Posts in topic: discovery



Global library discovery and fulfillment: How we’re the same and how we differ

When we presented last year’s Global Council report on access to open content, we got a lot of great feedback. Both from Council delegates—who reported that it exceeded their expectations—and from our membership and the library community in general. The report provided insights on an important topic that hadn’t been explored in that way before: to gain a collective global understanding of the activities, investments, and efforts libraries are engaged with around open content. This report is just one of the ways that Global Council works on behalf of libraries by gathering insights each year to help inform the profession and OCLC on topics of importance to the library profession.

This year Global Council sponsored a survey to gather “Global Perspectives on Discovery and Fulfillment,” with a goal of gathering enough information from each of our three geographic regions to be able to make statistically significant comparisons if and when possible. I’m pleased to share that we hit that mark and can report back on a few interesting differences.

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OCLC partners provide extended and free e-content during the COVID-19 crisis

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During the past weeks, we’ve all faced a wide variety of changes in our lives and jobs. For librarians, part of that challenge is serving students, teachers, faculty, and patrons who now have to work and study from home.

As a library cooperative, OCLC has leveraged dozens of partnerships with publishers to provide extended and, in many cases, free access to e-resources. We are working with our partners to organize and centralize this content and make it easily discoverable in library services.

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Five data analytics questions to help secure—or increase—your e-resource budget

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By Justin Parker, Subscriptions Manager, University of Manchester Library, and
Tim O’Neill, Electronic Resources Coordinator, University of Manchester Library

As Subscriptions Manager and Electronic Resources Coordinator at the University of Manchester, part of our jobs is to make sure the university gets the best deal on its e-resource investment. But what does “best deal” really mean? Does it mean the least expensive materials? Well, an inexpensive subscription isn’t a good deal if it isn’t used at all. And even free, open source content has a cost associated with the cataloging, discovery, and course management systems we use to make it available.

The challenge is to find better ways to assess the value our students, teachers, and researchers gain from the e-resources we provide. And the end result should be a better plan for accurately conveying the importance of library collections within the larger goals of the institution. But how do you get there? Having spent some time recently tracing the pathways of e-resource usage, we have a few suggestions.

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The OCLC Global Council survey on discovery and fulfillment: an important baseline

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How do library users navigate their paths from an initial point-of-need to the final moment of getting the resources they require? That process can be as fast as a single search and one click, or it can encompass many stops and starts, false trails, frustrations, and wrong turns … as I think we, as information professionals, can testify from our own research efforts.

Understanding and improving those journeys is among the most important work we do.

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Open content: where we are and where we’re going

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Last year during Open Access Week, I wrote to you to encourage your participation in our Open Content Survey. The timing was fortuitous, as there was (and is) a great appetite for understanding the evolving open content landscape and what it means for libraries. At OCLC, we were forging ahead with research, product development, MARC proposals, publisher agreements, and more. All with the goal of enhancing the visibility and accessibility of open content for library users. You can learn more about responses to the Open Content Survey in this results summary, and watch a recording of our “Works in Progress” webinar, “The Shift to Open at University and Research Libraries Worldwide.” In this webinar, my colleague Titia van der Werf (Senior Program Officer, OCLC Research) shares more results from the study.

Now it’s Open Access Week 2019, and over the last year we’ve made some excellent progress.

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To the rescue: How academic libraries can support humanities monographs through open access

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When we think about open access (OA) publishing in academia, it’s very often about articles. That is, relatively short, data- and research-focused pieces in peer-reviewed journals. Trends in open science, public funding, cost containment, and library collection development have driven a lot of those conversations, and they’re important.

Today, though, I’d like to talk about the scholarly monograph. Book-length content published as a stand-alone work is not the norm for many of the hard sciences. But it is often the end result of important work done in the humanities, liberal arts, and social sciences—and often required for tenure and promotion in those disciplines.

The trends we’re seeing in OA for article-level materials are very promising. But they also often work against monograph publishing, which is not good for academic presses working in the humanities.

There is an opportunity here, however, for academic libraries to engage in OA publishing to promote and protect the work being done by their humanities scholars.

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Mind the gap: Bridging the divide between discovery and delivery

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I wrote in OCLC Next last year about “container collapse” and how many people are having a hard time evaluating the value of online research results. Students think that being able to identify high-quality materials is important. They also believe they are good at it—though our findings suggest they actually aren’t.

Some more recent research, though, indicates that librarians can make a difference. Somewhere between discovery and delivery, there is a gap that needs to be filled. As librarians, we can provide the training and assistance necessary to connect people to high-quality information.

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