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As electronic serials have shifted from being the exception to the norm, libraries are becoming increasingly reliant on knowledge base driven systems to help manage their electronic resource holdings. In 2011, after over a decade of managing e-serials within a local database, the University of Toronto Libraries migrated its electronic serial holdings to a fully integrated commercial e-resource management system. Now, with two years of experience under our belts, we endeavored to take stock and analyze how our library is coping with e-serial management within this new environment. How accurate are our e-journal holding statements within the ERM? How effective are we at managing e-serial title changes? How well are we tracking journal purchases that fall outside of the big package deals? Throughout this study, we have encountered many of the benefits and pitfalls of managing electronic journals within a knowledge base-driven system. While using a commercial ERM and companion MARC record service has allowed the library to present better data to users and expose previously hidden collections, there are several new challenges that we must contend with in a knowledge base environment. A common issue hindering access to our e-journals is the supply of incorrect, outdated or incomplete metadata within the data supply chain. These metadata problems have a detrimental effect on libraries, and consequently on our users, as it affects the accuracy of our e-journal holdings within our e-resource inventories. Although the study began as an internal investigation of our e-serials management practices and workflows, the results highlight the need for greater standardization within the data supply chain, better communication with publishers and knowledge base providers, and increased collaboration to improve the e-resource management process.
Marlene van Ballegooie
Metadata Librarian, University of Toronto Libraries
Cataloguing Librarian, University of Toronto Libraries