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Heriot-Watt University, Edinburgh 2 - 4 April 2001

Abstracts of Papers

Plenary Session 1

The King is in the altogether ...?

Bernard Naylor, President, Library Association

Submissions to the latest Research Assessment Exercise have just been completed. The Exercise, which is the most important way in which universities can significantly affect their funding from the public purse, relies heavily on the publication of journal articles as the main evidence of research activity. This paper will examine and comment on various aspects of the developing relationship between higher education and the scholarly journal system and will invite the audience to consider whether the splendour in which the learned journal is clothed by the higher education system is real or an illusion.

ER (Electronic Reality) - trauma management in the serials industry

Martin White, Intranet Focus Ltd

The last few years have been very difficult ones for all engaged in serials management. Authors, publishers, secondary services, subscription agents, librarians, and readers have all been experiencing fairly traumatic problems in taking advantage of the potential benefits of electronic journals. The reality is that the transition from print to electronic has taken place faster than anyone thought possible, transforming a serials business model that has remained largely unchanged for several decades, and arguably several centuries. From the somewhat privileged and safe position of a consultant the speaker will try to look beyond the current operational issues that stimulate extensive e-mail correspondence, and address some of the longer-term strategic issues which need to be addressed by all concerned to ensure that the serials industry can flourish in the knowledge millennium.

Plenary Session 2

Delivering information services when the budget is cut

David Alsmeyer, BT

It has probably happened to all of us. The market changes. Political positions shift. The share price crumbles. The company joins the downsizing bandwagon. Your budget is cut. David will talk about how to position yourself to minimise the pain of budget cuts and what to do when it happens to you. Basing his talk on personal experiences he would rather have forgotten and on input from the audience, he will discuss how to make intelligent decisions about facing the cuts while still delivering the service your users need.

Routes to readers

Sue Corbett, Blackwell Publishers Ltd

This paper looks at the growing shift in focus from authors to readers on the part of journal editors, publishers and others concerned with the dissemination of scholarly information. What are they all doing to open up routes to readers? What are the remaining roadblocks and what will it all mean for librarians?

Concurrent Session 1

An interim evaluation of the National Electronic Site Licence Initiative (NESLI)

Ken Eason, Loughborough University

NESLI negotiates electronic journal deals with publishers on behalf of higher education institutions. An interim evaluation was undertaken in Summer 2000 when the Initiative was at the mid point in its three-year period. Interviews and questionnaire studies were undertaken to collect the views of a wide variety of stakeholders including the managing agent, the libraries, the NESLI steering committee, end users and publishers. The results demonstrate that most stakeholders supported the principle of nationally negotiated deals. However, the process of agreeing deals, getting them accepted by individual libraries and achieving take-up by end users was proving complex and time consuming. Three major factors contributed to the relatively slow development of the Initiative. First, the negotiations with publishers were complex and lengthy despite the use of a model licence. Second, the deals agreed, although of considerable value to some universities, were of marginal value to many others. The evaluation raises the question of whether any deal can meet the very varied needs of different universities. Finally, the evaluation of specific deals is proving difficult for libraries to undertake and they often have a limited time period in which to make decisions. The evaluation concluded that there was a continuing requirement for a central negotiating service, although greater flexibility and support was necessary to enable libraries to achieve beneficial outcomes.

Managing access to electronic information

Alan Robiette, Joint Information Systems Committee

This talk will review traditional methods of managing access to electronic information and compare these to a new generation of access management systems which are currently emerging. The implications for users, institutions and suppliers will all be discussed and some thoughts presented on what the longer-term future may hold.

Concurrent Session 2

Barriers to access for e-journals in the corporate sector

Carolyn Squire, GlaxoSmithKline

Gaining access to an electronic journal is easy - isn't it? This paper reviews the challenges faced by journal staff within Glaxo Wellcome (now GlaxoSmithKline) in providing a global electronic journal service to the company. The journey, from identifying an electronic journal, to making it available to customers, is often a long and treacherous one. Library staff have to negotiate the maze of licensing models, spend hours poring over spreadsheets to confirm print subscriptions, locate elusive code numbers that only appear on the print journal address label and frequently battle with technology. The work does not stop once access is granted; you now have to get your customers to use the journal and spend time ensuring access is maintained.

Barriers to access: intranet and internet portals - case studies from BBC and NGfL

Kate Arnold, NGfL

The internet provides librarians with a wonderful opportunity to expand their role in any organisation. Users no longer need to come to the library for information. With a well organised, user-friendly intranet or internet site librarians can re-invent their role. This session provides a practical approach to how to get the most out of your intranet/internet site. It will examine the main issues to consider when developing a site (who the audience is, what information they need, how to structure it and how to promote the service), with illustrations from National Grid for Learning and the BBC Library�s intranet site, Research Central.

