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Betas & widgets - OLD KEEP FOR ARCHIVE: Beta graduates

Guide to experimental tools that make accessing and organizing information easier.

About beta graduates

The following tools & services started out as betas, but proved to be successful enough to graduate.  They've earned their place as graduates by passing these criteria:

  • The beta has received positive user feedback (from more than a handful of users).
  • It has been demonstrated that the MIT community is using it.
  • MIT staff are able to provide long-term support, or the tool is supported by a trusted and reliable resource outside of MIT.

EBSCO Discovery Service

image of EBSCO Discovery Service search box

EBSCO Discovery Service wasn't a beta for very long!  Positive usability test results and proven user need caused us to graduate the tool quickly. We now call the tool "BartonPlus" and are committed to supporting it as one of our major search tools, alongside others including Barton and Vera. Try BartonPlus.


Benefits & features:
  • Searches millions of records across MIT Libraries physical collections and e-resources - databases, full text articles, and Barton.  
  • Improved/expanded full text article searching - searches across many more e-resources than Vera Multi-Search.
  • Enhanced user interface features, like book covers, faceted browsing, relevancy ranking of search results, “did you mean” suggestions for misspelled search terms, and more.

- Posted May 21, 2013; graduated June 17, 2013

LibX 2.0 beta

LibX is a browser extension you can download for Firefox and Google Chrome. LibX will give you easier access to MIT resources from anywhere & will help you to:

  1. get access to journals easier and faster, especially from off-campus, by reloading pages through the MIT Libraries proxy.
  2. search the Barton catalogVera, and Google Scholar quicker – they’re only 1 click away from any web page.
  3. find out if books on Amazon (and other popular websites) are available to borrow from MIT Libraries.

LibX and Amazon

LibX 1.0 had started as a beta, and it was so popular that it quickly graduated. A few years later, LibX 2.0, which became smaller and more streamlined, followed in its footsteps. Number of downloads and positive comments ("LibX is a real game changer!") tells us that the MIT community loves LibX 2.0.

- Posted September 23, 2011; graduated November 9, 2012

MIT's WorldCat Mobile

WorldCat Mobile

WorldCat Mobile was a mobile version of MIT's WorldCat, used for searching libraries beyond MIT.  Users can search for and request books, journals, and more at MIT and beyond.

We've graduated this beta for several reasons:

- Posted December 10, 2010; Graduated February 7, 2012

Mobile site on the MIT Mobile Web

mobile site home

Since we originally added the Libraries' MIT Mobile Web to the betas page, we've worked with the MIT Mobile Web Team to further develop the tool.  In addition to having library services available on the mobile web, you can also get the same content through the MIT Mobile Android and iPhone apps.

- Posted September 16, 2009; Graduated February 7, 2012

Pubget for MIT

Many MIT researchers have discovered that Pubget makes getting access to full-text documents in life science and engineering easier and faster.  Instead of search results requiring several clicks to view the papers through PubMed and IEEE, with Pubget, the search results are the papers. Pubget allows you to save, manage and share papers.  

Pubget wasn't developed at or for MIT, but there's a handy option that allows MIT users to view articles that MIT Libraries subscribes to easier.

To try Pubget for MIT, visit Pubget and set your institution to MIT.  After entering your affiliation, when you search for articles, Pubget will display the full text articles that MIT subscribes to right in the search results screen.  If MIT doesn't subscribe to the full text, you'll see the abstract along with links to order it from another institution.

Have a mobile device?  Try Pubget Mobile or the Pubget iPad app to find articles and open them with your favorite mobile pdf reader or reference manager, like Papers, iBooks, Evernote, & Stanza.

- Posted December 10, 2010; Graduated February 7, 2012

Mobile web category in the MIT Libraries' news blog

We added a mobile web category in the MIT Libraries news blog to promote some of the best mobile tools to help with research on the run.  

screenshot of mobile web blog story

While we don't have statistics to prove its value, we're committed to posting mobile web news in the future. We've heard from many users that they appreciate our promotion of academic mobile tools, both on the news blog and in our Apps for Academics guide.  

- Posted April 20, 2010; Graduated February 7, 2012

MIT's WorldCat

MIT's WorldCat is an alternative search tool that integrates much of what you'll find in Barton with the catalogs of other libraries around Boston and worldwide.

Staff at MIT Libraries are committed to supporting MIT's WorldCat, since statistics have proven that MIT's WorldCat is a hit with the MIT community, and many requests have been placed for books at MIT and at libraries around the world.

screenshot of WorldCat results

Features include:

  • ability to search for and request books at MIT and at libraries around the world
  • easy browsing capabilities, with images of book covers and many Google book previews
  • option to set up a user profile, so you can save your favorite items to sharable lists
  • ability to tag, rate, and review items

For a full list of features, read About MIT Libraries' WorldCat.

WorldCat doesn't include everything owned by the MIT Libraries, so if you can't find what you're looking for, make sure to check Barton and Vera, or ask us!


- Posted October 15, 2008; Graduated December 10, 2010

Older graduates of betas

Dewey Research Advisor
starting points for specific research questions in the fields of business, management, and economics. Replaced by Ask Us! - Quick Answers in August 2012.

Firefox button for off-campus journal access
bookmarklet button that allows quick, easy access to journals from off campus. No longer promoted.

LibX - MIT Edition
a Firefox extension that adds a toolbar for quickly searching the Barton catalog, Vera, and Google Scholar. Embeds links to MIT resources in Amazon, Google Scholar, and more.

Podcasts on scholarly communication
series of podcasts organized by the Libraries' Scholarly Publishing and Licensing Consultant.

RSS feeds for new books
RSS lists of new books, CDs, and DVDs by subject.

latest news on events and services through the @mitlibraries Twitter feed

Vera Multi-Search
new version of Vera adds the ability to simultaneously search several databases at once.

Video tutorials
short online videos that show how to use library tools and resources.

Virtual Reference Collection in
integrates many free and recommended resources and makes them available via RSS, or to browse.