Universidade Católica Portuguesa

Adopting the new EBSCO Discovery Service interface

At a Glance

Universidade Católica Portuguesa
Lisbon, Portugal

Institution Type:   Academic Libraries
Related Products:   EBSCO Discovery Service

Six libraries of Universidade Católica Portuguesa


Universidade Católica Portuguesa, thrice recognized by Times Higher Education as the best university in Portugal, is one of the first institutions outside the United States — and the first in Southern Europe — to transition to the new, enhanced EBSCO Discovery Service (EDS) interface.

The reimagined EDS interface features EBSCO's optimized search technology, improved accessibility, more options for personalization, an improved mobile experience, and Concept Map — a more visual and interactive approach to exploring topics using artificial intelligence.

Offering a friendlier, more flexible tool, adapted to any device, without giving up all the potential that has always characterized EDS, is an important step in the evolution of this tool.

Dr. Bruno Guimarães Marçal
Head Librarian, João Paulo II University Library
Universidade Católica Portuguesa


According to Head Librarian Dr. Bruno Guimarães Marçal, Universidade Católica Portuguesa (UCP) is constantly evolving. It has had to adapt to a more geographically dispersed team, define new work processes, implement new digital platforms and remodel existing ones, all while respecting the unique principles and characteristics that define the institution.

“The users of the UCP Libraries are at the center of our work as information professionals,” said Marçal. “Their level of demand, regardless of whether it comes from a teaching or research background, forces us to find the best tools and strategies to meet their needs and the challenges they face daily. The new ESD interface fits perfectly, in a very natural way, into this line of action.”

Like the classic EDS, the new experience allows users to search across the library’s entire collection in one single search. Because of this, the tool remains valuable to UCP’s entire academic community, including students and faculty across a variety of departments, from theology to biotechnology and medicine to management and law.

“The universal dimension of this tool unequivocally positions it as a first choice for most users, both for brief searches and for more complex literature reviews,” Marçal said.

However, Marçal indicated, this version of EDS better meets the needs and expectations of today’s library users as well as the librarians responsible for managing the institution’s information resources.

“Offering a friendlier, more flexible tool, adapted to any device, without giving up all the potential that has always characterized EDS, is an important step in the evolution of this tool,” Marçal said, adding that the new EDS contributes to a more dynamic, interactive and effective learning ecosystem. “By making it simpler and more intuitive, it also contributes to a higher level of autonomy for users who, in an organic way, are guided to build more effective searches.”

The new EDS has been widely promoted across all platforms managed by the UCP Libraries. In addition, said Marçal, EDS is covered in training courses and in all reference and research services that take place each day, in-person and online. During these sessions, librarians can introduce users to Concept Map, a more visual and interactive approach to exploring topics that uses artificial intelligence.

Marçal said Concept Map supports visual learners in building effective searches by leading them to discover keywords and topics they might not have otherwise considered.

“The level of interaction between information professionals and users is increasingly high, positioning libraries as strategic partners in teaching and research,” Marçal said. “We know the users, we know their needs, [and] we know that they interact with the vastness of available resources in very different ways according to their habits and motivations. The new version of the EBSCO Discovery Service clearly takes a step forward by diversifying the interaction models between users and the vast amount of high-quality content available to them.”

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