Commons license. Slides with notes, presentation script, handout and references are available at http://ufdc.ufl.edu/AA00011385/ 18



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How to improve collection access using simple SEO strategies SCOLMA 50 th Anniversary Conference: Dis/connects: African Studies in the Digital Age June 25, 2012 Dan Reboussin, Ph.D. University of Florida

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) is the craft of elevating web sites or individual web site pages to higher rankings on search engines through programming, marketing, or content acumen Carroll, Nicholas. 2011. [Search Engine Optimization] In Bates, Marcia J. and Mary N. Maack 2010. Encyclopedia of library and information sciences Boca Raton, FL: CRC Press.

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Learning objectives: Define Search Engine Optimization (SEO ); Identify one or more actions to increase collection visibility in search engine results

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Why improve access to general searches?

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But Millennial students are experts, right?

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What can we do? 1. Train library users 2. Improve library tools 3. Use SEO strategies

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1. Train library users

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Library Instruction & Information Literacy Library instruction sessions Courses for credit Creative engagement techniques

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2. Improve library tools

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Standard practices Catalog records Finding aids Item level metadata

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3. Search Engine Optimization

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Ensure code compliance (HTML/CSS) Allow efficient crawling with Sobek /CM software Provide rich textual content Link to specific web pages Technical improvements

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Derscheid Collection The Derscheid Collection Create landing pages Contribute to Wikipedia Contribute to blogs newsletters, etc.

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Landing page example

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Dynamic results ranking edu & .org Highly ranked sites Why edit Wikipedia ?

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Trusted source links

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Search engine results Website statistics reports Scholarly citation or recognition Measures of success

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Impact on results ranking

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Impact on file access

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http:// ufdc.ufl.edu/AA00011385 danrebo@ufl.edu Thank you



PAGE 1

How to improve collection access using simple SEO strategies SCOLMA Conference June 25, 2012 Dan Reboussin Blank screen : introduction Hello, my name is Dan Reboussin African Studies Librarian at the University of Florida. T hank you all for making this such an interesting and important conference. I look forward to continuing our discussions later today and tom orrow. Please feel free to follow up with any questions you may have during the question period or contact me at T oday present ing simple techniques you can use to dramatically improve access t o your on line collections. First begin with a confession : None of this was done without any strategic vision whatsoever. But I learned some important things through my journey (thanks to Laurie Taylor, Digital Hu manities Librarian at the University of Florida ) my experiences and hope this help s us all to build better access to African related primary collections. My Search Engine Optimization voyage began i n September, when F lorida I nternat ional U niversity political scientist John Clark suggested I write a

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2 Wikipedia biography of Jean Marie Derscheid after I told him of the digitized collection I T hat is the first stop for many of us, these days he told me concentrates on Rwandan pre colonial history, colonial policies and contains primarily French language materials. The collector fascinated me as I came to know the details of his biography. He was a Belgian from a wealthy family who was imprisoned during WWI as was his adoptive cousin, Paul Panda Farnana (considered to be the first degreed Congolese and an early nationalist and Pan Africanist). During the 1920s Derscheid was a very successful bird breeder, an active conservationist and a biologist with a top appointment at the Belgian natural history museum. and submitted it to Wikipedi a in October 2011.

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3 Slide 1 (~1:00): [Title: Improve collection access using simple SEO strategies] It was an epiphany for me to learn that just one such online contribution had a huge impact on this collection in Google search results That s uggests a simple definition of Sea r ch Engine Optimization : contribute relevant, rich information in the right online location to improve the placement of your collection in search engine results One of the pleasures of this approach is the immediacy, tran sparency and sheer public visib i l ity of results M y effort today will be successful if after this talk each of you can : 1) define what is Search Engine Optimization ( SEO ) ; and 2) name one or two action s that will make your collections more visible in se arch engine results

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4 Slide 2 (~:25): [Computer in study: why improve access to general searches?] Why is it important to make scholarly collections available to general web searches? As Professor Clark indicated, m ost library research begins with general online searching M ost researchers engage in scholarly work outside of libraries (with great confidence in their skills and results) They are often removed from traditional library social spaces, so librarians have few opportunities to engage in any libr ary research training.

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5 Slide 3 (~ 1 : 0 0): [But Millennial students are experts, right?] While the expectation (theirs and ours) is that millennial students are experts at searching online, recent beh avioral research ( Duke and Asher 2012; other ) shows that many know how to apply their general online search skills to the scholarly search environment: T hey frequentl y search without authentication ( subscription resources) ; T hey are unaware of search engine algorithms for determining the relevance of results and are naive about ways to evaluat e results independently for scholarly r eliability and appropriateness; and T hey rega rd librarians building. Even when working in libraries, many or most may not request help with their library research.

