Difficulties emailing articles from EBSCO periodicals indexes (Nancy Henwood) Marcia Tuttle 06 May 1999 21:48 UTC

---------- Forwarded message ----------
Date: Thu, 6 May 1999 14:44:33 -0800
Subject: Difficulties emailing articles from EBSCO periodicals indexes

Subject: Ongoing Email Difficulties in EBSCO periodical indexes

       Libraries providing EBSCO periodical indexes should warn their patrons
to check for receipt of emailed articles and keep records in order to
 re-request missing articles, or use some other way to obtain those articles
 if it is important to receive each one.

        Since November 1998, the reference staff at Camosun College has had
complaints from students that fulltext articles emailed from our EBSCO
periodical index, Academic Fulltext Elite, did not always arrive.

        Complaints to EBSCO, from us or from our provincial library
consortium, Electronic Library Network of British Columbia, were answered with
 the suggestion that this might be a problem with local Camosun College
 servers or our college's connections to EBSCO.  Despite EBSCO adjustments to
 our profile, I did not receive about 9 to 15%, or more, of the emails
that I sent to myself from EBSCO.

        In March, I paired myself with another reference librarian in a
different college in a different city, to see if the problem was only a
Camosun College problem.  We emailed each other fulltext articles and lists of
citations as well as emailing them to ourselves.

         Out of 74 articles or citations emailed, 22 did not arrive!
Often emails that were sent from the same EBSCO session, from the same
 college to the same other location resulted in one email being promptly
 received and the other email never arriving. Emails of citations did not
come about 3 times as often as fulltext articles, or perhaps it was that the
citations were usually sent second, after emailing a fulltext article and that
the second item from the same session was less likely to work.  However, the
2 emails were not always from the same sessions, depending on how busy the
reference desks were.

        Recently, EBSCO did inform me and ELN, after I described my
experiences to their technical services department, that EBSCO knew that it was
 unreliable for emails regardless of time, location, etc.  We were told EBSCO
 had located the problem and had fixed it. The problem was that 2 out of 9 of
their EBSCO servers had been unreliable in this random way. However, it is
 unclear to me that the problem is completely fixed.  I began again sending
 myself 2 emails most mornings, and, so far, out of 6 emails, only 5 have been

        The EBSCOhost Academic Elite Fulltext database is an excellent source
of very worthwhile academic and popular articles for our college students,
both diploma and university transfer students, in art, criminology, sociology,
psychology and general courses, but it is very inconvenient and frustrating
when the students do not receive emailed articles.  Most of them are not
at such an advanced level that they would keep records of which articles they
would have requested, and so their research, and thereby their marks, can
suffer when they do not receive every article requested.

        Nancy Henwood
        Camosun Library Term Librarian