The end of eresourcejournal

At the end of the month, I will begin my new job at Norwich University as their Distance Learning Librarian. I am very excited about this position because I’ve wanted to work with distance learning students since the not-so-long-ago days of my own online graduate program. This is my dream job.

And so, eresourcejournal reaches its end. This blog has been more helpful to me than I expected. The process of writing about things that puzzle and frustrate me has been beneficial. First, it makes me think things through. My brain works faster than my fingers, and as I type my mind wanders to another (more appropriate) idea. Had I not taken the time to write about these topics, I may not have come to those more useful conclusions.

In addition, writing is a great memory tool. Writing online with blog software allowed me to easily retrace my steps and remind myself of past discoveries. In some cases, I was able to solve a new problem by looking back at similar situations.

Lastly, blogging connects: the advantage of writing publicly and online is that other people found me. I am grateful for the comments and emails I’ve received from everyone who visits the site or reads the RSS feed. Librarians have been a source of (wonderful) ideas, commiseration, and camaraderie. EBSCO folks have been very generous with their time, emailing me directly about the concerns and ideas I’ve covered in my posts.

Perhaps others will continue to discover these posts and find them useful. Clearly, they’ll be curious about troubleshooting electronic serials problems, as illustrated in this nifty word cloud of all the text at eresourcejournal (made at Wordle.net). I don’t know yet whether I will blog about my new job. As I re-read that sentence, I realize I likely will. I want to remain connected to my community of colleagues. I have been and will continue to follow blogs related to distance learning and distance learning librarianship. I’m sure I’ll have a few things to talk about, too.

Thank you for your visits and keeping me in your feed readers. Most of all, thank you for your comments.

(P.S. It’s a time of transition: Kelly retired one of her blogs this week. Great minds think alike!)

(P.P.S. It seems like a good idea to close the comments on all my old posts. So I’m gonna. I’ll keep this post open, so feel free to leave a message.)

Know when to fold ’em

Here’s a good old back-and-forth-and-back-and-forth that’s been going on since January.

The journal Counseling Psychologist is available to our patrons through three Gale sources, but one of the links in the A-to-Z list brings our users to an error page at Gale. After a back-and-forth with Gale about whether or not the title is actually in their Professional Collection package (it is, though in one place it’s under T for The Counseling Psychologist), I figured out that I needed to ask EBSCO to fix the link in order to solve the problem.

A kind and patient EBSCO rep and the kind and patient (I suppose, I’ve never communicated with them) Content Team changed/fixed the link on three separate occasions. Maybe it was four. I’ve lost track. It’s one long email thread. Unfortunately, we’re still getting the same error message.

I wrote back to the kind and patient EBSCO rep to deliver the same bad news, and I suggested we let this one go. Bottom line, there’s identical access through two other links (and only a year’s worth of access at that) and it’s not worth our time to fix this one.

Know when to hold, fold, walk, run

Hmm, am I folding, walking, or running?

Posted in Access, EBSCO, Gale. Comments Off on Know when to fold ’em

SpringerLINK

I received another troubleshooting report that wouldn’t have come up if the custom coverage showed up in the MARC record. In this case, instead of bringing it to EBSCO’s attention, I’m going to resolve it while tackling a larger problem.

This particular 856 (the one lacking coverage dates) is for SpringerLINK. We also have an 856 in this record for SpringerLINK (NERL), which is our consortial subscription. Because the list of titles in the SpringerLINK (NERL) package isn’t up-to-date, we added the SpringerLINK records to compensate for the missing titles.

I’m going to go through and look at all of the SpringerLINK records. If there is a second, SpringerLINK (NERL) record, I’ll remove the SpringerLINK link. The remaining SpringerLINK records will either be

  • part of our non-NERL Springer subscription, or
  • should be part of the NERL subscription.

It’s a somewhat daunting project, given the number of titles, but it will save me so much time in the end. I’ll have a clear picture of particular titles missing from the NERL list and I’ll avoid a few troubleshooting problems.