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6 Slide 4 (~30): [What can we do? Train, improve tools, SEO] There are 3 approaches to improv ing access to collections ( I contribute in a varying extent to each of these in my own work). The method is meant to replace standard practices or proven approaches The challenge is how to make our primary source ma terials (especially digital collections) more easily and fully discoverable, to the broadest potential population of users, with the goal of improving the quality of library research as it is being conducted by the majority of our users Slide 5 (~:15): [ Train library users] One pathway toward improving access t o collections is user education

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7 Slide 6 (~1:00): [Library Instruction & Information Literacy] Library instruction is valuable, but scalability may limit the scope of its impact. General, 50 min ute or hour long sessions usually manuscript and archival resources unless these are specifically targeted as the focus of an instruction session. Courses for credit allow breadth of coverage and broader information literacy improvement, but ev en less scalability unless it is an institutional priority to establish broad enrollment Creative ways to engage university students in information literacy include embedding librarians in dorms or departments, sponsoring gaming sessions with learning goa ls, etc. but all of these depend on reaching known populations and face limitations in their scope.

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8 Slide 7 (~ 1 : 00 ) : [Improve library tools] [image of card catalog looming] A second approach to better collection access is to improve library tools (creatin g better metadata) such as in finding aids, item level descriptions (associated with digital manuscripts and archives) and library catalog records (via OPACs). These all can have a positive impact for unknown and off site users. Unfortunately, c atalog rec ords are not easily discoverable in general web searches. To the extent that manuscripts are described in the catalog ( accor ding to best practice standards) they are treated at the collection level in library OPACs. Promising federated or may help to bring together primary source collections with relevant monographs and journal articles, but these products are very expensive to purchase and require compl ex set up.

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9 Slide 8 (~ 2 :00) : aids, item metadata [old timey tech slide] Library discovery tools have been fundamentally based on bibliographic records in the catalog for a long time. I find t his 1950s era image of electronic access humorous because of the apparent effort displayed to allow a single user to view each so it demonstrates that s tandards of practice (and expectations) change over time. Likewise, collection level f inding aids have been the standard practice in manuscripts and archival collections for some time, saving the expense of item level description. However, i tem level metadata has become important again because of the value of this information for online searches Digitized collections are most accessibl e and useful when we provide as much rich, textual content as feasible. Potential users benefit from related research content that a curator may bring together (on a landing page, for example) or that may be served

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10 SEO approaches are not standard (in libraries and archives) and are too new to be consider ed proven technologies for libraries though they are critically important for online collections I believe they w look as silly i n 50 years as this slide does to us now. T o review, t hese are the two approaches to improving resource discovery presented so far : Training users ; and Providing better library tools ( these are dependent on good item level metadata)

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11 Slide 9 (~: 3 0) : SEO [Image of beach P ath ]. The third approach I want to discuss is the set of surprisingly powerful SEO practices These are capable of assisting users who we might never know exist but whose general web searching can be improved by our offering a few simple inexpensive, strategic online contributions. The user s do Collection curators can provide these benefits with little or no support from others. Slide 10 ( 1 : 30 ) : [Technical improvements: HTML/ CSS compliance; Rich textual content; Link specific pages; Allow efficient crawling; Sobek/CM] While curators can pursue these SEO strategies independently, this work (ideally) is supported by IT experts and technicians their job is to enable efficient sea rch engine access to our digital collection contents. automatically check web servers for changes to their contents and

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12 indexes C omplete user access depends on supporting these proc esses (and importantly behavior of human search engine users). Nobody has to read your blog, your newsletter announcement or your Wikipedia biography of an obscure Belgian biologist in order for this strategy to benefit general web searching users directly. The Sobek/CM open source software package for managing digital collections ( developed at my library ) w as designed with these goals in mind (and is freely available online). C urators themselves should strategically crea te SEO content or supervise the content creation of staff, students, and others. These technical benefits are based upon good metadata, research context and rich content that explicitly connect the collection to related materials, content and ideas on the open web.

