The Quest for the Holy Grail: Too Many ERM Systems Are Not Enough!


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Caryl Ward (speaker), Margo Duncan (speaker), Stephanie Hess (speaker), Tiffany LeMaistre (speaker)

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  • Historians have long questioned the existence of the Holy Grail. As electronic resources continue to proliferate, we librarians also find ourselves pondering a similar question with regards to effective management systems that will allow us to assert effective control over e-journals, e-books, digital objects, etc. The electronic management system landscape is full of many commercial and open-source options but which is the right one for your library?
  • Context is key. Determining which ERMS to select and implement entails defining who we are as an organization and what our goals are. What types of education programs do we offer? What are the needs of those we’re serving, i.e. students, faculty, staff, public patrons? How do we want to accomplish the tasks necessary to effectively manage the electronic resources on which we spend the bulk of our acquisitions budget?
  • As the Grail Knight intones in Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade: “You must choose. But choose wisely, for as the true Grail will bring you life, the false Grail will take it from you.”
  • Public Services, Technical Services, &Web Services expressed a strong interest in creating a central repository to support management of the entire e-resource lifecycle. Based on the results stemming from staff interviews, live demonstrations and trials, all involved parties agreed that the ERMS should include tools to facilitate and track collaborative inter-departmental workflows and have the ability to generate statistical, cost-per-use data to support collection management and meet budget goals.  Bibliographers also wanted the ability to formulate simple queries and generate reports that can be easily formatted to share with non-technical teaching faculty.Library administrators also expressed their desire to have a system that would be easily mappable for future data migrations. At SUNY it’s not a matter of ‘if’ we’ll have to move to another ILS but ‘when’ so it is absolutely necessary to ensure that data input into the ERMS can be easily exported into the new Unified Resource Manager that will replace ALEPH at some point in the future. Cite: the medieval poker Cite:
  • Supporting acquisition and management of licensed e-resourcesProviding descriptions of resources at the package (database) level and relate package contents (e.g. e-journals) to the package recordEncoding and perhaps publicly displaying licensed rights such as e-reserves, coursepacks, and interlibrary loanTracking electronic resources from point of order through licensing and final accessProviding information about the data providers, consortial arrangements, access platformProviding contact information for all content providersLogging problems with resources and providersProviding customizable e-mail alerting systems (e.g. notices to managers when actions are expected or required)Linking license documents to resource recordsSupports retrieval of SUSHI usage statistics
  • As mentioned previously, Binghamton University already had ERM Essentials when I arrived as the new Electronic Resources Librarian in December 2012. However, given the rapidly evolving ERMS landscape in conjunction with the hiring of new personnel, Binghamton’s library administration wanted to re-assess the viability of the existing ERMS as well as the functionality of other commercial and open-sourcesystems. Following several in-depth interviews, vendor demonstrations, and hands-on trials, the user audience stated a preference for the Serials Solutions product interface.
  • EBSCO remains our primary subscription agent and we still harvest some data from EBSCOnet (ERM Essentials), including multiple year pricing history with fund codes and general license agreement information. However, we were already using 360 Link due to a wider SUNY system decision and were tracking our holdings using Serials Solutions’ KnowledgeBase.Here is the interface of EBSCO’s ERM Essentials.
  • And here is the interface of 360 Resource Manager with 360 Counter. Following numerous in-depth interviews, vendor demonstrations, and hands-on trials, the overall staff consensus was that although functionality between ERM Essentials and 360 Resource Manager was similar, the interface of the latter was easier to navigate for all intended user audiences.
  • During the assessment period, I started consolidating silos by hunting down the innumerable spreadsheets with administrative, statistical, and payment information scattered across multiple departments, various folders on the library shared drive, on the library staff intranet, and on individual staff computers. I was aided by the newly formed ERM Working Group comprised of representatives from each department. The group works together to identify gaps in documentation and eliminate duplication of efforts. Collocate your local documentation and check the existing vendor documentation to verify what you can use locally. The ERM Working Group also helps determine what should be counted and why.
