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SUNCAT: Transforming the service to create an open bridge from resource discovery to access

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Poster presented at Umbrella 2013 Conference, Manchester 2-3 July, 2013

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SUNCAT: Transforming the service to create an open bridge from resource discovery to access

  1. 1. SUNCAT is the national Serials Union CATalogue for the UK. It contains information about both the print and electronic serials holdings of over 90 libraries, including all the national libraries and the largest Higher Education (HE) libraries in the UK and Ireland. SUNCAT is an EDINA service funded by Jisc and is free to all to search and to any UK research library to join. EDINA has embarked on a programme to redevelop SUNCAT, utilising the power and flexibility of an open source enterprise search platform, SolrTM . The impetus for this redevelopment emerged from a long held desire to not only provide enhanced functionality and a new look contemporary interface, but also to be able to be more responsive to user feedback. Work commenced on the first phase of this development in spring 2012 as EDINA started to design and implement an entirely new bespoke user interface for the SUNCAT service. Access: Having discovered and located journals and articles of interest, SUNCAT aims to support users in the final step of the bridge, to actually access the content, whether instantly at their desktop, on the move via their mobile, physically visiting a library or via ILL. • There are OpenURL links through to the full text of journals so that users can link through to the appropriate copy via their institutional resolver. • SUNCAT links to the SCONUL Access scheme, which allows many university library users to borrow or use books and journals at other libraries which belong to the scheme. • Users can find contact information for all the libraries on SUNCAT, plus links to their websites and catalogues so that they can check local access information. • Users can also find links to Google maps and directions for each Contributing Library. • EDINA is also working on developing a SUNCAT Mobile app, which will utilise the functionality and flexibility of the granular location information created and stored as part of the redevelopment and will therefore enable users on the move to find and access journals at the most convenient library. • SUNCAT assists with long term access to rare journals by providing a service to the UK Research Reserve (UKRR). Location: SUNCAT’s main strength lies in this step of the bridge and as such it is a key tool for both researchers and librarians trying to find out about the location of specific journal titles and articles. • Users can limit their search to specific institutions or to specific geographic locations, from Inverness to Exeter. The limits are based on very precise granular information, down to the location of individual library sites. It is possible to combine library and location limits to suit individual requirements, whether to particular regional areas or cities, e.g. Scotland or London or to members of a consortia. • In a future phase of the redevelopment EDINA hopes to enable individual users to set up their own default location/institutional limits and further to develop mini union catalogues for groups of institutions, e.g. local NHS libraries. • SUNCAT helps researchers and librarians, particularly inter-library loan (ILL) librarians, to locate journals and articles which are not held/subscribed to in their institution. This is particularly important for libraries working within constrained subscription budgets. • SUNCAT includes detailed volume and issue holdings information vital for visiting researchers or ILL requests. • Further information, such as BL codes has been incorporated into the holdings display to assist with ILL requests. The addition of ILL department email addresses will also form part of a future phase of the redevelopment. • Future work on a mobile app will allow users to find journals closest to their current location. “[Not having SUNCAT] would have a big impact. My resources would be cut down… we may not be able to provide the location search service to our users, as it may not be cost effective to provide this service without a centralised catalogue.” [Quote from North West Libraries Interlending Partnership case study] Discovery: Both researchers and librarians can use SUNCAT to find out about the existence of journals in particular subject areas or from particular publishers etc. • SUNCAT opens up the collections of smaller specialist libraries, such as the Tate Library, Tate Britain, the Royal Society of Medicine and the Zoological Society of London as well as the largest UK research libraries, such as the British Library (BL), University of Oxford and the University of Glasgow. • Enables users to discover journals from the collections of over 90 libraries, plus the Directory of Open Access Journals, in one search • Users can find journals in particular subject areas using browse, basic and advanced search functionality with pre-search limits such as electronic or print format, language etc. • Post search filters enable users to refine their search results to particular subject areas, publishers etc. • Users can also discover articles via the extension of the Tables of Contents (ToCs) coverage. • All Librarians can consult MARC records on SUNCAT and Contributing Libraries can freely download records to update their local catalogues and so improve resource discovery at a local level. • As part of the redevelopment EDINA will also release a public API enabling the query and retrieval of records in a variety of metadata formats, including Dublin Core and MODS. “Improves access to serials and makes the retrieval a bit more consistent. So if students are doing a subject search they will pick up the journals as well as the books that we’ve got linked by the subject headings, so it really has improved access.” [Quote from Loughborough University Library case study on the results of using downloaded records from SUNCAT to upgrade their local catalogue records.] Collection Management: Underpinning the open bridge, SUNCAT also supports librarians in the area of Collection Management: • SUNCAT provides an overview of UK journal holdings and collections. • UK libraries can promote/highlight their collections via SUNCAT for free. • SUNCAT can enable the comparison of journal holdings and collections at a local or on a consortial basis. This can be particularly useful for the deduplication of titles (freeing up space and money), e.g. SUNCAT provides a service to the UKRR, providing reports on the holdings of titles across its member libraries, checking on the scarcity of titles flagged for deduplication. • SUNCAT provides a free Z39.50 MARC 21 record downloading service to its Contributing Libraries to assist them with the creation and upgrading of records on their local catalogues. This includes ISSN records and high quality records from CONSER. Further, MARC records are freely available for anyone to consult to again help with local cataloguing. SUNCAT Transforming the service to create an open bridge from resource discovery to access http://www.suncat.ac.uk The dates for Phases 2 and 3 are provisional. Phase 1 April 2013 Preview Phase 2 September 2013 Early view launch. The early view will run in parallel with the existing Aleph service January 2014 Release of version 2.0 of the software April/May 2014 Workshops for users Phase 3 May 2014 Public launch of the new service All photos copyright iStockimages 2013, except discovery image which is copyright Vmenkov under a Wikimedia Creative Commons license “The importance of SUNCAT to the UKRR is the timeliness of the data and the reliability and quality of the data.” [Quote from UKRR case study] Home & Basic Search Page Results Page Full Record & Holdings Page

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