Re: Coverage loads - quality of data Sitko, Michelle 18 Oct 2008 19:47 UTC

Peter astutely points out, "inaccurate metadata leads to incomplete
searches, which leads to undiscovered content, which leads to unrenewed
subscriptions, which leads to lost revenue."  This argument alone should
significantly increase publisher and content provider interest in improving
data loads.  In addition, researchers will undoubtedly appreciate being able
to reveal and identify needed articles in older serial titles (i.e. from
additional missed title changes/mergers/splits).  This is especially
important as an increasing number of older issues/titles are being added to
e-content and need to remain readily accessible in this new format.

Lessons learned after decades worth of institutions contributing high
quality records according rule interpretations set to specific standards
into major bibliographic database utilities obviously needs to be further
tapped into. I have a great deal of appreciation for the folks who work with
and understand the nuances that are inherent and necessary in the building
of effective metadata access. A good deal of gratitude needs to go out to
those who are willing to give so generously of their time and expertise
through participation in KBART's efforts to improve the data exchange among
and between the members of the digital resource supply chain.  And, a
special thanks goes to the team at Serials Solutions for not only
recognizing this shortfall well before many others took serious note, but
for also staying the course.  Hopefully, the 2009 report will bring some
welcome news.

****** *** ***** *** ***** *** ***** ***
Michelle Sitko
Associate Professor
Coordinator of Collection Management Services/Head, Serials Department
Learning Resources Center
Marywood University Library

-----Original Message-----
From: SERIALST: Serials in Libraries Discussion Forum
[]On Behalf Of McCracken, Peter
Sent: Wednesday, October 15, 2008 1:32 PM
Subject: Re: [SERIALST] Coverage loads - quality of data

I'd like to chime in on this topic on two levels: first, as co-chair of the
KBART group mentioned below, and second, as a co-founder of Serials

First, I feel strongly that KBART will be able to create a positive impact
on the transfer of data among and between members of the e-resource supply
chain. We have a great group of individuals from all parts of the supply
chain who have been putting a lot of work into the project so far. The
working group first met in March, and given that we only meet monthly, much
has been done so far. We anticipate releasing our report in early 2009.

Anyone can follow our progress at NISO's KBART page
( or by joining the monitoring group at

We *are* focusing on the issue of inaccurate data being delivered by content
providers, and I think it is obviously a very important one. Charlie Rapple
and I, the two KBART co-chairs, have given presentations about KBART
everywhere we can, including through a number of conferences and meetings
aimed directly at publishers. Several members of the KBART team, chaired by
Adam Chandler (Cornell Univ), will be presenting about KBART at the
Charleston Conference next week.

We see an important role in educating publishers about the metadata they
deliver. In a nutshell, inaccurate metadata leads to incomplete searches,
which leads to undiscovered content, which leads to unrenewed subscriptions,
which leads to lost revenue. Hopefully, that argument will carry some

In addition, if content providers are able to significantly enhance the
quality of the data they deliver, then it may be that libraries will be able
to feel confident in using files directly from the content providers, rather
than passing them through ERAMS vendors like Serials Solutions.

So to go to my second point, I'd like to thank Judith Stokes for her
comments about Serials Solutions -- they were welcomed heartily in the
office, by the way -- but make one point that I've made in other places

I feel that you should, in fact, blame Serials Solutions when you find
inaccurate data, even if we didn't introduce it. We're never going to have
perfect data, but you can bet we're going to try! Libraries pay us to manage
this data, and we see it as a critical part of what we do. We realized long
ago that if we didn't have a way of correcting the data we get from content
providers, we'd never be able to deliver correct data to our customers. So
we built a "rules management module," in which our catalogers and
knowledgebase editors research and then write rules to correct inaccurate
data that comes into our system. (All of these editors are in our Seattle
office, and, thanks to the nearby UW iSchool, all have MLSs, are earning
them, or have significant experience working in libraries before joining
Serials Solutions.) We currently have many thousands of rules written to
correct errors coming in from hundreds of databases.

We very much welcome corrections from clients, as Judith says. We can't
check everything (in fact, there's a lot we can't check at all, since we
don't have access to the database), and we rely on clients to help us
discover these errors. And what I love most is that when a librarian reports
an error to us, we correct it not just for that person's institution and
users, but for *everyone* who has access to that database.

We are willing to take the blame, even if we didn't introduce the error,
because we see our role as improving the way libraries connect their patrons
with their content. We can best do that through improving the data we
manage. So when aggregators report incorrect data, please do tell us,
because we *can* fix it, we *can* tell you what you can actually access in
those databases, and we can help you get patrons to resources that it seems
aggregators don't even know they're offering.