  • Counting Online Usage of NeTworked Electronic Resources (COUNTER)  is an international initiative designed to improve the reliability of online usage statistics and is supported by the vendor, intermediary and librarian communities. The COUNTER Code of Practice is a publication provides the standards and protocols that define report types and specify their content, format, delivery mechanisms and data processing rules. Serials Solutions is not yet accepting R4 (the most current release) but will be able to do so starting in December 2013/ January 2014.DLF ERMI, SUSHI, COUNTERIn Serials Solutions, Non-COUNTER standards are tracked via the 360 Usage Statistics and Vendor Metadata Statistics modulesBanners (L to R): St. George; Brutus and Pandrasus; Verdon family; Edmund (Duke of York); LlewelynapGruffyd; Prince of Wales; Princes of Powis; King Arthur; East Saxon king Sebbi; Duchy of Cornwall; Cadwaladr
  • Both ERM Essentials and 360 COUNTER offer an add-on service by which usage statistics are collected biannually by vendor staff. EBSCO calls this service its “Usage Consolidation” service while Serials Solutions has dubbed it the “Data Retrieval Service”. Here’s the Data Retrieval form in 360 Counter. If a vendor offersSUSHI, this is indicated by the presence of the letter ‘S’ in the cleft-hand olumn labeled SUSHI.
  • Many vendors offer both COUNTER and non-COUNTER types of reports. You can use Vendor Metadata Statistics, 360 Usage Statistics, and 360 COUNTER together to draw in usage metrics from all available sources but keep in mind that you can only use 360 Counter to generate cost-per-use. Here is the usage report page for CSA Illumina and you can see that COUNTER and non-COUNTER reports are offered. These can be divvied up among the different modules.
  • Enabling SUSHI in 360 Counteris fairly easy. All you have to do is obtain a Requestor ID and Customer ID as shown in the example and then input these credentials into the DRS form and select which types of reports to receive.
  • Determine standards, formats, frequency, delivery mechanism(s)
  • The 360 Usage Statistics modulereports that search data that is automatically compiled by the 360 Core and 360 Links services.
  • Here are examples of reports generated through the 360 Usage Statistics module. A bibliographer requested statistics for the topic of “Education” aswell the 2012-2013 usage for several education journals by Title and Database (Holdings) as well as usage by Title and ISSN, including “The Journal of higher education (Columbus)”
  • And here is the subject search report our bibliographer requested that shows the browsing done on all titles categorized as “education” accessible via our E-Journal Portal from January 2012 to October 2013.
  • Serials Solutions requires CSV files for COUNTER reports which must be perfectly formatted in order to load. In the first example we see here, the release number is missing and in the second example the rundate format for the relevant cell in the spreadsheet includes a time stamp, which is incorrect.
  • Here is a screenshot of a report upload log, complete with status updates, dates, and time stamps. The link circled in red, i.e. File Data/ Show Data allows you to easily retrieve the report and view the data, including any errors that must be corrected before attempting to re-upload the report.
  • Here is an example of a successfully uploaded COUNTER report (JR2) without any red or yellow highlighting to be seen.
  • The status is clearly labeled as an error and again we can simply click on the Show Data link to view and correct report errors prior to re-uploading. Here we see that the SUSHI connection failed.
  • And here we see a couple of different types of common vendor/ platform mismatches.
  • Clicking on the Report Summary button in the 360 Counter home page gives us a handy checklist that shows what types of reports have been uploaded for which vendors as well as the date of the last upload.
  • So once you’ve uploaded your COUNTER statistics, you can get to the fun stuff. Start by clicking on the Consolidated Reports button on the 360 Counter home page which produces the list of available COUNTER –based reports. Options include…
  • Here’s an example of a customized search report.
  • Here’s an example of a useful Pre-filtered Report that now exists thanks to customer enhancement requests -- 100 Most Expensive Journals Based on Cost-Per-Use (2012-2013)
  • The Quest for the Holy Grail: Too Many ERM Systems Are Not Enough!