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13 Slide 11 (~ 4 : 00 ) : Derscheid Collection [image of J. M. Derscheid] The Wikipedia article documents Jean including so many diverse activities that at first I thought I was researching three different people : H i s invit ation 1926 final expedition to promote the conservation of Mountain Gorillas (Akeley is best known for invent ing taxidermy methods for accurate displays of large animals, such as elephants, but d ied on the slopes of Mt. Mikeno). Dersc heid cared for Akeley in his last days, then continued the objectives of the expedition by survey ing t he Mountain G orilla habitat and completing a census of the gorilla population ; He was a c ritic of Belgian colonial agriculture policies (and their negativ e effect on wildlife conservation), collect ing the historical research on Eastern Congo and Rwanda during the 1920s and 1930s that forms the bulk of this collection ; He was the first director of the Parc National Albert the first national park in Africa ( from its opening in 1930 until 1933);

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14 He taught at the Belgian Colonial University in the 1930s where he worked until the outbreak of WWII ; in a cardboard box on one of the last boats to leave Bel gium before the German invasion joined the London Zoo collections ; In 1939 he returned to his WWI military unit as an army medic ( but was demobiliz ed with the Belgian capitulation in 1940) ; Derscheid continued his service with the Resistance, leading secret cells in the escape lines that rescued downed Allied pilots He communicated with British forces using secret codes that he dev is ed from African languages; He was capture d by the Nazi GFP secret police in 1941, imprisoned and convicted as a spy (but continued to write on his work with exotic birds, corresponding with members of the Avicultural Society of Great Britain) H is execution was delayed by Masauji Ha chisuka a Japanese ornithologist with whom he worked in Congo and w h o had ties to Em peror Hi rohito himself a marin e biologist but Derscheid was finally guillotined at Brandenburg Grden Prison in 1944

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15 In addition to contributing this biography to Wikipedia I also : Created a landing page to bring related resources together and to provide a logic al target for external links to connect to the collection ; Uploaded a complete index to the UF D igital C ollections (UFDC) site as an overview (in most cases this overview will be a finding aid); Uploaded a translated biography to my Institutional Repositor y ; Secured the permission of Professor Emeritus Ren Lemarchand, a UF Rwanda scholar, to upload the full text of his 1970 Rwanda and Burundi monograph to UFDC to provide a research context for others ; Contributed to newsletter articles, blog entries and other promotional materials and solicited colleagues to link to the collection on their blogs and websites Again, t his was not based on any grand plan I had in mind from the beginning. I m simply relating a set of practical lessons tha t I learned in working through this project w ith my colleague Laurie Taylo r, following my upload ing of the biography in Wikipedia and experiencin g for myself the dramatic differen ce in results when searching Google afterwards.

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16 Approx. 5 min. to go Slide 12 (~:30) : Landing page The landing page provide s a targ et for researchers to easily discover. It should include rich textual content and specific, relevant links to related materials (such as online finding aids to describe the contents and their research context). High quality i tem level metadata combined wit h links to research context and related research alert s users and attract s gener al online research ers, who may not be aware that the collection and its contents are relevant to their own research needs

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17 Slide 13 (~1:00) : Wikipedia results SEO requires a b asic understanding of how general web search engines work fundamentally, they rank pages in results dynamically, based on connections to content in trusted and popular web sites. But SEO strategies are available and accessible to curators and developers of digital online resources or collections. The creation of rich textual resources and relevant research content should be the responsibility of those who know the collection and its contents best (or they should supervise this process directly). Because Wik ipedia is a trusted and highly ranked source on the Internet search engines use the contents of this online encyclopedia as one of the key sources for determining the rank of search engine results. Creating and editing Wikipedia articles is a public service that has a no ticeable impact on the discoverability of scholarly research collections by general online searches.

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18 Slide 14 (~:30) : CRL Focus This strategic and integrated ap proach to making the Derscheid Collection materials more readily discoverable in general online searches was recognized in April 2012 with a Primary Resource Award for Access by the Center for Research Libraries (CRL), a respected organization specializing in providing support and primary resource access to member libraries worldwide Approx. 2 min to go Slide 15 (~:45) : Measures of success (monitor search engine results, get server stats, scholarly citation) The proximate goal of undertaking SEO strategies is to increase the discoverability and accessibility of library and archival resources throu gh general, public web searches. From this perspective, success may be measured qualitatively through the improved placement of a collection in search engine results.

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19 Similarly, access at the level of files viewed on the digital collections web server can be measured quantitatively through standard site statistics reports. The ultimate goal is support for research needs and scholarly impact, measured in traditional terms by bibliographic citations and other accepted scholarly forms of acknowledgement and r ecognition. Slide 16 (~:40) : Impact on results ranking that they can assist general (including nave or uninitiated), unauthenticated users, off site (or unknown to the curator) in the course of their normal work. The ke y is that they about the collection beforehand in order to gain access. This slide demonstrates the results of a Google search (which as you can see in the search box, ion by name), with the resulting high placement of the Derscheid Collection due to my own SEO contributions.

