Resource Discovery tools: You said, we did


You said We did

It is not always clear how to use Dragon dictation software to achieve certain functionality in SOLO.

We are working with Dragon users to clarify what commands to use and we intend to make some tips available shortly.

It is frustrating to follow links to ORA from SOLO in the hopes of full text to be disappointed when full text is not available The data feed into SOLO has been improved so the ‘traffic light’ indicators of online availability are accurate – if there is full text you will see a green link and if there is no full text the link will be red.
 I liked selecting multiple items to renew rather than renewing one item at a time  It is now possible to renew selected items.
I like how you can see links to other items which have cited this or are cited by this This was previously only visible in the detailed results view. You can now see this information alongside brief results which is useful to evaluate whether the item is worth looking at in full.

I don't want to see book reviews in my search results.

SOLO’s simple search defaults to 'Search Everything' which will bring resource types, including book reviews.  Try choosing ‘Oxford collections’ to reduce your results. Our supplier, Ex Libris, is working towards a solution which involve publishers needing to ensure they supply accurate metadata. These metadata updates continue to be applied to SOLO so that book reviews appear below the actual items in the search results.

Search everything should be the default.

Oxford collections should be the default.

Since the introduction of the current interface in 2017-18 'Search everything' is the default search option. Analytics are showing that is a clear preference for users; however, we have listened to those who need to quickly filter before searching, especially to focus on a specific library, and have therefore introduced a new single filter option. This new single filter has been positively received and therefore we will retain this but continue to monitor analytics to pick up any shift in user behaviour.

Oxford has so many libraries. It would be great if SOLO knew the ones I like to use.

SOLO cannot do this at the moment so we are working with the supplier to try to make this possible in the future. Ex Libris have agreed that they will add this to their development plans and we will continue to work with them to specify the requirements.

I find that some of the resource types in my search results are not relevant to me and don’t want to see them.

SOLO is making it possible to discover an increasingly broad range of resources.  These resources are all provided by the libraries in Oxford at the request of their users and through consultation with both library staff and readers to ensure that they are relevant.  We understand that ‘relevance’ is not the same for all users and therefore are going to extend the discussion with Ex Libris on personalisation of ‘My Libraries’ to the idea of ‘My Resource Types’.  This is by no means agreed but we see that this might be the only way to ensure that all users can decide for themselves what types of resources appear in their search results.  Currently this is possible through the use of post-search filtering.

I would like to have smaller fonts or less white space to get more information on my screen.

We understand that there is now an increasing variation in screen resolutions and that some screens will therefore appear to have larger fonts or not display as much information.  We are working on the ‘responsiveness’ of the site to see if we can optimise for 1280 px wide screens down to tablet size where the site does currently change its positioning of information.  Once this has been released we will monitor feedback carefully and continue to see if we can optimise further.  Accessibility is a contributing factor as is the request from many users to reduce the density of information even if this means scrolling to view content.

Have you made sure that accessibility has been carefully considered?

We worked closely with our Disability Librarian and Disability Committee to ensure that we did everything possible in terms of design and proper structuring of code to ensure that SOLO is accessible.  Our supplier, Ex Libris, have themselves undertaken an independent evaluation and are working on some developments to improve accessibility further.  Two specific accessibility points are detailed below.

I would like to have more information on my screen. / I need to have less information on the screen as I find it hard to take in everything displayed all at once  We have worked hard to provide a compromise between too much white space and too much information, and we hope we have succeeded. The information displayed changes depending on the size of the screen used to view it, and it is possible to use controls in the browser to change the density of the displayed content. If you do have specific issues, please contact us.

When using a screen reader it could be easier to find the next page of search results and identify the 'Hold Request' link for an item out on loan.

This is not something we can change so we have asked our supplier, Ex Libris, to address this urgently. Any fixes will need to be applied in a future Service Pack, probably later in the year.

I have no idea what 'Articles & More' means.

What is included in Oxford collections?

How is Oxford Collections different to Search Everything?

We removed '& More' and tried out a rename of Oxford Collections to 'All Libraries/Collections' although found this was no clearer. A concise explanation of what is covered in each of these is linked to under 'What am I searching?' in the central box of the homepage.

I like the new item details page /
I preferred the old current expandable search results

We are working with Ex Libris on better ways to navigate through the item details records and also potentially compare results. This is in response to feedback about the usefulness of the old SOLO functionality where availability and further details could be expanded from the brief search results page. The current SOLO creates a page that overlays the results list, which some people like; some don’t like that it has to be closed in order to view the next record. There are now arrows available which you can use to move from one record to the next without having to go back to the search results.

I use permalinks a lot. Will they continue to work when SOLO changes?

We have confirmed that they will. Any permalinks will redirect automatically.

Why can’t I see any results when I do an advanced search? The advanced search box takes up too much of my screen.

We have worked on streamlining the Advanced search form so that the top of the results is now visible on 1200 pixels screens. It is still possible that the search box will take up the whole screen if a number of lines are added to the search, but consultation with users told us that most would be comfortable in scrolling down or using the right hand page navigation.

Digital Bodleian

You said We did
I’d like to be able to see a full list of all the digitized items in Digital Bodleian, organized by shelfmark. A complete list of digitized shelfmarks is available at
I’d like to be able to browse recently digitized items.  There is now a “New to Digital Bodleian” link on the landing page, which takes you to all items digitized in the last 60 days.
Searching for a specific book or manuscript by shelfmark is very difficult, because of variations in abbreviation and punctuation.

We’ve worked to ensure that our TEI manuscript catalogues (,,, etc.) return the right manuscript regardless of how you’ve spelled the shelfmark. We are working on implementing this same functionality in Digital Bodleian.

It’s hard to find a permalink for images in Digital Bodleian. We created a “Copy permalink” button for each image and object in Digital Bodleian.
I’d like to be able to save my searches. We are working on making it possible to save searches in Digital Bodleian.
I’d like to be able to browse related items and filter search results by creation date. In a future update, Digital Bodleian will show related items and it will be possible to filter search results by creation date.
It’s hard to tell what sorts of things are in Digital Bodleian.

In a future update, we will be providing an option to browse by library collections, and an “About the collections” page that explains what has been digitized and how it relates to the Bodleian’s physical collections.

I am overseas, in a different timezone, and realise I will not get an immediate response via email or Live Chat. Have you got an FAQ page I can look at? We will be providing Frequently Asked Questions for Digital.Bodleian soon.
Back to top