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Improving the Availability of ISSN - A Joint Project


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Librarians, publishers, content vendors, subscription agents and others need to exchange data on a daily basis. And anything that can make this process more successful by improving the ability to match updates to existing records is of great interest to these parties. So it is not surprising that at the Charleston Conference in early November 2015 a session advertised as “Improving the Availability of ISSN – A Joint Project” had good attendance. The session led by Gaëlle Béquet of the International ISSN Centre/CIEPS and Laurie Kaplan of ProQuest, discussed a joint project between the two organizations.

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Improving the Availability of ISSN - A Joint Project

  1. 1. Presented by Gaëlle Béquet, International ISSN Centre/CIEPS and Laurie Kaplan, ProQuest November 6, 2015
  2. 2.  How the project came to be  The pilot project with the Netherlands ISSN Centre  Refinements to the process and lessons learned  Benefits to the community  Ongoing work and future plans  Questions and answers
  3. 3.  Both ISSN Register and Ulrich’s rely on complete and trustworthy bibliographic metadata: sharing information between the two databases was possible  There is an ongoing cooperation between ISSN US and ProQuest which was awarded ALA ALCTS Outstanding Collaboration Citation in February 2015: we could consider reinforcing the partnership  ProQuest receives direct information from publishers that ISSN network may miss  ISSN IC wants the Register to be as complete as possible as far as scholarly publications are concerned
  4. 4. Gaëlle Béquet Simona Rizza Nathalie Cornic Pierre Godefroy Laurie Kaplan Ewa Kowalska Yvette Diven Adriaan Lemmen Saskia van Renswoude Jessica Endert
  5. 5.  After the 2014 Charleston Conference the Ulrich’s team conducted research using the Ulrich’s database ◦ Ran reports on active titles, print or online, without ISSN  distribution by content type (academic/scholarly, trade, etc.)  distribution by serial type (journal, magazine, newsletter, etc.)  distribution by country (selected target countries) ◦ Worked with our Product Management team  to enumerate the benefits to the Ulrich’s products and our clients  to determine which metadata elements to include with each record ◦ Talked with our management and legal team about a possible cooperative arrangement and a pilot project
  6. 6.  Field names from Ulrich’s Database and Corresponding Marc fields ◦ Title (including subtitle if applicable) (fields 222, 245 & 246) ◦ Language (field 008 & 041) ◦ Country (field 044) ◦ Date of publication (if already published) (field 008) ◦ Status (Active or Announced for publication) (field 008) ◦ Media Type (e.g. print or online) (field 007) ◦ Link to other medium (field 776) (PQ Related Serials) ◦ Serial Type (e.g. journal, bulletin, etc.) (field 008) ◦ Title history (fields 780 & 785) ◦ Frequency (field 008) ◦ Publisher (field 260) ◦ Publisher address and/or email address (field 260) ◦ Publisher city/country (field 260) ◦ Corporate author (fields 710/720) ◦ Open Access Indicator (field 856) ◦ Journal Website (field 856)
  7. 7.  Once the pilot project agreement was completed the representatives from ProQuest and from the ISSN IC met via phone to set expectations and finalize logistics  Data was collected and the first 200 active (or forthcoming) titles, print or online, from the Netherlands without ISSN were sent to the IC in an Excel spreadsheet  The initial set contained only titles from Ulrich’s that were Academic/Scholarly and were mostly monographic series, about 15 journals, and a few bulletins, proceedings, and reports
  8. 8.  Active academic/scholarly print and online records from the Netherlands without ISSN
  9. 9.  Pilot project and ongoing cooperation between the International ISSN Centre based in Paris and ProQuest began in February 2015  Purpose ◦ Identify active titles without ISSN using Ulrich’s Periodicals Database as the initial resource ◦ Assign ISSN to those records where appropriate  Under the supervision of the International Centre, national ISSN Centers determine whether the ISSN is simply missing, or has never been assigned  Desired outcome of the project ◦ To benefit to librarians, publishers, and vendors ◦ More titles will have ISSN registered with national centres and in the ISSN Register ◦ Ulrich’s Periodical Database will have more records with ISSN ◦ Electronic loading and matching of titles based on ISSN will be improved
  10. 10.  220 titles with missing ISSN were processed first by the ISSN IC comparing them with the ISSN Register  182 titles were thus forwarded to ISSN Netherlands for further investigation; they were mostly monographic series  ProQuest and the IC met to discuss questions coming from the Netherlands ISSN Center
  11. 11.  Terminology was clarified, especially around title history, former titles, and related serials  Part of the first batch was returned by ISSN Netherlands and further analysis was done by the Ulrich’s team ◦ 97 ISSN returned in the file were added to Ulrich’s database ◦ This led to more clarifications and additional records being pulled from Ulrich’s that were not Academic/Scholarly – about another 80 records that were Trade or Consumer titles
