Syndetic Solutions supplies the NCSU Libraries with augmented catalog content, including book jacket images, content summaries, and tables of contents. This service feeds the look and feel of our Endeca catalog through the display of jacket images in the OPAC and in virtual browse (our shelf list browse function is a database separate from Endeca or Sirsi), and summary/table of contents tabs on the full record display.
How Syndetic content works
Syndetic uses the first ISBN$a to link our bibliographic record with appropriate content from one of the Syndetic servers. So, when Endeca brings up a brief display a call is made to the vendor's server for the jacket images, which then populate the display. If you watch the status bar at the lower left of your browser you will see the call being made to Syndetic, along with Google Books, and the catalog. Sometimes there is a lag between when bibliographic text displays on the screen and the images come up. This is usually caused by network traffic as this content is being requested on-the-fly. It is not stored locally, except images are cached between brief and full display.
The same process works for summaries and TOC, though here only the content for a single title is being requested. Summaries are now called up on the full display itself, while table of contents await your clicking on the Contents tab.
What to do when Syndetic returns the wrong content or none at all?
Occasionally, the book jacket, summary or TOC may not be the correct image/text for the title that is displaying it. This could be due to the bib record having the wrong ISBN in the first spot, or it could be a mismatch at Syndetic's end. Before contacting Syndetic, make sure that the problem is not our own. Search the first 020 (numeric portion only) from the bib record in Google Images and see what comes up. You will likely see images from Amazon, bookstores, and publisher sites, and hopefully these will be your book. If most of the images are for a different book, we may have the wrong ISBN in our record. Check the other ISBNs in the bib record, along withe the book, publisher sites, or OCLC to see if you can find the correct ISBN. Check the bib record for the bad image and search the catalog or OCLC for a record for that title to make sure that your ISBN is actually on the wrong title. Put the correct ISBN into the correct 020 slot and you should see the correct image in Endeca within an hour or so. Same deal for TOC and summary, since these are connected to the same ISBN.
If the barcode brings up the correct jacket image in Google Images, then it is likely a problem at the Syndetic end. Contact the vendor at firstname.lastname@example.org. Your message should provide the book title, URL for our Endeca catalog entry (for example, http://www2.lib.ncsu.edu/catalog/record/NCSU1912307), the ISBN and the nature of the problem ("wrong image", "summary appears to be purchase information only", "TOC describes different book"). Syndetics will send an automated reply, indicating that it usually takes 5 days for the correction, but this has been steadily decreasing over the last few years. Lately, it has been 2-3 days.
If the title you are working on lacks an image and is considered important enough to warrant one, you can supply one to Syndetic at . If there is an image on Google Images or Amazon, send them that as an attachment to your email. If you are working on a memorial book and there are no available images, you can scan the jacket in the Media Lab and save the results on a USB/thumb drive as a .jpg file. There is a folder at g:\cataloging\Syndetics which contains several images emailed to Syndetic in the past. I generally use the ISBN as the filename, both so I can find the image and to remind the vendor what record the image goes to. Seems to work!