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20 Slide 17 (~:15) : Impact on file access The impact of undertaking SEO strategies is demonstrable through file access statistics as repor ted monthly by the site server.

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21 Slide 18 ( ~:15 ) : Thank you. I hope now that everyone here can: 1) D efine Search Engine Optimization (SEO); and 2) N ame at least one practical action that will make your collections more visible in search engine results. Thank you comments now, or feel free to contact me at any time at the email address you see here All of the s lide images are in the Public Domain or available via Creative Commons license. The se s lides ( with notes ) the presentation script and the handout (with references ) are available online at http://ufdc.ufl.edu/AA00011385/



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How to improve collection access using simple SEO strategies SCOLMA Conference June 25, 2012 Dan Reboussin Introduction : Blank screen Hello, Dan Reboussin African Studies Librarian at the University of Florida. T hank you all for making this meeting such an interesting and important event I look ing forward to continuing our conversations today and tomorrow. Please feel free to follow up with any questions you may have during the question period or contact me at the email Slide 1 : Title slide T oday present ing simple techniques you can use to dramatically improve access t o your online collection s. First confess : None of this is original : strategic vision whatsoever. But I learned some important things on the way (thanks largely to my colleague, Dr. Laurie Taylor, Digital Humanities Librarian at the University of Florida ) to recount my experiences and hope the s e help us all to build better access to African related primary collections.

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2 My Search Engine Optimization voyage began i n September, when F lorida I nternational U niversity political science Professor John Clark suggested that I write a Wikipedia biography of Jean Marie Derscheid after I told him of the digitized collection I T hat is the first stop for many of us, these days he told me While the Derscheid concentrates on Rwandan pre colonial history, colonial policies and contains primarily French language materials. The collector fascinated me as I came to know the details of his biography. He was a Belg ian from a wealthy family who was imprisoned during WWI as was his adoptive cousin, Paul Panda Farnana (considered to be the first degreed Congolese and an early nationalist and Pan Africanist). During the 1920s, Derscheid was a very successful bird breeder, an active conservationist in Europe and a biologist with a top appointment at the Belgian natural history museum. While I believed I had an interesting story, I was also concerned that the potential audience wa s rather small.

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3 I put together a biographical entry and submitted it to Wikipedia in October. It was really an epiphany for me to learn that just one such online contribution had a huge impact on this collection position in Google search results to capture results before and after my contribution) Slide 2: SEO definition allow audience to read definition ] My own experience illustrates a simple form of Sea r ch Engine Optimization : contribute relevant, rich information in the right online location to improve the placement of your collection in search engine results T his approach is satisfying in that it is immedia te transparent and so publicly visible I myself benefit from it every time I Google this collection instead of remembering and typing out the entire URL

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4 Slide 3: Learning objectives M y effort today will be successful if after this talk each of you can : D efine what is Search Engine Optimization ( SEO ) ; and N ame one or more action s that will make your collections more visible in search engine results Slide 4 [computer in study] Why is it important to make scholarly collections available to general web searches? As Professor Clark indicated, m ost library research begins with general online searching M ost researchers engage in scholarly work outside of libraries (with great confidence in their skills and results) They are often removed from traditional library social spaces, so librarians have few opportu nities to engage in any library research training.

PAGE 5

5 Slide 5: millennials While the expectation (theirs and ours) is that millennial students are experts at searching online, recent behavioral research ( Duke and Asher 2012; other ) shows that many know how to apply their general online search skills to the scholarly search environment For example : T hey frequentl y search without authentication subscription resources) ; T hey are unaware of search engine algorithms for determining the relevance of results and are naive about ways to evaluat e results independently for scholarly r eliability and appropriatenes s; and T hey regard librarians building. Even when working in libraries, many or most may not request help with their library research.

