Innovative Launches Inspire™ Discovery for Academic Libraries

Survey of university professors validates need for Inspire’s modern search platform which transforms valuable library data into contextually relevant information presented in a visual, intuitive interface

EMERYVILLE, Calif. April 10, 2019 – Innovative, a leading provider of library software, today unveiled Inspire™ Discovery. The new Inspire platform is state-of-the-art and delivers library experiences that are designed to meet people’s expectations of modern media and software solutions. Inspire Discovery, the first module to debut on the platform, becomes the most advanced Discovery research tool in the market. At the root of the technology, Inspire Discovery takes valuable library data and transforms it to deliver contextually relevant information, displaying results in an intuitive visual interface. Other market solutions utilize list-based relevancy search results that do not provide students, faculty and researchers the ability to “see” relationships between authors, concepts and resources.

While unveiling the Inspire platform, Innovative also shared findings of its survey of college and university professors who regularly conduct academic research. The study validates the need for new and more robust technical capabilities, which are offered in the Inspire platform. Among the key findings: 88 percent of respondents said they have a great deal of trust in library information, but only 36 percent say libraries are easy to use. The same majority believe general search engines easy to use, but only 8 percent have a great deal of trust in the information.

“We were not surprised the survey finds that academic researchers are abandoning more trusted library resources because their tools are not as easy or as convenient to use. Inspire is the first visually driven product in the market and is a 180-degree departure from other library technology products that fail to deliver on the ability to actually see the relationships,” said Jim Tallman, CEO of Innovative. “We applied our understanding of how academic users prefer to conduct research today, which directed our design approach to deliver a modern user experience and comprehensive contextual results. With Inspire Discovery, universities can once again see their libraries become the starting point for every level of research.”

After extensive investment in R&D by Innovative and thanks to the support of development partners, Inspire Discovery is now available for academic libraries. A similar offering is underway for public libraries and will be launched in the near future, and Innovative is already working with many public library development partners as we work toward a release.
Unlike other solutions, Inspire Discovery is architected with several fundamental differentiators, including:
  • Native Linked Data: By operating directly from the BIBFRAME data model for bibliographic records, Discovery reveals multi-dimensional relationships to uncover unexpected new connections and ideas. We can harvest the curation of the historical MARC records but utilize native linked data directly. Discovery accesses a broader collection of resources from across the library, yielding contextual search results of greater variety and relevance and enables the library to now connect content they purchased, as well as content available directly from publishers, database providers and open access resources.
  • Contextual Interface: Powered by a proprietary context engine, Innovative Discovery reveals more than just the linear list of text descriptions found in other search-and-find solutions. Discovery results are displayed in a Context Wheel™ that reflects the relationships between resources, people and concepts as users inherently think about them.
  • Future-proof Technology: Built from the ground up with a modern microservices architecture, Inspire has cutting-edge technology to enable quick application deployment to library staff and end users. Multiple reimagined products live on one cloud-based platform.
The Innovative survey of 141 professors revealed the impact of academic libraries having high trust, but low ease of use, which cuts across the researchers’ views and actions. Conducted by Witt Associates LLC in March of this year, survey findings include:
  • Two-thirds of researchers – 65 percent – revealed they have come across false, misleading or otherwise deceptive information in various online sources that they use for academic research.
  • Of those who have seen such false information, almost nine in ten said they could imagine a colleague or student unwittingly citing the false information in their research.
  • As online research has become easier, academic researchers’ visits to campus libraries have declined; 64 percent of survey respondents reported that they visit the campus library less often now compared to five years ago.
“Libraries are at the proverbial fork in the road where they must adopt new technologies to stay relevant and be the first source for trusted information,” said Tallman. “Ultimately, our goal is to empower libraries with a frictionless technology that will make their transformation from the past to the present not only easy, but exciting. At the end of the day, people will want to use libraries first to find the trusted information they need.”


For more information about Inspire™ Discovery and other Innovative solutions, visit the Innovative website,, or call 510-619-3566 to request a demonstration.


To download the full research report, visit




Innovative ( provides leading technology solutions and services that empower libraries and enrich their users worldwide. Innovative offers one of the most comprehensive portfolios of library automation products on the market today, serving academic, public, national, corporate and special libraries and consortia. Headquartered in Emeryville, California, Innovative has a global presence—serving thousands of libraries in 66 countries and offices worldwide.


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