23:3 (2008:09) 23rd Conference (2008): Tactics Session: Taking the Sting Out of Multiple Format Serial Displays

August 27, 2008 at 11:35 pm | Posted in Tactics Sessions | Leave a comment


Taking the Sting Out of Multiple Format Serial Displays
Marsha Seamans and Nancy Lewis, University of Kentucky

Reported by Julie Kane

Marsha Seamans and Nancy Lewis presented their journey to provide access to e-journals through their catalog in “Taking the Sting Out of Multiple Format Serial Displays,” a well-attended, standing-room-only tactics session in Phoenix. The purpose of the presentation was to highlight Voyager’s Bib Linking feature, their latest addition. First, some history was needed: why provide access to e-resources through the catalog at all? There is a need to attach acquisition records to an item and to let users know that when a title has been cancelled in print, electronic access is still available. There is also a need to facilitate discovery of materials instead of merely cataloging what is physically held.

In the early days of e-journals, access evolved from depending on reference librarians and subject specialists to compile A-Z lists to a FileMakerPro database called EJAG. In 2001, using EJAG, they started a JSTOR experiment using a single record cataloging approach. They added an 856 tag that pointed to EJAG; a 909 tag with JSTOR, in case these all needed to be pulled out again which is always good planning in cataloging experiments, and a holdings record for the e-version.

In 2003 and 2004, vendor and batch loads were added into a separate owning library for easy deletion and/or reload if necessary. At this point, multiple records were becoming more prevalent, and JSTOR was revisited, with three distinct urls: pointing to the resource itself, to EJAG, and to off-campus proxy instructions. The multiple records’ policies were dealt with on a case-by-case basis and were becoming very complicated. At this point in time CONSER’s “aggregator neutral” record policy emerged and the university firmly moved toward separate records for print and electronic serials. The next step for the University of Kentucky in e-journal access was to implement SFX. At first, it worked with EJAG. Later, it was to replace EJAG.

Following a presentation at EndUsers 2006 on the Princeton model of bib linking which provided a how-to manual, the University of Kentucky library determined that additional programming would be needed to implement bib linking with their catalog. Bib linking simplifies and streamlines the user interface for related titles, as relationships are created on the fly. The hyperlinks between records are not persistent but work as an “if, then” relationship. Every link is created as it is retrieved in a search. Quotes were obtained for the indexing necessary for the MARC fields to create these hyperlinks in both the training database as well as the live one. Indexing was also needed so users would have the ability to move between related records such as earlier and later serial titles, or parent and child records. In October 2006, a request for funds was submitted, and the additional programming was obtained.

Linking in this manner provides “seamless transport” from print to electronic records or vice versa. The experience has reportedly been a much friendlier and clearer one for the user. The on-the-fly one-way linking system is clean and uncluttered and although it required a large start-up project to get started, there is minimal regular maintenance involved. Ongoing procedures involve canceling print titles, adding subscriptions to electronic counterparts, adding standardized cancellation notes, continuing clean-up through Access reports, and storing print backfiles.

As Marsha and Nancy look to the future, they discussed the possibility of an ERM, or a next generation catalog. There will always be more clean-up and storage of backfiles, and they do intend to provide access to all e-journals through their catalog. Further details on the intricacies of bib linking can be seen in their presentation on the NASIG website.


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