Scholarly communication is a complicated sector, with numerous participants and multiple mechanisms for communicating and reviewing materials created in an increasing variety of formats by researchers across the globe. In turn, the researcher who seeks to use the products of this system wishes to discover, access, and use relevant and trustworthy materials as effortlessly as possible. The work of driving efficiency into this complex sector while bringing its multiple strands together seamlessly for the reader (or, increasingly, for a computational user) rests on a foundation of infrastructure, much of it shared across multiple publishers. In this landscape review, we seek to provide a high-level overview of the shared infrastructure that supports scholarly communication.
Ithaka S+R has released UK Survey of Academics 2015.
Here's an excerpt:
This report is the second Ithaka S+R / Jisc / RLUK survey of UK academics. It asks of the UK research community their views on resource discovery, their use of these resources (online and digital), attitudes to research data management, and much more. It provides a powerful insight into how researchers view their own behaviour and the research environment within the UK today.
Ithaka S+R has released the Ithaka S+R US Faculty Survey 2015 .
Here's an excerpt:
Ithaka S+R's survey of US faculty members has been fielded regularly since 2000. This project provides a periodic snapshot of practices and perceptions related to scholarly communications and information usage. The scholar-centric nature of the questionnaire ensures that potential changes in research and teaching inform our thinking, not only about academic libraries and scholarly publishing, but about changes in the educational enterprise more broadly.
ITHAKA S+R. has released Does Discovery Still Happen in the Library? Roles and Strategies for a Shifting Reality.
Here's an excerpt from the announcement:
In this Issue Brief, Roger Schonfeld explores how the vision that the library should be the starting point for research-a vision many library directors hold-is often in conflict with the practices of faculty and students. As users migrate to other starting points, librarians could invest in ways to bring them back. But there is also an opportunity for librarians to re-think their role and perhaps pursue a different vision altogether.
Here's an excerpt from the press release:
"Our standards review and findings focused on five categories: link resolvers and knowledge bases; the work, manifestations, and access points; cost and usage-related data; license terms; and data exchange using institutional identifiers," states Tim Jewell, Director, Information Resources and Scholarly Communications, University of Washington, and Chair of the ERM Data Standards and Best Practices Review Steering Committee. "We did a more extensive review of fourteen of the most relevant standards and mapped the data elements for each to the elements defined in the ERMI report. We also looked at how ERM systems could improve their workflow support-a shortcoming in most existing systems-and we include a detailed workflow best practices bibliography and a list of illustrative workflow diagrams."
"Our final analysis showed that there is value to updating and maintaining a data dictionary that encompasses ERM functions and evolves with technologies and business models," maintains Ivy Anderson, Director of Collections, California Digital Library and member of the ERM Data Standards and Best Practices Review Steering Committee. "However, for practical considerations, we did not recommend that NISO pursue such a project at this time. Instead we identified a number of narrower initiatives targeting specific ERM functional needs and strategies aimed at furthering interoperability."
The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation has awarded Indiana University Bloomington and NISO a $349,000 grant for "Developing a Generalized and Sustainable Framework for a Public, Open, Scholarly Assessment Service Based on Aggregated Large-Scale Usage Data."
Here's an excerpt from the press release:
IU Bloomington School of Informatics and Computing associate professor Johan Bollen and the National Information Standards Organization (NISO) will share the Mellon Foundation grant designed to build upon the Metrics from Scholarly Usage of Resources (MESUR) project that Bollen began in 2006 with earlier support from the foundation. Bollen is also a member of the IU School of Informatics and Computing's Center for Complex Networks and Systems Research (CNetS) and the IU Cognitive Science Program faculty. "We are very pleased to receive this generous support from the Mellon Foundation for planning the future of the MESUR project," said Bollen, the project's principal investigator. "The initial work on MESUR received a great deal of positive attention. We believe that there is tremendous potential in this area of research for improving the availability, rapidity and quality of scholarly assessment and this grant will help enhance the impact of MESUR and place it on a path toward viability as a public resource."
The new funding for "Developing a Generalized and Sustainable Framework for a Public, Open, Scholarly Assessment Service Based on Aggregated Large-scale Usage Data," will support the evolution of the MESUR project to a community-supported, sustainable scholarly assessment framework. MESUR has already created a database of more than 1 billion usage events with related bibliographic, citation and usage data for scholarly content.
The project will focus on four areas in developing the sustainability model—financial sustainability, legal frameworks for protecting data privacy, technical infrastructure and data exchange, and scholarly impact—and then integrate the four areas to provide the MESUR project with a framework upon which to build a sustainable structure for deriving valid metrics for assessing scholarly impact based on usage data. Simultaneously, MESUR's ongoing operations will be continued with the grant funding and expanded to ingest additional data and update its present set of scholarly impact indicators.
