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Re: Ebsco with Serials Solutions (was: Anyone using this combination of vendor tools?) Lila Ohler 10 Aug 2007 16:20 UTC


I have worked with Ebsco EJS Enhanced, but not with their A-Z list.

But we had the same problem with titles appearing through EJS before we'd
had a chance to register with the publisher.

We solved this by adjusting the Reader Site Options through the EJS
interface to only display green checks for titles that had a registration
status of Complete in the Registration Tracker.  But this solution would
mean you have to use Registration Tracker as the tool to comb through the
Ebsco subscription titles.  It sounds like you are already doing that
though.  I wonder if this same solution would work for you?

I would love to hear more about the process you are using for creating quick
bibs and holdings via your ERM and into your catalog.  Would you mind if I
contact you off list about that to find out more?


(Lila) Angie Ohler
Head of Acquisitions
McKeldin Library
University of Maryland
College Park, MD 20742
301 405-9308 (phone)
301 314-1200 (fax)

The world is so fast that there are days when the person who says it can't
be done is interrupted by the person who is doing it.      -Anonymous

-----Original Message-----
From: SERIALST: Serials in Libraries Discussion Forum
[mailto:SERIALST@LIST.UVM.EDU] On Behalf Of Rentz, Paivi H
Sent: Thursday, August 09, 2007 11:19 PM
Subject: Re: [SERIALST] Ebsco with Serials Solutions (was: Anyone using this
combination of vendor tools?)

We don't have SerialsSolutions but we have Ebsco AtoZ LinkSource, EJS
Enhanced and Innovative's ERM. Our AtoZ list is getting automatically
updated with EJS adds and deletes. This is both good and bad... The good
side is that many additions get into the AtoZ quickly but sometimes it means
they get added before we have activated the new content with the publisher.
Although we get email notifications about most changes (as part of EJS
Enhanced), updates take place that we do not get notified about or we get
notified  after the fact. Even with some problems, I think the automatic
updating of AtoZ is a good thing and saves us some work. As far as getting
information from Ebsco to Serials Solutions, I think at this point of time
you're limited to downloading from EJS, editing the file, and uploading it
to SS.

I agree with the assessments that the EJS coverage is not always accurate.
Sometimes content  is only available at the publisher site and Ebsco doesn't
have coverage dates. Many times we have coverage further back at the
publisher site than on EJS. Sometimes there are differences because we have
a print subscription via Ebsco and the electronic through another provider
such as Project Muse. In these cases we cannot expect Ebsco to know our true
coverage.  If the EJS coverage is misleading, we suppress the EJS listing
using the Content Exclusion feature (not sure if this is part of Basic EJS).
To catch the non-activated titles and to fix coverage, we have been
reviewing our EJS titles about once a year.

We are currently testing coverage loads into our ERM. We download the AtoZ
spreadsheet, modify it slightly and upload the file into our ERM. The
coverage load creates bibs and holdings records in our catalog. I would love
to see more automation in this area but I don't think the vendors are quite
there yet.

Paivi Rentz
Electronic Resource Librarian
Texas State University - San Marcos

-----Original Message-----
From: SERIALST: Serials in Libraries Discussion Forum
[mailto:SERIALST@LIST.UVM.EDU] On Behalf Of Patricia Thompson
Sent: Monday, August 06, 2007 11:55 AM
Subject: [SERIALST] Ebsco with Serials Solutions (was: Anyone using this
combination of vendor tools?)

Thank you Judith, for your reply on the list.

This is a summary of the off-list responses I have gotten so far:

1. Unhappy with EJS in general; do not want to pay for enhanced;
bypass EJS whenever possible and just go to publisher's site.

2. Says I should not pay extra for EJS Enhanced. Strongly suggests
that I start insisting that Serial Solutions and Ebsco work together
to implement one of the existing ONIX codes for the transmission of
serial subscription data between them. "This will make your life a
lot easier because it would mean that Ebsco should be able to push
the information per your subscription entitled access to the Serial
Solutions profile and automatically update your A-Z list and/or ERM system."

3. Says that even the Enhanced EJS product is labor-intensive, and
that the coverage indicated by EJS is inaccurate and prefers to link
to publisher site directly in Serials Solutions.

4. Almost never uses EJS for anything; tries to avoid using it
because it is clunky and doesn't seem to have reliable usage
statistics.   "I feel like everything gets garbled when EBSCO is
involved, but that may be because I haven't had any good experiences
with them yet."

5. Uses EJS Enhanced, but finds that Registration Tracker is not
reliably correct. Prefers to go with publisher's site for coverage
rather than EJS interface.

In addition,
5 people wrote saying that they want to know what I find out because
they are in the same boat.

My comments:

a. First of all, I am frustrated that people do not post to the list,
because that's what the list is for: discussion. It's not just this
list. It happens to me every time I post a question on any
email-based discussion list. People write to me, and then I have to
take the time to summarize, which doesn't usually happen, or pass on
all the messages, which I don't feel entirely comfortable with. However:

b. Probably the reason people did not post to the list on this
particular topic is that we are discussing vendors by name, and
people do not want to say bad things about anyone, and it isn't
really fair, and perhaps not even legal!  Please note: I DO NOT THINK
THAT THESE ISSUES ARE LIMITED TO EBSCO, or that they are entirely
EBSCO's "fault."  Serials Solutions is not perfect either. Both of
these companies rely on information from myriads of publishers, who
are not always cooperative.

But until companies like Ebsco allow users to share and communicate
in a protected environment (such as ILS User Groups) then I think we
should be allowed to compare notes and share experiences in a more
public list. Our only other option is to complain to our reps, which
I have done. (I usually get told that I am not using the products
correctly and need more training.)

c. Lots of people think that an ERM product is going to solve all of
their problems. I thought so too, and so we purchased Serials
Solutions ERM product a couple of years ago. However, it just sat
there-- I never had time to put the information in it!  And it has
limitations in what you can do with it.
I have felt very guilty about not using this product. But I spoke to
a librarian who attended NASIG, who told me that at one session,
people were asked to raise their hands if they had an ERM. Then out
of those people, who was actually using it? The people with their
hands still up was MUCH smaller.

d. Something is drastically wrong with this whole picture. No one has
time to check and recheck the dates of their online coverage for
individual titles. I am not the only librarian who is floundering.
All of these online advances (full-text explosions, link resolvers,
etc.) just keep raising the bar. Small libraries can get access to
thousands of online titles through publisher packages, aggregator
packages, consortial deals with publishers, etc. But we don't have
teams of people to manage them.

My challenge for this summer was to come up with a workflow for
managing e-resources that the staff in my serials group could
participate in and gradually get caught up with all the registrations
and changes and record-keeping that I have not been able to keep up
with. I am not much further along in that goal.

I've been a technical services/cataloging librarian for almost 20
years. I've always been good at working out the steps of a process
and training people to do them. I am comfortable with technology and
good at finding out how to do things. However, I've never been at
such a loss about how to approach something as I am this e-resource
stuff, and so frustrated at how little I accomplish when I work on
it. And this is only PART of my job!

I guess this was a big whining rant on my part. Maybe it helped to
get it out of my system. I am certain that I am not the only person
who feels this way. I do feel very fortunate to work in a library
that can actually afford to buy as many resources and tools as we
have. I also appreciate the work of the forward-thinkers who are
working on standards and cooperation between libraries, publishers,
and vendors.

Pat Thompson

Patricia Thompson
Assistant University Librarian for Resource Management Services
Jessie Ball duPont Library
The University of the South
Sewanee, TN 37383
Phone: 931-598-1657