Plenary Session 3

A method out of the madness: OhioLINK's collaborative response to the serials crisis - a progress repor

Tom Sanville, OhioLINK

Improved electronic access over traditional print limitations has demonstrated the high elasticity in information usage. The experience of the OhioLINK Electronic Journal Center (EJC) is an exemplary illustration of the dramatic benefits of expanded access. Patrons have executed over 1.8 million article downloads in 33 months. On average each Ohio university uses four times more titles than they previously held in print, and 52% of downloaded articles were not available in print on each campus. Libraries and consortia must take advantage of the opportunities illustrated by the EJC that fashion a sustainable economic model of information purchase that maximises information use.

Plenary Session 4

CrossRef: the missing link

Ed Pentz, CrossRef

References are at the heart of scholarly journal publishing. Through references, authors - experts in their fields - direct readers to relevant articles that may on the surface appear unrelated. Being able to get access to a cited article in one or two clicks, regardless of where that article is published, is very valuable for scientists and researchers. Most of the scientific literature is now available online and publishers are moving beyond just replicating the print page in electronic form to take full advantage of the electronic environment. It is imperative that scholarly publishers link their references and that secondary services and libraries provide links to full text articles. In order to make broad-based linking scalable across a wide range of primary publishers, secondary publishers, abstracting and indexing services and libraries requires an infrastructure for linking. To implement and keep such a system going requires organisation and funding. Scholarly publishers created CrossRef, run by the non-profit Publishers International Linking Association, Inc, to develop and run a system that enables publishers to assign unique identifiers - Digital Object Identifiers (DOI) - to articles and collect standardised metadata so that the identifiers can be retrieved using bibliographic data. Once the basic infrastructure for linking is in place, enhanced linking and discovery services can be created. CrossRef uses open standards and is working with libraries and secondary publishers on providing sophisticated services for retrieving scientific articles.

Digital archives, databases and the changing face of publishing

Les Grivell, European Molecular Biology Organisation (EMBO)

Paper is an inadequate medium for the flood of new data in the life sciences that often demand further manipulation and new methods of visualisation as an aid to interpretation. The typical research scientist wishes to have unhindered access to as wide a range of electronic information sources as possible, to be able to navigate effortlessly between them and to search, select, integrate and manipulate information without leaving his or her desk. E-BioSci is a European initiative to provide a variety of electronic services relating to hosting, access and retrieval of full text, data and multi-media in the life sciences. E-BioSci will involve publishers, service providers, scientific authors, and academic institutes and will foster transnational co-operation in the development of effective solutions to the challenge of achieving information integration.

A status report from the Open Archives initiative

Lorcan Dempsey, Joint Information Systems Committee/DNER

The Open Archives initiative describes itself in the following way: "The Open Archives initiative develops and promotes interoperability standards that aim to facilitate the efficient dissemination of content. The Open Archives initiative has its roots in an effort to enhance access to e-print archives as a means of increasing the availability of scholarly communication. Continued support of this work remains a cornerstone of the Open Archives program. The fundamental technological framework and standards that are developing to support this work are, however, independent of both the type of content offered and the economic mechanisms surrounding that content, and promise to have much broader relevance in opening up access to a range of digital materials." This presentation will briefly describe the origin and current status of the OAi. It will then describe some UK activity, before suggesting how it might be used in the future with particular reference to development plans for the Distributed National Electronic Resource.

Plenary Session 5

PURCEL: budget models and EIS purchasing

John Powles, Glasgow Caledonian University Library

The PURCEL (Purchasing decisions for electronic resources) JISC-funded project, which ran from May to December 2000 with the University of Sunderland as lead institution, was charged with identifying different models and cultures of funding, and then with both determining whether such differences have an impact on the uptake of EIS and making recommendations for future EIS funding and control strategies. This presentation provides a résumé of the project, and examines its main speculations and conclusions.

EASY: a JISC-supported pilot project for the supply of e-journal articles through inter-library loan

Lyn Norris, ingenta plc

The Electronic Article SupplY (EASY) project, funded by JISC, is being carried out by ingenta in partnership with the University of Lancaster who operate the Inter-Library Loan system known as ILLOS. The project is a development of ILLOS, which adds electronic article delivery as an additional source of material, and makes use of the OpenURL standard. An interesting challenge to the project has been the production of a suitable licence, to define the conditions under which this material is delivered to the library and its users. At the time of writing, 14 of ingenta's publishers have already agreed to take part in the project, with a further 34 reviewing their options. The project offers a 'win-win' proposition for both libraries and publishers in the sense that librarians will pay no more than the normal ILL price for an article, but at the same time the publishers will, for the first time, get revenue from each ILL transaction.

SPICe: the development of a parliamentary information service

Jean Smith, Scottish Parliament Information Centre (SPICe)

There are unique challenges involved in setting up and running a successful parliamentary information service. While many of the decisions to be made and the problems encountered will be the same for any new information service, Parliament places some particular pressures on its information staff. This talk explores the progress SPICe has made so far, the delights and difficulties encountered along the way, and the challenges to come.

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