Peter McCracken

-----Original Message-----
From: SERIALST: Serials in Libraries Discussion Forum
[] On Behalf Of Ercelawn, Ann
Sent: Tuesday, October 14, 2008 4:22 PM
Subject: Re: [SERIALST] Coverage loads - quality of data

The KBART Group is working on this problem
But publishers need to hear from librarians that the quality of data at
publisher web sites matters.


-----Original Message-----
From: SERIALST: Serials in Libraries Discussion Forum
[mailto:SERIALST@LIST.UVM.EDU] On Behalf Of Chad Hutchens
Sent: Tuesday, October 14, 2008 2:20 PM
Subject: Re: [SERIALST] Coverage loads - quality of data

I agree...this is a big problem in a lot of ways.  There's a report out
was done in the UK in 2007 I believe.  It's a very interesting read that
describes what is going on with this entire problem.

A very good read for those interested:

Chad Hutchens
Electronic Resources Librarian
University of Wyoming Libraries
Dept 3334, 1000 E University Ave.
Laramie, WY 82071-20000
Ph: (307) 766-5560

> From: Lucy Wrightington <lxw08@HEALTH.STATE.NY.US>
> Reply-To: "SERIALST: Serials in Libraries Discussion Forum"
> Date: Tue, 14 Oct 2008 09:51:09 -0400
> To: "SERIALST: Serials in Libraries Discussion Forum"
> Subject: Re: [SERIALST] Coverage loads - quality of data
> A huge and growing problem that no one so far seems able/willing to
> I report these to Ebsco A-to-Z all the time, but they are dependent on
> publisher loads.
> Former titles are getting lost as they don't show up in the databases
> all.
> Many publishers are guilty of this.
> Who's doing it right? Science Direct and PubMed Central to name a
> They should be the accepted model.
> Any ideas would be welcome on how the library community can bring
> to fix this.
> Lucy Wrightington, Senior Librarian
> Dickerman Library
> Wadsworth Center, N.Y. State Dept. of Health
> Empire State Plaza, Albany, NY 12201
>              "Stokes, Judith"
>              <JStokes@RIC.EDU>
>              Sent by:
>              "SERIALST:                SERIALST@LIST.UVM.EDU
>              Serials in
>              Libraries
>              Discussion Forum"
>              <SERIALST@LIST.UV         Re: [SERIALST] Coverage loads -
>              M.EDU>                    quality of data
>              10/14/2008 09:39
>              AM
>              Please respond to
>                 "SERIALST:
>                 Serials in
>                  Libraries
>              Discussion Forum"
>              <SERIALST@LIST.UV
>                   M.EDU>
> When we find errors and report them to Serials Solutions they are
> cooperative -- enthusiastic, even, about getting it right. On the
> hand, if the data comes from an aggregator like Proquest which does
> what you reported -- lump all holdings under the current title and not
> cross ref from the old title -- it will just keep coming in wrong over
> over again. Getting the aggregators to change is a different story
> altogether. I've had no luck with that.
> Good luck,
> Judith Stokes
> Judith E. Stokes
> Serials/E-resources Librarian
> Rhode Island College
> 600 Mount Pleasant Avenue
> Providence, RI 02908-1991
> 401.456.8165
> -----Original Message-----
> From: SERIALST: Serials in Libraries Discussion Forum
> [] On Behalf Of Cahill, Helen
> Sent: Monday, October 13, 2008 8:08 PM
> Subject: [SERIALST] Coverage loads - quality of data
> Hello all,
> I wonder if there is anybody out there who has assessed the quality of
> being offered by the coverage load vendors? I'm principally interested
> Serials Solutions, Ebsco A-Z, and III's CASE product, but would also
> welcome comments on any others.
> Here is an example from the coverage loads for ACM: "SIGART bulletin"
> published 1990-1998 with previous and later titles. There is (to my
> cataloguing mind) a problem over the coverage that is available from
> EAZ and CASE: they list the coverage for SIGART bulletin to be
> and don't have any listing for the previous title. I've looked in a
> catalogues (randomly) and it seems to me that libraries are simply
> accepting that (wrong) coverage data. How do your patrons find the
> version of "SIGART newsletter"?
> Has that bothered anybody out there enough to have attempted to get
> vendors to properly match the coverage to the title runs? Or, are we
> seriously understaffed world-wide that we can't either do the checking
> correcting or pressure the vendors to produce accurate information?
> anybody ever offered to clean up the data offered by these vendors to
> benefit all others?
> I'm feeling like this is going to develop into one of those Publisher
> Vendor, IT vs Cataloguer debates, but I'm always mindful of what our
> library patrons want to see when they look on our OPACs.
> Thanks!
> Helen Cahill
> Cataloguer, Collection Services
> Massey University Library
> Private Bag 11054
> Palmerston North 4442
> Ph: + 64 6 350 5799 ext 7876
> Fax: + 64 6 350 5692
> emai:<>
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