"This is a tremendous opportunity to serve the community and we are pleased to be partnering with Dr. Bollen on this project," said Todd Carpenter, managing director of NISO and co-principal investigator. "The project will require the coordinated and engaged participation of the full spectrum of stakeholders in scholarly communications and NISO is uniquely positioned to act as a neutral third party in bringing together these parties to obtain consensus and a successful outcome."
NISO has released the Cost of Resource Exchange (CORE) Protocol (NISO RP-10-2010).
Here's an excerpt from the press release:
NISO is pleased to announce the publication of its latest Recommended Practice, CORE: Cost of Resource Exchange Protocol (NISO RP-10-2010). This Recommended Practice defines an XML schema to facilitate the exchange of financial information related to the acquisition of library resources between systems, such as an ILS and an ERMS.
CORE identifies a compact yet useful structure for query and delivery of relevant acquisitions data. "Sharing acquisitions information between systems has always been a difficult problem," said Ted Koppel, Agent Verso (ILS) Product Manager, Auto-Graphics, Inc. and co-chair of the CORE Working Group. "The rise of ERM systems made this problem even more acute. I'm glad that we, through the CORE Recommended Practice, have created a mechanism for data sharing, reuse, and delivery." Co-chair Ed Riding, Catalog Program Manager at the LDS Church History Library, added, "The CORE Recommended Practice provides a solution for libraries attempting to avoid duplicate entry and for systems developers intent on not reinventing the wheel. I look forward to the development of systems that can easily pull cost information from one another and believe CORE can help facilitate that."
CORE was originally intended for publication as a NISO standard. However, following a draft period of trial use that ended March 2010, the CORE Working Group and NISO's Business Information Topic Committee voted to approve the document as a Recommended Practice. This decision was in part based on the lack of uptake during the trial period as a result of recent economic conditions, and was motivated by the high interest in having CORE available for both current and future development as demand for the exchange of cost information increases. Making the CORE protocol available as a Recommended Practice allows ILS and ERM vendors, subscription agents, open-source providers, and other system developers to now implement the XML framework for exchanging cost information between systems. "I am pleased that CORE is now available for systems developers to begin using in order to facilitate the exchange of cost information between systems in a library environment," commented Todd Carpenter, NISO's Managing Director.
The Canadian Research Knowledge Network, which has 73 academic institutions as members, has completed three-year license agreements worth $140 million with 14 scholarly publishers. It is estimated that over $40 million was saved compared to institutional licenses for comparable content.
Here's an excerpt from the press release:
Despite major financial constraints and uncertainty worldwide, CRKN continues to meet its goals of providing high-impact content for over 850,000 university researchers and students across the country. “This achievement signals CRKN’s contribution to a fertile research environment in Canada, and ability to maintain advantageous terms and price predictability in spite of turbulent economic conditions,” states Deb deBruijn, Executive Director. “Through strong arrangements with vendors, member participation in these national agreements has been largely maintained from the previous period, and has even grown on some agreements, across all sizes of universities.” Please refer to the Backgrounder for publishers, products and participation levels.
CRKN members have taken advantage of new flexibility offered in the renewal as multiple agreements have been unbundled by CRKN, allowing members to tailor their participation in each separate agreement. Members’ return on investment is high through these agreements. A conservative estimate reflects savings of between 15% to over 50% within the national agreements compared to institutional prices for comparable content, representing savings of over $40 million over a three-year period. In addition, members derive value through superior price protection with caps on annual increases set below market norm, expanded usage terms through the CRKN model license agreement, and the most strategic influence with publishers regarding future services and developments. . . .
In keeping with the International Coalition of Library Consortia (ICOLC) Statement on the Global Economic Crisis and its Impact on Consortial Licenses, CRKN seeks to work with strategic partners that demonstrate flexibility, competitive pricing models, and delivery of long-term value. Vendors with whom CRKN works have shown their commitment to members by providing flexible payment terms, making cost containment a priority, and developing forward-looking ways to add value to the relationship. For example, several vendors will now provide support for Shibboleth, an open-source implementation for identity-based authentication and authorization, and will also participate in the recently-implemented Canadian Access Federation, which will provide federated access management services for identity providers (including universities and libraries) and service providers (such as publishers).
Indiana University has been awarded a $2.38 Million Grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation for the Kuali OLE (Open Library Environment) project.
Here's an excerpt from the press release:
IU will lead the Kuali OLE (Open Library Environment) project, a partnership of research libraries dedicated to managing increasingly digital resources and collections. Together, these libraries will develop "community source" software that will be made available to libraries worldwide.
Kuali OLE (pronounced Oh-LAY) partners include Indiana University; Florida Consortium (University of Florida representing Florida International University, Florida State University, New College of Florida, Rollins College, University of Central Florida, University of Miami, University of South Florida and the Florida Center for Library Automation); Lehigh University; Triangle Research Libraries Network (represented by Duke University and North Carolina State University); University of Chicago; University of Maryland; University of Michigan; and the University of Pennsylvania.
