Email list hosting service & mailing list manager

Re: Verifying access to e-journals (Alfred Kraemer) ERCELAA@ctrvax.Vanderbilt.Edu 17 Mar 1999 19:51 UTC

Date: Wed, 17 Mar 1999 10:32:18 -0600
From: "Alfred B. Kraemer" <akraemer@POST.ITS.MCW.EDU>
Subject: Re: Verifying access to e-journals (2 messages)

This is indeed becoming an increasing problem. Publishers have to be
part of the solution. This library has experienced some unpredictable
disruptions of access because of technical problems at the publisher's
end. Many of those problems required getting in touch with the
publisher's service department to reinstate access. Such experiences are
apparently more common than I thought.
Here are our approaches to finding unnotified e-journal access problems:

- about once a month I ask some of our weekend circ. staff to check
access for each journal up to the point of retrieving a full-text

- our listings of e-journals include a library phone number/e-mail
address for reporting problems. Some e-journals, especially those from
HighWire press, Portland Press etc. are gaining a larger audience on
campus, and our patrons are often the first ones to know if something is
Initially, many called our IS department to report problems with
e-journals which resulted in much mutual frustration.

Of course, URL checking software is no good for detecting access
problems to e-journals since. The URLs for the journal home page are
very stable for most journals, an automated checking mechanism would
have to be able to check for access to full-text. Nearly all of our
e-journals permit access to journal homepage and TOC for anyone, only
access to the full-text of articles is restricted to authorized users.

If anyone reading this is aware of other, perhaps more efficient
methods, please share such information. Obviously, the need for a
workable solution to this problem is increasing.

> At 04:42 PM 3/16/99 -0600, you wrote:
> >Date: Tue, 16 Mar 1999 15:47:18 -0600
> >From: "Kevil, L H." <KevilL@MISSOURI.EDU>
> >Subject: Verifying access to e-journals
> >
> >Hello all,
> >
> >Perhaps some of you would be willing to help me think through a problem.
> >
> >Soon we will have a list of URLs for the many e-journals to which we have ip
> >access rights. Is there an easy way to automate the process of going through
> >the list and verifying that we do or do not in fact have access to these
> >e-journals? Our experience has been that publishers do no better a job
> >maintaining access to their e-journals than they do in supplying our paper
> >issues on time and without our needing to claim.
> >
> >If we were to undertake this manually, we would doubtless have to go through
> >the entire list weekly in order to detect disruptions of service in a timely
> >manner. I am thinking there probably is a better way to do this, perhaps by
> >means of some kind of spider or crude agent technology. Any ideas for a
> >better mousetrap would be most gratefully received.
> >
> >TIA and I will be more than happy to post a summary of private messages to
> >the list,
> >
> >Hunter
> >
> >L. Hunter Kevil,
> >Head, Serials Dept, Ellis Library,
> >(Soon-to-be Collection Development Librarian)
> >University of Missouri-Columbia,
> >Columbia, MO 65201
> >Voice:  573-884-8760
> >Fax:    573-884-5243
> >E-mail:
> >

Alfred B. Kraemer
Head, Technical Services
Medical College of Wisconsin Libraries
8701 Watertown Plank Road
Milwaukee, WI 53226