PAGE 6

6 Slide 6 : What can we do? There are 3 approaches to improving access to collections ( I contribute in a varying extent to each of these in my own work). The method is meant to replace standard practices or proven approaches The challenge is how to make our primary source materials (espec ially digital collections) more easily and fully discoverable, to the broadest potential population of users, with the goal of improving the quality of library research as it is being conducted by the majority of our users Slide 7 One pathway toward improving access t o collections is user education

PAGE 7

7 Slide 8 Library Ins truction & Information Literacy Library instruction is valuable, but scalability may limit the scope of its impact. General, 50 min ute or hour long sessions usually manuscript and archival resources unless these are specifically targeted as the focus of an instruction session. Courses for credit allow breadth of coverage and broader information literacy improvement, but even less scalability unless it is an institutional priority to establish broad enrollment Creative ways to engage university students in information literacy include embedding librarians in dorms or departments, sponsoring gaming sessions with learning goals, etc. but all of these depe nd on reaching known populations and face limitations in their scope.

PAGE 8

8 Slide 9 [card catalog] A second approach to better collection access is to improve library tools ( or creating better metadata) such as in finding aids, item level descriptions (associated with digital manuscripts and archives) and library catalog records (via OPACs). These all can have a positive impact for unknown and off site users. Unfortunately, c atalog records are not easily discoverable in general web searches. To the ext ent that manuscripts are described in the catalog ( accor ding to best practice standards) they are treated at the collection level in library OPACs. Promising federated or may help to bring together primary source collections with relevant monographs and journal articles, but these products are very expensive to purchase and require compl ex set up.

PAGE 9

9 Slide 10 [ 1950s tech nology ] Library discovery tools have been fundamentally based on bibliographic records in the catalog for a long time. I find t his 1950s era image of electronic access humorous because of the apparent effort displayed to allow a single user to view each so it demonstrates that s tandards of practice (and expectations) change over time. Likewise, collection level f inding aids have been the standard practice in manuscripts and archival collections for some time, saving the expense of item level description. However, i tem level metadata has become important again because of the value of this information for online searches Digitized collections are most accessible and useful when we provide as much rich, textual content as feasible. Potential users benefit from related research content that a curator may bring together (on a landing page, for example) or that may be served

PAGE 10

10 SEO approaches are not standard (in lib raries and archives) and are too new to be consider ed proven technologies for libraries though they are critically important for online collections I believe they w look as silly in 50 years as this slide does to us now. T o review, t hese are the two approaches to improving resource discovery presented so far : Training users ; and Providing better library tools

PAGE 11

11 Slide 11 SEO [ B each p ath ]. The third approach I want to discuss is the set of surprisingly powerful SEO practices These are capable of assisting users who we might never know exist but whose general web searching can be improved by our offering a few simple, inexpensive, strategic online contributions. The user s do Collection curators can provide these benefits with little or no support from others. Slide 1 2 [Technical improvements] While curators can pursue SEO strat egies independently, their work is ideally supported by IT experts whose job it is to enable efficient search engine access to digital collection contents. omputer software regularly and automatically check web servers for changes to their contents and

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12 indexes C omplete user access depends on supporting these automated processes ( for example, by using compliant HTML and CSS code ) but importantly behavior of human search engine users. This is a key point: Nobody has to read your blog, your newsletter announcement or your Wikipedia biography of an obscure Belgian biologist in order for this strategy to benefit general web search users directly. The Sobek/CM open source software package for managing digital collections ( developed for use at my library ) w as designed with these goals in mind (and is freely available online for institutional adoption ). C urators themselves should also work to strategically create SEO content or supervise the content creation of staff, students, and others. Provid ing rich textual content in Wikipedia entries, blogs, newsletters and other online sources that link to specific collection pages helps search engines locate your digital collections when researchers key in related terms. These technical benefits are based upon good metadata, research context and rich content that explicitly connect s the collection to related materials, content and ideas on the open web.

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13 Slide 1 3 Derscheid Colle ction The Wikipedia article documents Jean including so many diverse activities that at first I thought I was researching three different people : Most importantly, in relation to this collection h e was a critic of colonial agriculture policies ( and their negative e ffect on wildlife conservation). This was his purpose for collecting the historical research on Eastern Congo and Rwanda during the 1920s and 1930s that forms the bulk of this collection; Beyond this work, h e was involved in a large number of interesting (and ultimately tragic) activities. He join ed the American celebrity taxidermist 1926 expedition to promote the conservation of Mountain Gorillas Akeley fell gravely ill on the slopes of Mt. Mikeno, so Derscheid cared for him in his last days, continu ing the objectives