Large academic research libraries such as these manage and provide access to millions of items, using software to track interrelated transactions that range from ordering and paying for items to loaning materials to library patrons.
As the nature of library collections expands to include more digital materials—including leased electronic journals and digitized photograph collections—libraries are increasingly interested in developing management software for these resources, said Interim Ruth Lilly Dean of University Libraries Carolyn Walters.
"Libraries now create, lease and share digital materials, but the systems in place for cataloging and tracking these items are based on print collections," said Walters. "With this project, we benefit from working together with a community of academic libraries that want to change the way that information is managed in the scholarly environment."
"Research libraries are in dire need of systems that can support the management of research collections for the next-generation scholar," said Robert H. McDonald, executive director for the project and IU's associate dean for library technologies. "This approach demonstrates the best of open-source software development, directed partnership resource needs, and a market of commercial support providers to truly align with the needs of research libraries within the higher education environment."
More than 200 libraries, educational institutions, professional organizations and businesses laid the groundwork for the Kuali OLE project by participating in the original OLE project, a design phase that was supported by an earlier grant from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation and led by Duke University.
The University of Wisconsin-La Crosse Murphy Library has released ERMes v. 2009.05, an open source electronic resource management system. Iowa State University contributed code to the project.
- Citation Manager: "Citation Manager allows faculty, students and staff to quickly and accurately capture citations or references from library resources into their own personal, online database."
- CUFTS (serials management): "As a knowledgebase of over 375 fulltext resources, CUFTS provides Electronic Resource Management services, an integrated serials database, link resolving, and MARC records for your library."
- dbWIZ (federated searching): "dbWiz provides library users with a single interface for searching a wide range of library resources, and returns records in an integrated result listing."
- GODOT (link resolution): "Launched from a link embedded in your library's citation databases or other resources, GODOT provides direct links to your fulltext collections, using the CUFTS knowledge base, and also reveals holdings in your catalogue or in other locations."
A subcommittee of the Digital Library Federation’s Electronic Resource Management Initiative, Phase II has released White Paper on Interoperability between Acquisitions Modules of Integrated Library Systems and Electronic Resource Management Systems.
Here's an excerpt from the "Executive Summary":
The following white paper investigates interoperability between the acquisitions modules of integrated library systems (ILS) and electronic resource management systems (ERMS). The first section of the paper features four case studies: UCLA, Cornell University, the Tri-College Consortium of Bryn Mawr, Haverford, & Swarthmore Colleges, and the Library of Congress. Each case highlights the library’s institutional environment, consortium considerations, systems architecture (ILS, ERMS, and link resolver), and electronic resource workflows. . . .
The second part of the paper reports on conversations held with product managers and other relevant staff of the leading ERMS. . . .
The paper concludes with a recap of the general value of ILS/ERMS interoperability and some of the more significant barriers to achieving it. Finally, it is proposed that further discussions among stakeholders take place, and that these discussions focus on establishing agreement on a small set of elements for exchange and on the development of standard identifiers.
The LITA/ALCTS Electronic Resources Management Interest Group has established a mailing list (email@example.com).
Here is a description of the IG from its home page:
Established in 2005. The purpose of the LITA/ALCTS Electronic Resources Management Interest Group is to promote and enable the exchange of information and discussion among librarians, publishers, electronic resource management system vendors and related service organizations concerning issues related to the management of electronic resources. The group will assist in developing appropriate and responsive systems and standards by fostering open and collaborative discussions and implementation issues.
The Digital Library Federation’s Electronic Resource Management Initiative Phase II Steering Committee has released a draft white paper on the interoperability of ILS acquisition modules and electronic resource management systems.
Here is the introduction:
Electronic resource management systems are becoming an important tool in many libraries. Commercial ERMS development has been driven in part by the lack of accommodation within integrated library systems for elements specific to electronic resources. Financial aspects of acquiring e-resources, in particular, necessitate recording an array of data not suited to ILS acquisitions modules. Unlike other data recorded in an ERMS such as licensing and administrative terms, a moderate percentage of acquisitions data is redundant, being populated in ILS during the acquisitions process, while also being accommodated within ERMS in accordance with the data structure detailed in Electronic Resource Management: Report of the DLF Electronic Resource Management Initiative (Digital Library Federation, 2004). ERMS implementers are eager to automate the process by which acquisitions data move from their ILS into their ERMS. This interest has grown substantially over the past few months as the prospect of connecting financial data to usage statistics has been facilitated through the Standardized Usage Statistics Harvesting Initiative (SUSHI), a NISO draft standard.
This white paper describes workflows at four libraries; reports on conversations held with product managers and other relevant staff of the leading ERMS; summarizes common themes; and suggests next steps. The paper is a draft for comment; it is hoped that those with interest in this area will provide insight to further this investigation.