  12. 12.  ProQuest prepared a second set of 74 titles using the following criteria: ◦ Country of Publication: Netherlands ◦ Status of publication: Active ◦ Media/format type: Print, Online ◦ Serial Content type: Trade (instead of Academic/Scholarly) ◦ ISSN: missing  The level of overlapping with the ISSN Register was still low  Lesson learned: If ISSN is missing in Ulrich’s title record it is most likely that it has not been assigned because Ulrich’s editors always check ISSN Portal when creating a new title record  It proves the opportunity of our partnership to enhance the quality of both databases!
  13. 13.  Telecommunications technology & application series / Kluwer Academic Publishers : ISSN 2452-3577 assigned  Proceedings of the second European conference on computer-supported cooperative work (ECSCW ‘91) / Kluwer Academic Publishers : ISSN 2452-3565 assigned
  14. 14. You searched ISSN database - ISSN 15602133 ISSN 1560-2133 ISSN-L 1560-2133 Medium Regular print Key Title Asian journal of ophthalmology (Print) First or current publisher Hong Kong: Scientific Communications Current or last publisher Amsterdam : Kugler Publications Country of publication NETHERLANDS Dates of publication 1998 / 9999 current Frequency Annual Type of publication Periodical Language English Title script Basic roman Title proper Asian journal of ophthalmology. Abbreviated key title Asian J. ophthalmol. (Print) Universal Decimal Classification 617.7 15th Dutch ed. Other Edition Entry Yazhou yanke zazhi [ISSN 1991-2102] Additional Physical Form Entry Asian journal of ophthalmology (Online) [ISSN 2452-0691] ISSN Centre Netherland
  15. 15. You searched ISSN database - ISSN 24520691 ISSN 2452-0691 ISSN-L 1560-2133 Medium Computer remote Key Title Asian journal of ophthalmology (Online) First or current publisher Amsterdam : Kugler Publications Country of publication NETHERLANDS Dates of publication 2011 / 9999 current Frequency Annual Type of publication Periodical Language English Title script Basic roman Title proper Asian journal of ophthalmology. Universal Decimal Classification 617.7 15th Dutch ed. URL Additional Physical Form Entry Asian journal of ophthalmology (Print) [ISSN 1560-2133] ISSN Centre Netherland
  16. 16.  One lesson that was learned was that it takes a considerable amount of time to research a title ◦ Research in the ISSN Register ◦ Research on the publisher site ◦ Research on the open web  Scarcity of resources created difficulties at the Netherlands ISSN Center regarding deadlines  Daily work suffers when staff focus on the project ◦ Discussions in the last month or two have included the possibility of hiring an intern to help with the daily Netherlands ISSN work
  17. 17.  ProQuest has experience with this type of set-up with their employee in the Library of Congress  The process to hire an intern is complicated by geographic distance  ProQuest’s UK office is helping to set up the parameters of the internship ◦ They will verify if there are any different laws in the Netherlands leading to changes from the UK internship ◦ ProQuest has an office in the Netherlands enabling a PQ staff person to be a resource for the intern and to discuss the plan for the work ◦ The intern will be jointly managed by the Netherlands ISSN Center and the ProQuest Ulrich’s team
  18. 18.  Publishers who wish to identify their serial publications and incorporate a barcode on the magazine, journal or newspaper for sale via the major retailers  Libraries which use the ISSN as a fundamental identifier for distinguishing between identical serial titles and facilitating checking and ordering procedures, collection management, legal deposit, interlibrary loans etc.  Catalogue databases which use the ISSN as a record control number and can make use of the records on the ISSN register  Documentation centres and databases which handle bibliographic references and use the ISSN for more accurate serials citation, abstracting and indexing services etc.  Subscription agencies who act as intermediaries between publishers and their customers use the ISSN to ensure the correct serial publication is ordered  Academics who wish to cite in full details of publications for research purposes  Retailers / wholesalers who use ISSN based barcodes within their own internal systems in order to assess and control magazine/newspaper circulation Courtesy of British Library (
  19. 19.  Annual ISSN Directors’ meeting took place Oct. 13-16, 2015 ◦ Presentation about the partnership with ProQuest to 50 ISSN directors ◦ ISSN Netherlands ready to carry on working with remaining 727 titles provided that ISSN team can receive help (workload estimate: 1 FTE / 9 weeks) ◦ Directors informed about plan to expand geographic coverage
  20. 20.  Identified countries for the next steps ◦ As we move forward beyond the pilot and into the ongoing project, we will continue with countries in Europe ◦ Possible additional countries will be:  Germany Denmark  Ireland Sweden  United Kingdom ◦ The choice of countries will be based on the results of statistics pulled from the Ulrich’s database and the bandwidth of the various ISSN Centers, as well as whether ProQuest has a presence in that country in case an intern is needed
  21. 21.  Need to encourage publishers and providers to use assigned ISSN ◦ Include on print publications and online on website  Follow the NISO PIE-J Recommended Practice ◦ Include in files delivered to libraries, aggregators, discovery systems, archives, and so on ◦ Provide better access and linking throughout the community
  22. 22. Contact information: Gaëlle Béquet - Laurie Kaplan – Thank you!