Whoa! New L’Annee InterfaceApril 13, 2010
Forgive me for channeling Keanu Reeves in the header, but that was, verbatim, my response when I clicked into L’Annee Philologique (link for UGA users only) on Friday for the first time in a couple of weeks, and found they had implemented a new user interface. (The Classics bibliographer at UGA was also unaware a change was coming, and I haven’t seen discussion of the change on my Classics librarian list-servs, but even so I was left feeling a bit “why didn’t I know? I should know these things!”)
When I regained my powers of speech, I explored a bit and found it is a greatly improved new user interface; hurrah! The intro page features a Quick Search box, with a drop-down menu offering the choices of Modern Author, Full Text (still equaling ‘full text of the citation’), Ancient Authors and Texts, Subjects and Disciplines Prior to Volume 67, and Subjects and Disciplines After Volume 67. As the options show, the fundamental searchable categories are unchanged. New is the option to change the sort order of results – by Author, Title, Date (both ways), and Relevance (not clearly defined.) The main page also invites the user to create a free login, which allows some limited customization of search preferences, and the ability to save both searches and records. (Click image to enlarge.)
The Advanced Search page is even better, with multiple search boxes allowing the easy creation of a complex search using Boolean (AND/OR/NOT) language, a process that took multiple, painful steps in the old interface. Also streamlined is the ability to filter the search by language and date, a boon for undergraduates daunted by languages other than English. A minor quibble: it is a bit annoying that entering a keyword in one of the boxes, and then realizing the field name needs to be changed from the default to “Full Text” makes the keyword entered disappear. (Click image to enlarge.)
There are still hurdles for novices seeking to learn how to use L’Annee, such as the complex structure of the Subjects and Disciplines fields, and the hidden button (labeled, inscrutably to most users, “SFX”) to search the UGA e-journals for full text of an article online. But the learning curve is substantially lessened with this step forward. I only wish the changeover had occurred at a slightly different time; at UGA we are in the final rush to the end of the spring semester, and many students are deeply into term papers, and I showed them all how to use the old L’Annee interface when I visited classes earlier in the semester! (Click image to enlarge).