24:3 (2009:09) 24th Conference: Tactics Session: Moving Mountains of Cost Data

September 11, 2009 at 3:35 pm | Posted in Conference Reports, Tactics Sessions | Leave a comment

Moving Mountains of Cost Data:  Standards for ILS to ERMS to Vendors and Back Again

Dani Roach, University of St. Thomas
Reported by Laura Secord

For libraries utilizing ERMS to manage their resources, one of the key issues is how to import the financial data needed to calculate cost-per-click information in their ERMS without manually entering cost data.  Since July 2008, the NISO Cost of Resource Exchange (CORE) Working Group has been working to develop standards.  These standards would facilitate the exchange of payment, product, and order information among integrated library systems, electronic resources management systems, and other interested parties, such as subscription agents.  At this session, Dani Roach, a member of the NISO CORE group, shared the methods tested at her institution for extracting and transferring cost information between an ILS (Innovative) and an ERMS (Serials Solutions), pre-CORE.  Dani also shared her experience of serving on a NISO working group, the resulting draft standard, and implementation issues and timeline.

The session began with an overview of the history of the CORE Working Group and the reasons behind its formation.  Over the course of the past year, the CORE group defined and drafted use cases; analyzed the use cases for common needs, vocabulary, and data elements; refined the use cases to identify essential CORE elements; constructed an XML message structure and a transport mechanism; and wrote a draft standard.  Library input was critical in defining the elements of the use cases and identifying relevant data exchange scenarios.

In the absence of a standard such as CORE, the alternative options were evaluated and it was decided to use an application or software to facilitate the transfer process.  Roach described the implementation of the process at the University of St. Thomas, which involved using Microsoft Access to facilitate the data transfer.   She emphasized that one key to the success of this endeavor was to keep everything as simple as possible.  Identify critical elements to include and focus on those rather than on populating all of the possible fields in the ERMS.

In conclusion, Roach encouraged session attendees initiating a project of this scope to document any decisions that are made along the way and shared her enthusiasm for having been a part of a NISO working group.


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