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14 of the expedition by survey ing t he Mountain G orilla habitat and completing the first census of the gorilla population ; He was the first director of the Parc National Albert the first national park in Africa ( from its opening in 1930 until 1933); He taught at the Belgian Colonial University in the 1930s where he worked until the outbreak of WWII ; in a cardboard box on one of the last boats to leave Belgium before the German invasion joined the London Zoo collections ; In 1939 he returned to his WWI military unit as an army medic ( but was demobiliz ed with the Belgian capitulation in 1940) ; Derscheid continued his service with the Resistance, leading secret cells in the escape lines that rescued downed Allied pilots He communicated with British forces using secret codes that he dev is ed from African languages; He was capture d by the Nazi GFP secret police in 1941, imprisoned and convicted as a spy (but continued to write on his work with

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15 exotic birds, corresponding with members of the Avicultural Society of Great Britain) H is execution was delayed by Masauji Hachisuka a Japanese ornithologist with whom he worked in Congo and w h o had ties to Em peror Hirohito himself a marin e biologist but Derscheid was finally guillotined at Brandenburg Grden Prison in 1944 In addition to contributing this biography to Wikipedia I also : Created a landing page to bring related resources together and to provide a logical target for external links to connect to the collection ; Uploaded a complete index of the Derscheid Collection contents to the University of Florida D igital C ollections site as an overview for researchers ( I n most cases this overview will be a finding aid); Uploaded a translated biographical dictionary article to my Institutional Repository ; Secured the permission of Professor Emeritus Ren Lemarchand, a notable Rwanda scholar, to upload the full text of his 1970 monograph Rwanda and Burundi to the Digital Collections site in order to provide a research context for others ;

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16 Contributed to newsletter articles, blog entries and other promotional materials and solicited colleagues to link to the collection on their blogs and websites Again, t his was not based on any grand plan I had in mind from the beginning. set of practical lessons that I learned in working through this project with my colleague Laurie Taylo r, following my uploading of the biography in Wikipedia and experiencing for myself the dramatic difference in results when searching Google afterwards. Approx. 5 min. to go Slide 1 4 Landing page The landing page provide s a target for researchers to easily discover. It should include rich textual content and specific, relevant links to related materials (such as online finding aids to describe the contents and their research context).

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17 High quality i tem level metadata combin ed with links to research context and related research alert s users and attract s gener al online research ers who may not be aware that the collection and its contents are relevant to their own research needs Slide 1 5 Wikipedia results SEO requires a basic understanding of how general web search engines work fundamentally, they rank pages in results dynamically, based on connections to content in trusted and popular web sites (for example in the .edu and .org domains, as are universities and Wikipedia sites ) But SEO strategies are available and accessible to curators and developers of digital online resources or collections. The creation of rich textual resources and relevant research conte x t should be the responsibility of those who know the collectio n and its contents best (or they should supervise this process directly).

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18 Because Wikipedia is a trusted and highly ranked source on the Internet search engines use the contents of this online encyclopedia as one of the key sources for determining the rank of search engine results. Creating and editing Wikipedia articles is a public service that has a noticeable impact on the discoverability of scholarly research collections by general online searches. Slide 1 6 CRL F ocus This strategic and integrated ap proach to making the Derscheid Collection materials more readily discoverable in general online searches was recognized in April 2012 with a Primary Resource Award for Access by the Center for Research Libraries (CRL), a respected organization specializing in providing support and primary resource access to member libraries worldwide

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19 Approx. 2 min. to go Slide 17 Measures of success The proximate goal of undertaking SEO strategies is to increase the discoverability and accessibility of library and archival resources through general, public web searches. From this perspective, success may be measured qualitatively through the improved placement of a coll ection in search e ngine results. Similarly, access at the level of files viewed on the digital collections web server can be measured quantitatively through standard site statistics reports. The ultimate goal is support for research needs and scholarly impact, measured in t raditional terms by bibliographic citations and other accepted scholarly forms of acknowledgement and recognition.

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20 Slide 1 8 R esults ranking that they can assist general (including nave or uninitiated), unauthenticated users, off site (or unknown to the curator) in the course of their normal work. The ke y is that they about the collection beforehand in order to gain access This slide demonstrates the results of a Google search (which as you can see in the search box the resulting high placement of the Derscheid Collection due to my own SEO contributions. Slide 1 9 F ile access The impact of undertaking SEO strategies is demonstrable through file access statistics as repor ted monthly by the site server.

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21 Slide 20 I hope that now everyone here can: D efine Search Engine Optimization (SEO); and N ame one or more practical action s that will make your collections more visible in search engine results. All of the s lide photo s are in the Public Domain or are available via Creative Commons license. My presentation s lides ( with notes ) the script and handout (with references ) are available online at http://ufdc.ufl.edu/AA00011385/ comments now, or feel free to contact me at any time at the email address you see here