It’s been quite a while since I wrote on this blog – apologies all. The SAGE and iFactory teams have spent the last month busily testing the site and finalising functionality ahead of the Beta go-live.
In the past 4 weeks we have visited a number of institutions to carry out user testing on the live site. These sessions were a combination of 1-to1 and group sessions that allowed us to watch individuals use the site and identify any navigational issues that cropped up, as well as to get some more general feedback about the value of the site and how it will be used by academics, students and librarians. We visited the University of Helsinki (Finland), Aalborg University (Denmark), University of Michigan (USA), Loyola Marymount University (USA), University of Phoenix (USA), University of California at Berkley (USA), American University (USA), University of Liverpool (UK) and University of Cranfield (US), and also provided access to the site to members of our Editorial Board.
We had some great feedback – lots of people saying they wished SRMO had been available years ago! It sounds like the product will be a great tool to support the selection of methods for MA students, act as a reference tool for researchers looking for information on methods that are new to them, provide a comprehensive tool to students and researchers performing a literature review of a particular area, and will also provide a useful teaching tool to direct students to supplementary reading.
We also heard some really interesting suggestions for future development, including the addition of highlighting and note taking features around the text, adding links to more journal content and allowing users to comment around content on the site. Do any of these sound useful to you? Let us know.
Whilst we made quite a few changes to the product in the past month we are also scheduling further development through to the end of the year, looking at adding more back button links throughout the site, enhancing the easy of viewing content associated with terms in the Methods Map, strengthening the display of the table of contents on the book pages, developing additional filtering options on the search results and much more….. When you access the Beta site, please do send through your development requests to us to help us as we continue to enhance the product before launch in January.
So, I’m going to round up this post by saying a big thanks again to the individuals participating in this test so far, and for everyone else…watch this space – we will be sending out invites to members of this Methodspace Group to access the site shortly.