EJS coverage inconsistencies

I finally memorized EBSCO’s phone number (before I realized it spells EBSCO). Their reps now make a point of asking you how your day is. Aww. I like them even more.

I spoke to a couple of EBSCO reps last week in order to get a better handle on how to read a typical EJS record, such as this one:

Example of an EJS record

There was a question about our access to this title. Presumably our access is 1997 to present, but EJS only lists issues from 2004 to present and the publisher’s site says 1991 to present. It’s easy to see how this can be confusing. So what is our access?

It’s important to understand what each section may (or may not) mean. These quotes are taken from EBSCO’s help screen.

Your Access: “Displays the years of access you are entitled to based on your organization’s subscriptions and subscription history.”

I’ve learned: EBSCO uses subscription dates to indicate coverage which is often misleading when the title has changed, has a new publisher that doesn’t offer back issues, or has a different access model that doesn’t correspond with subscription history (think of rolling coverage).

Available on Publisher’s Site: “Displays the coverage beginning and end dates for all content available on the publisher’s site. The content you have rights to view at the publisher site may be less than the full coverage available; see Your Access for what you are entitled to.”

I’ve learned: The publisher’s site coverage refers to what EBSCO understands to be all available access on the site; this may also be outdated.

Available on EJS: “Displays information for journals that are available on EJS.”

I’ve learned: Sometimes there is no content available via EJS, and the EJS record serves only as an intermediary link to the publisher’s site.

I’ve recently learned that the dates listed in “Your Access” depend on the agreement established with the publisher and vary by individual order. The agreement between EBSCO and the publisher determines how access is set up. But this isn’t always accurate: it turns out the above record wasn’t.

Clearly patrons shouldn’t be expected to understand what each of these sections means. Even though I do understand what they mean, I still have to double-check that they’re accurate. It’s tricky to list two resources (pub site and EJS) with one date range to describe the coverage: there’s always room for doubt and confusion.

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