Monthly Archives: March 2011

University of East London

On the 3rd February 2011 a use case meeting was held at the University of East London (UEL). The documentation is available as a pdf, and the team at UEL wrote a short summary of the meeting from their point of view.

The ERM usage data case meeting was attended by Gurdish Sandhu, Associate Director Library & Learning Services, Libby Homer –Collections Development Manager, Nick Jarrett –Systems Manager, Rachel Todd –Technical Services Co-ordinator and Yvonne Klein –E-resources Manager. The meeting was facilitated by two ERM experts Ken Chad and Angela Walker on behalf of the SCONUL ERM project. We choose 5 areas i.e. Archival Access, Usage Data, Cancellation of a journal title, new e-book purchase and subscription to a new e-journal –platform selection.

We had interesting and open discussion around difficulties and inefficiencies around those 5 areas. Facilitators asked us challenging and thought provoking questions but we seem to have answers for all questions.

As UEL is reviewing its print journal and e-resources portfolio and is keenly exploiting various systems to gather meaningful usage data, it was agreed to focus on the usage data case. Our aim is move to e-only wherever possible. UEL team has already done considerable work in gathering usage data for COUNTER compliant databases from suppliers, from authentication system, Primo, SFX etc and cost for each use is calculated. More detail can be found in the “Usage Case Study”.

We think shared ERM (Above Campus) would be very beneficial in getting the standard /consistent usage data, preferably with price comparison and will save tremendous duplicate efforts. At the University of East London we are fully committed to the success of SCONUL ERM project.

University of East Anglia

On the 8th February 2011 a use case meeting was held at the University of East Anglia (UEA). The documentation is available as a pdf, and Nicholas Lewis, Director of Library Services at UEA wrote a short summary of the meeting from his point of view.

At UEA on 8th February we initially worked on a new use case: “12-Journal title moves between publishers”. We identified the potential benefits of a centralised Knowledgebase to assist with this kind of change which might include details of the old publisher platform, the new publisher platform, where the archive might be held, whether access would be retained to the archive, the timescales for the change, etc. However, as we reflected on our current workflow in such circumstances, we also agreed that there were some key questions that needed to be asked in this process whenever it arose, no matter what the individual title. These ‘questions in common’ might be worth including in a shared environment? But we also recognised there would still be a need for some local information to be stored, for example, depending on local practices around cataloguing, etc. In aspects of this workflow where there is greater divergence between institutions, there is probably little benefit in insisting on shared service. That said, we were rightly challenged by David and Owen to think about the extent which we might be prepared to change local practices, such as e-journal cataloguing, in order to benefit from above ‘above campus’ services. As we concluded our discussions on this use case, we agreed that there were similarities between this and our pilot use case: “13-Publisher changes platform”, and so it was agreed that our final written up use case would combine both.

We also spent some time discussing scenario 16: usage data, and had a very engaging discussion about how usage data and cost data (and therefore cost per download) were often just a starting point in a wider process of evaluating the value of individual journals. At UEA we are embarking on a pre-emptive exercise to review journals which have a high cost per download (above the cost of an interlending request) to see what additional qualitative evidence there may be to justify retention, rather than solely relying on usage statistics. However, usage statistics do have their value in identifying the most highly used titles and those which would therefore not require any additional qualitative evidence. In terms of a potential shared service, we do see the value of a portal which would enable us to harvest (hopefully automatically via SUSHI protocol) some of the key usage statistics and, as time went on, this would enable us to do more sophisticated modelling around cost per download (over a number of years, not just over the most recent year, for example) and also potentially to benchmark with other institutions (if they agreed). The need for some local fields in any such shared statistics portal, or at least the ability to export easily and manipulate the data in a suitable third party package, would be important.

Finally David and I discussed some areas of shared interest in terms of prototype services being developed at JISC Collections, see

All in all, a very lively, engaging and enlightening day. We benefitted hugely from the experience David and Owen have been building up over the last few weeks. We trust the forthcoming events will be a great success and congratulations to the Board on gaining the funding announced by HEFCE yesterday!

University of Huddersfield

On the 7th February 2011 a use case meeting was held at the University of Huddersfield. The documentation is available as a pdf, and the team at Huddersfield wrote a short summary of the meeting from their point of view.

The meeting at Huddersfield was held on 7 February, with David Kay and Regina Ferguson on behalf of the project and Sue White (Director of Library Services), Eileen Hiller (Technical Services Manager), Graham Stone (E-Resources Manager), Dave Pattern (Library Systems Manager) and Allison Larkins (Journals Librarian).

Huddersfield has been considering an ERM system for some time, however, towards the end of 2010 this idea was mothballed due to concerns over staffing and implementation costs. Despite this, Huddersfield is firmly committed to the principle of an ERM system and was broadly supportive when asked to take part in the SCONUL Shared Services project.

In advance of the meeting we decided on 5 issues to discuss in detail, which we felt formed a logical series of steps:

  • Selection of a new e-journal
  • Trial of a new e-journal
  • Renewal of a e-journal subscription
  • Cancellation of a journal title
  • Publisher changes platform

At the beginning of the 3 hour meeting we challenged the idea of an ‘e-journal’, preferring to encompass e-resources such as databases and e-books and also to include print journals as they are often tied into the e-journal subscriptions.

The implementation of Summon at Huddersfield, plus the change of link resolvers and move to a new subscription agent in 2010 had led both the E-resources and Journals Teams to reconsider their workflows. As such the E-resources Team had already started to put together a new workflow before Christmas; this was taken on by Allison who developed detailed workflows for the 5 areas above.

These were presented to David and Regina in the meeting and discussion soon focussed around them. A lot of very valuable feedback was exchanged between both groups, the result being a further improvement to the workflows (and more work for Allison!). Particular attention was given to the green boxes on the flow charts, e.g. evaluation, information gathering, and these were identified as areas where a shared service ERM could potentially help to cut out duplication of effort across institutions. The revised workflows were also discussed at the meeting in London on 9 February. This resulted in us wanting to look at an e-books workflow in the future.

The meeting was extremely useful and Huddersfield is now firmly committed to the idea of a Shared Service, be it above campus or with the inclusion of certain commercial providers.