    1. 1. The Quest for the Holy Grail: Too Many ERM Systems is not enough! Charleston Conference 2013 Stephanie Hess and Caryl Ward
    2. 2. Does the Grail exist?
    3. 3. The quest begins… • Binghamton University (State University of New York) – Premier public university of the Northeast with an enrollment of 15,000 students • Undergraduate, Graduate, and Doctoral programs – Arts and Sciences, Community and Public Affairs, Computer Science, Nursing, Graduate School of Education, Management, and Engineering • Public Services, Technical Services, &Web Services share interest in creating a central repository to support management of the entire eresource lifecycle – Tools to facilitate and track collaborative inter-departmental workflows – Ability to generate statistical, cost-per-use data
    4. 4. Scope of Collection
    5. 5. Bibliographer Perspectives • Technical Services knowledge varies from that of Public Services – ILS/ Aleph – Billing Cycles – Licensing Details • Desiderata – Quick and easy queries – Reports can be easily formatted to share with non-technical teaching faculty
    6. 6. Politics, Politics
    7. 7. When gambling with hazards… End-users’ information needs? System functions & flexibility? Ability to manipulate & export data? Future data migrations/ Exit strategy?
    8. 8. One-Stop Shopping • Administrative data – Contacts – User credentials • • • • • • • • Alerts Checklists Cost data Holdings ILL information Licenses & MOUs Statistics Technical data – IP ranges/ EZproxy links – Incident tracker
    9. 9. Doubles: The Pros & Cons
    10. 10. ERM Essentials: Home Page
    11. 11. 360 Resource Manager: Home Page
    12. 12. "A close look at something, so close it's too much of not enough.”
    13. 13. Standards: COUNTER v. Non-COUNTER Non-COUNTER = Non-Standard
    14. 14.
    15. 15. Beware the Jabberwock! • Populating the Data Retrieval Service form – Manually key – Export form and merge with existing spreadsheet prior to uploading into ERMS – Enable SUSHI (auto-harvesting)
    16. 16. Know thy content provider! **Different users require different report types and formats
    17. 17. SUSHI Delight
    18. 18. Vendor Metadata Statistics Use to create unique data sets (COUNTER or Non-COUNTER)
    19. 19. 360 Usage Statistics ** PivotLink to be replaced by Intota Assessment in December 2013/ January 2014
    20. 20. Click-through Statistics: Title and Database (Holdings) Report views for data analysis/ manipulation, chart/ graph creation, and file export icons appear at top of screen Filters specified by bibliographer are listed directly below icons Click on year or date to view monthly/ usage breakdown
    21. 21. Click-through Statistics: Title and ISSN
    22. 22. Search and Browse Reports: Subject Search
    23. 23. 360 Counter: Home Page
    24. 24. Ye Olde Batch Uploading
    25. 25. Project COUNTER Pickiness
    26. 26. Interpreting Load Messages
    27. 27. “I have no quarrel with you, good Sir Knight.”
    28. 28. Success!
    29. 29. Avaunt, Black Knight!
    30. 30. Identifying Mismatches
    31. 31. Report Load Summary
    32. 32. 360 Counter Consolidated Reports Create customized searches/ Filter by provider(s), resource(s), report type, dates Serials Solutions provides ‘canned’ searches for commonly asked questions in response to customer enhancement requests Vendor works with accrediting organizations to create ‘canned’ searches to answer questions re: e-resource allocations, expenditures, and usage.
    33. 33. Palgrave Macmillan: Journal Report 1 (R3)
    34. 34. 100 Most Expensive Journals Based on Cost-Per-Use (2012-2013)
    35. 35. Summary: The Voyage to Avalon • Lots of work remaining – Determining priorities for effective triage • Project-based approach – License details/ values – Cost data uploads from ALEPH – Reconcile cost-data from new SUNY financial system • Maintenance – SUSHI testing – On-site training & consultation scheduled for 11/21-11/22