Copac trial interface: feedback

Many thanks to those of you that gave us feedback on the recent trial of the new Copac user interface. We really appreciate the time you put into testing and responding to us through the feedback form, email, and twitter.

I’ve summarised the feedback below:

  • In general you gave an enthusiastic response to the new interface design, including positive comments on the layout and workflow. Those who tried it on mobile devices were pleased with the how it came out.
  • There were also positive comments about the range of features, with the availability of the holding library list on the initial search result listing being particularly popular.
  • The grey ‘colour scheme’ generated a number of comments. Some people liked it but others definitely didn’t! The lack of colour on the site was to try and avoid getting too much comment on the graphics as opposed to the functionality of the new interface, so it won’t be staying monochrome.
  • There were individual comments about wording, screen elements, or requests for additional features, which are all valuable in helping us refine the presentation and facilities.
  • Amongst those who didn’t like the new interface the major concern was the lack of the ‘Main search’ screen with its range of detailed search options. Whilst the initial test was working just with the Quick search, we can reassure that we always intended to reintroduce the other search screens once we had feedback on the overall design. This obviously wasn’t as clear as we’d hoped.

We are continuing to work on the interface, reassured that we are moving in the right direction for most of you. In the next stage we’ll be incorporating colour as well as adding the missing search screens. We will also be making changes in response to comments or requests relating to individual features, as well as ensuring that it works well for as wide a range of browsers and devices as possible.

You’ll be able to try out the new interface again in a few months time and provide input into the final version before the work is completed.

Copac trial interface – have your say on the future of Copac!

We are developing a new style of Copac interface with greater search flexibility, new functionality, and clearer displays. Following initial user testing we’re now opening up the trial interface for further comment. We’re making the early draft interface available for a week from 12.00 noon 23rd May to 12.00 noon 30th May. This is your opportunity to try out the new interface, and let us know what you think!

Access the Copac Alpha trial interface.

Please note: The interface is very pared down, and there is no colour scheme. Some elements are just placeholders for planned options. The interface is designed to work in the latest browsers – you might experience issues with display/functionality in older browsers, such as IE 6 and 7.

We’d really appreciate your input into this work. There are feedback options on the screens and all comments will feed into the ongoing development process. You can also email with your feedback.

There will be further opportunities to comment on the interface redevelopment as the work continues. This is part of the complete redevelopment of the Copac service and additional interface facilities will become available at later stages on the work.

New Copac interface

The new Copac interface is now live.

You can now search Copac quickly from the basic Copac interface, without logging in.

Search and export records using the basic Copac interface, incorporating book and journal table-of-contents where available. You can export records directly into EndNote and Zotero.

Logging in gives you access to a range of additional facilities, including:

  • A personal Search History that you can tag, annotate, and develop over time as a record of your
  • A personal My References list that you can tag, annotate, and
    develop over time. Export selected records for use in reference management software.
  • Some users will have the option to search your own university library catalogue alongside Copac.

Login for University/college members: login to Copac with your
university/college username or Athens username.

Login for Non-academic Copac users: you can create a personal login using one of the following identity providers:


TypeKey: TypePad Profiles

There is more info on the TypeKey Identity Bridge on the UK
Access Management Federation
Web site

Please email the Copac helpdesk: with any feedback, or if you have any questions about the new interface.

Copac is changing…

The new personalised Copac will be made available during August 2009. Thank-you to the many people who have taken the time to send comments and requests relating to the Beta interfaces. We’ve had some really useful feedback and we’ll be following up many of the comments both before the release and over subsequent months.

New Copac trial interfaces

We are beginning a major redevelopment of the Copac National, Academic, and Specialist library catalogue service. The first stage of this work will introduce a login version of Copac with a range of new personalised facilities. Alongside this we will retain an open-access version of Copac.

Building on the recent Copac Beta trial, we have two new Copac Beta trial interfaces.

Personalised Copac, as seen in the beta trial, now has a new addition in the form of ‘my local library’ search, which allows members of some universities to search their own library catalogue alongside Copac, giving a single result set. This requires you to login to Copac.

The new standard Copac is a streamlined service which allows you to search and export records without logging in to the personalised Copac. It also includes a new journal table-of-contents display (where available).

Both these interfaces can be accessed at, and the trial will be running until 26th July.

There is a very short feedback questionnaire for each interface. We would appreciate it if you could fill in the questionnaire, or just email the Copac helpdesk ( with any comments you may have.

Copac Beta trial interface

There is now a Beta version of the Copac interface available for trial at

We’re working towards making Copac a more personalised research tool and we’d love to have your feedback on the current range of developments. Try out the Beta version of Copac, explore the new features, then fill in a brief questionnaire to give us your views about the changes so far. In appreciation we’ll put your name in a hat to win a £35 Amazon voucher. The Beta interface will be available for comment until May 29th.

Note: Access to the Beta version of Copac is currently restricted to members of UK academic institutions, you will need to login with your university/college username (or Athens username). The developments will be made more widely available in the future and there will continue to be a free access version of Copac available to everyone.

Copac links to Google Book Search

The Copac national, academic, and special library catalogue now includes links to documents in Google Book Search. Where a record contains an ISBN a link appears on the right of the Full record display and will take one of three forms:

  • Google Full View: this link takes you to an online copy of the book.
  • Google Preview: this allows you to see a limited number of pages from the book.
  • Google Book Search: most links will be in this form. These links don’t offer a view of the book itself, but in some cases there will be options such as links to web sites mentioning the book, links to other works that reference the book etc.

Find out more about how the linking is done from:
Inside Google Book Search: Preview books anywhere with the new Google Book Search API

ESTC search through Copac available again

The English Short Title Catalogue (ESTC) is again available through Copac after some work at the British Library. You will now be seeing ESTC records in your Copac search results. Unfortunately, searches that find a large number of records on ESTC can be slow and will require patience. This should affect only a small proportion of searches, but if you are having particular difficulties let us know so we are aware of the extent of the problem.

New version of Copac released, includes searching ESTC at the British Library

We have released a new version of Copac. The main change is that your searches are now carried out both on Copac and on the English Short Title Catalogue (ESTC) at the British Library. The records retrieved from ESTC are merged into a single result set with the results from the Copac database. In the Copac ‘Main search’ screen ESTC is included in the ‘Libraries’ list field. Thus it is possible to restrict a search to ESTC alone, or to combine it with one or more other libraries eg. ESTC and the Register of Preservation Surrogates. The ESTC catalogue includes details of materials published between c.1473 and 1800, largely English language publications from Britain and America.

In addition, in the Full record display there is now a ‘Printer friendly’ option in the menu on the right of the screen. This takes you to a version of the Full Record display that excludes all the page navigation and any book cover image. This makes for a more concise display that is useful if you want to quickly print out a single record. Use your browser ‘Back’ button to return to the Full Record display.

If you want to print multiple records from your search results you might be better to Mark the records you want then use the Download option. On the Download screen, if you ‘Save the records to a file’ this normally shows the chosen records in your browser window. You can then use your browser to print the records. The Download screen gives you a choice of record formats and shorter records, so you will get several records to a printed page.