Posted in Access, EBSCO, Single-record approach, Workflow. Comments Off on SpringerLINK

Hydrocarbon Processing

A colleague in reference pointed out that our access to Hydrocarbon Processing in EBSCO’s Academic Search Premier is different from our access in Gale’s General OneFile. She did a great deal of research before she explained the situation to me, discovering further complications such as incorrect publisher listings, an alternate ISSN, and an international edition of the journal.

I’m not entirely sure this is something I should handle, but I’m happy to take a stab at it. The bottom line is that each database has different content for each issue. I contacted the true publisher and asked them to explain why the content is different and whether there are two editions of the journal.

To be continued.

Update 4/9/08: The publisher’s representative explained that EBSCO and Gale are responsible for updating the content, and advised me to turn to them. I think the EBSCO coverage is OK, so I replied to the Gale rep and showed her the differences.

Update 4/10/08: I received a response from the Gale rep who clarified that the publisher is somewhat responsible for content, in that they provide a file with the journal content. That makes more sense to me than the publisher’s response. The Gale representative is going to investigate. I wonder if it’s an error, or if the agreement is for incomplete issues. (ASP receives complete issues, it seems; at least, more complete than Gale.)

Posted in Access, EBSCO, Gale, Updates. Comments Off on Hydrocarbon Processing

Single-record approach takes on a canceled package

Our EBSCO load was delayed this month, so the Factiva links are still in the catalog (we canceled Factiva as of the end of October). I removed the links in the A-to-Z administrator at the beginning of November. There were thousands of Factiva titles so I decided to wait for the EBSCO load make the corrections, though I did pick about 200 popular titles and removed their links manually. Now we have over 3,700 links that look useful, but are in fact dead ends.

Hypothetically: If we were using a single-record approach and had one 856 field in the bib record that linked to the A-to-Z list, would we have this problem?

I think we would have a slightly different problem. Instead of having a catalog full of links that don’t provide us access we would have some records whose 856 fields didn’t lead to any access. I suppose we would still have to wait for EBSCO’s load to remove the 856 field. There would still only be one list to update, but any casualties of the cancellation (titles not available through another resource) would still clog up the catalog for a couple weeks.

(Questions for later: Would the record still arrive in the load if we didn’t have any electronic holdings? How would we ensure that the MARC record would stay if there were only print holdings?)

If it were the only resource for online access, at least the patron would see a blank list instead of a link they would presume to work. If there were more than one resource, at least the canceled subscription wouldn’t be listed in the A-to-Z list.

Posted in Access, Single-record approach. Comments Off on Single-record approach takes on a canceled package

No months in managed coverage

I received an email last week about a patron trying to access an article that was only available as an abstract. The A-to-Z list indicated that the Gale coverage for the Journal of Personal Selling & Sales Management is 2000-2006. The patron requested an article from July 2006 and couldn’t get full-text. It turns out that the coverage ended with the March 2006 issue, but you wouldn’t be able to tell that from the A-to-Z list.

I noticed, though, that the catalog record included the dates (“2000-06 – 2006-03”), so I asked EBSCO why the months weren’t included in the A-to-Z list. I thought the A-to-Z list fed the MARC records.

The rep who replied set me straight: the MARC information comes from their content database, but the A-to-Z list “is not currently setup to allow for showing the month with managed coverage. We may do this in the future once we have completed future enhancements to the way that we handle content.”

Since there was nothing EBSCO could do to add the months, I used the Custom Coverage feature to do it myself. This screenshot of the Collection Editor shows the format for managed coverage (highlighted) and the information I entered to more accurately describe our holdings.

no months in A-to-Z managed coverage

Posted in Access, EBSCO, Gale. Comments Off on No months in managed coverage

Freely accessible journals

There have been several messages on SERIALST this week in response to a request for a list of publishers who make their content free after a set time period. Several journal, publisher, and open access sites were shared, and I thought I’d start keeping track of them for future reference. I expect I’ll update this list from time to time.

Update 11/7/2007: I’ve created a separate page for this list. Please see the Free access tab above.

Posted in Access, Updates. Comments Off on Freely accessible journals