1. AUL Report, RGS
VALE's Electronic Resources Committee carried out a survey to identify new databases sought by members during the next budget cycle. Most of those listed are already owned by Rutgers, e.g., ERIC with HARF documents, American History & Life, Digital Dissertations, Economics Literature, MathSciNet, Philosophers' Index, etc., etc. The following would be new for RU: Facts.com, some Wilson Databases, EBSCO. The strategy is to reduce cost for databases already own through a consortial purchase and to appeal to the state for more funding.
2. Systems Report, AM
Ann distributed the latest database usage reports. Overall usage of all databases jumped sharply, by 75%, from Sept. to Oct. and remained at this high level for Nov. (latest month available). During November, the three most heavily used databases were ProQuest (129,396), PsycInfo (21,500), and Medline (14,816). Statistics were also provided which showed how many times per month users were denied access to specific databases (i.e., for those products which have imposed an upper limit on the number of simultaneous users). Web of Science, with a limit of 10 simultaneous users, took first place in this category with 1,113 user denials during the month of Nov. This suggests that consideration needs to be given to increasing the number of simultaneous users for this database (and some others, such as OVID) but costs to implement such a broadening in access must also be taken into account.
Sam noted that our overall cost per search was 32 cents per search, and this gross average includes RLIN database searches that ran in excess of 50 cents per search. A more general discussion of databases search costs ensued, with questions about how such measurements were defined, performed, and interpreted. It was agreed that further study is needed to establish how best to interpret and utilize this cost per use data.
3. Acquisitions Report, MP---report tabled for a future meeting.
4. Report on LC Conference, MP---report tabled for a future meeting.
5. Making Electronic Resources Available, RS, JB, SS.
Jeanne initiated discussion by reporting on an earlier meeting that had been convened which focused on this subject and which included representatives from various concerned groups such as Systems, Cataloging, WAC, etc. The key question under consideration is how do we keep all players in the process informed about what needs to be done to obtain and start-up new electronic resources as expeditiously as possible?
Some key problem areas were identified:
The process of obtaining new e-resources normally starts with individual selectors, and more detailed and better descriptive information is needed right from the start, from these selectors. As of now, selectors are not providing the level of detail that is required, and this is causing later hang-ups and delays in implementation.
Systems needs to be involved much earlier in the selection process. Systems can help selectors understand the implications of various access methods and what it will take to make a resource available within the context of the RUL technical infrastructure.
Lack of knowledge of what products are on order as of any given date is a major impediment to progress. We urgently need to develop and maintain a master list.
New product request/description forms need to be developed that are more responsive to our needs.
Better coordination of the overall e-resources acquisition process is required.
Bob will meet with the chairs of the e-resources committees to discuss the development of the new forms and what information is required.
Sam reminded people that only two people in our organization are authorized to negotiate with vendors about prices and site licenses: Bob Sewell and Mary Page. Selectors may obtain price quotes from vendors as part of the information gathering process about any new product, but may not go beyond that.
5. Adding URLs to Records for Print Monographs, RS, JB, SS
This topic concerns adding URLs to IRIS records for monographs that are also available in electronic format. The Public Services Council earlier endorsed the idea of expanding our catalog, defined as follows: "[Catalog is] organized representation of materials selected as relevant to our community". With this in mind, CDC agreed in principle that it would be beneficial to add such monograph URLs if recommended by relevant selectors. Some examples noted: Merck Manual; National Academy Press titles, etc.
An extensive discussion ensued about various aspects of how such records would be entered into IRIS. Various questions were raised about the nature of the entries to be made to IRIS:
If we already owned the print version, could we enter the URL in the 856 field, assuming that the e-version was identical to the print version?
How to determine if the e-version is truly identical with the print version? What criteria should be established? Who would make this determination?
How should we treat e-monographs that differ significantly from the print version?
How do we determine what comprises a significant difference between the two versions?
Should we enter URLs for e-monographs for which we have no print equivalent? How should this situation be handled?
CDC determined that more study of these questions was needed. A committee will be formed to work out the procedure for requesting cataloging of monograph URLs. The committee will be comprised of one member from each of the Councils.