A representative from Innovative Interfaces gave a presentation today about their Electronic Resource Management product. I’ll reserve my judgment until there’s a presentation on another ERM to compare it to (Verde, please), but here are my notes and thoughts.
I like that ERM can be used as a stand-alone product and that the public view is optional; we don’t need another portal for finding e-journals.
The Content Access Service (CASE) sounds like a useful tool, but I wonder how accurate their coverage information is, who maintains it, and how frequently it’s updated. I’d like to compare its accuracy to a few EBSCO records that have been problematic. CASE is free in the first year, and I think it would be worth subscribing to after that.
The system is built around resource data records and license data records. A single resource record is created from a contact record, order record, and license record; the resource record itself can have multiple holdings. I would presume that means we can save old information from cancelled records, but I’d like to confirm that.
I had a few questions that I hoped would be covered in the presentation. A couple that were addressed were enhancements attributed to the developers, who requested a way to flag problems (email tickler) and track incidents.
I’m still curious whether we will be able to track who makes changes to a record, like in Voyager’s cataloging module. I only noticed the report maker/boolean function had such an area (for initials). That made me miss the Innovative ILS (my experience with it is all pre-Millennium). Oh, to be free to run my own reports again.
It was great to see that coverage can be listed by volume, issue, and date (not just date, as in EBSCO’s systems). We can look up all the publications from a resource and, conversely, all the resources a publication can be viewed from; however, there wasn’t any coverage information provided in the ERM for the latter. The Innovative rep pointed out that the coverage information will display in the public view. But what if we don’t plan to use the public view?
I think it would be important to be able to assign multiple codes to the same field, such as “pending” and “problem” to a status field, and “wrong IP ranges” and “wrong coverage” to an incident report. It sounds like Innovative can accommodate this, but it’s not (yet?) standard.
A lot of the presentation focused on the automated harvesting of usage statistics and the user site, two things that aren’t
of much importance [related] to my position. I think I got enough information from the session to be able to compare Innovative’s product to other ERMs.
(When talking about how the ERM can organize information, the Innovative rep showed a photo of a person sitting at a desk in front of a mountain of paper. What paper? Everything’s electronic. You can still see the surface the desk when the computer holds 77 unread/unanswered emails and a growing collection of unfinished “priority” projects that have lost their importance with the discovery of new fires to put out. I started thinking about this a few weeks ago: what’s the 21st century visualization of a backlog?)