Email list hosting service & mailing list manager

(Previous discussion continued)
Re: Online Work load vs Print Lila Ohler (30 Nov 2007 03:48 UTC)

Re: Online Work load vs Print Lila Ohler 30 Nov 2007 03:48 UTC

Hi Michael,

Yes, there are other ways to do this work, and staff other than librarians
can do it.

I struggled with this same problem while I was at the University of
Oklahoma, and struggle with it now at the University of Maryland.  The
challenge is to find some consistent and controlled mechanism to track those
subscription titles that include access, and past that, to incorporate the
verification of access into the normal workflow of staff.

While at OU, the serials staff and I were able to capitalize on the Sirsi
system functionality to set up serial controls for each of the online access
title subscriptions we should be receiving.  We let the system randomly
select expected dates on a twice yearly issue pattern.  A claim report for
online location titles could be generated on a weekly basis to capture any
issues that the system identified as "late."  With this report, the serials
staff who traditionally worked with print resources could track each title
and test the access for our coverage dates through the public access points.
If they found a problem with one title, they then would check other titles
from that publisher to determine if the problem was widespread.  If problems
were found that they could not easily address, they would then forward them
to their supervisor, and/or on to me depending on the severity of the

>From the basis of the statistics we had started and before I left OU, I
calculated that we were encountering problems with about 25% of the titles
we checked, so your estimates are exactly what I have experienced.  These
grouped into four primary categories:
*	content not accessible due to hosting site changes or titles moving
between publishers
*	coverage expanded or limited due to changes in subscription order
access or licensed archival access to which we were entitled
*	new titles needing registration or follow up on licensing
*	IP ranges that needed correction with the publisher.

As you corresponded with me briefly some months ago and more recently
corresponded with Mark Hemhauser who works with me at the University of
Maryland, you know that we are using Aleph as you are.  And that we have
struggled with the limitations of the serial control functionality with that
system.  I would be very interested to know if you are able to implement use
of serial controls in Aleph to support this kind of work, as I am currently
investigating that myself.

That said, there are two other alternatives of which I am aware for doing
this kind of work.

First some libraries have been able to extract the titles and coverage
statements from the profiles of their link resolver or PAM utilties and load
that into an access database to generate a list of titles to hand off to
staff for checking.

And second, Elizabeth Winter at Georgia Technical University has created a
tool to use for this as well.  At the most recent Charleston Conference Jill
Emery of UT Austin highlighted this as one alternative to use, and indicated
that we could contact Elizabeth for details about it.

Please don't hesitate to contact me off list or call if you have any

Hope this helps!


Lila (Angie) Ohler
Head of Acquisitions
University of Maryland Libraries
McKeldin Library
College Park, MD  20742-7011

-----Original Message-----
From: SERIALST: Serials in Libraries Discussion Forum
[mailto:SERIALST@LIST.UVM.EDU] On Behalf Of Michael
Sent: Thursday, November 29, 2007 4:34 PM
Subject: [SERIALST] Online Work load vs Print

Hi All,
One of my practices as a Serials Librarian is to verify that online access
to already purchased and activated journals remains activated and accessible
at the article level. I evaluate e-journal titles hosted on any given
publisher site but do not check those links to aggregator databases like
Academic Search Complete and such. I make sure that what the publisher has
turned on is within our holdings statements and that I can get article level
access. I do this title by title because I dont know of a robot or link
checker that actually verifies that I am getting into an article not a table
of contents, offer to buy the article, or some other non-article page.

My practice is to generate a list of titles by publisher host site and then
go through our OPAC clicking on links until Ive viewed the oldest and
newest article I believe I should have access to. My best estimate is that
10 to 25 percent of titles have some kind of difficulty that requires my

My questions are these: Is there a better way to make sure I have the access
I am supposed to have? And if others do it the same way I do, is 10 to 25
percent your perception of the error rate? And finally, is it your opinion
that this activity requires from non-librarian staff a higher skill level
than troubleshooting print? Or, asked another way, is this something staff
can do or should it be left to a librarian?

Your thought will be appricated.

Michael Lampley
Serials Librarian
Texas Christian University
TCU Box 2984000
2913 West Lowden St.
Fort Worth, TX 76129
817 257 6485

No banners. No pop-ups. No kidding.
Make My Way  your home on the Web -