Report of the User-Initiated Document Delivery Task Force
(Veronica Calderhead, Judy Gardner, Jim Nettleman, Myoung Chung Wilson)
Rutgers University Libraries
January 25, 2000


The User-Initiated Document Delivery Task Force (Veronica Calderhead, Judy Gardner, Jim Nettleman, and Myoung Wilson, with assistance from Stephanie Tama, graduate assistant in public services and communications) was appointed by the Associate University Librarian for Public Services and Communications in October, 1999, to develop an online document delivery service that provides subsidized document delivery of articles not owned or licensed by Rutgers University Libraries (RUL), and that links indexing and abstract tools to RUL holdings.

The Task Force reviewed the literature, contacted other institutions that offer similar services, and interviewed various vendors via email (BioMedNet, ingenta, ISI, and UnCover). We quickly discovered discrepancies between our service criteria and what is available for immediate purchase in the market place. We also discovered that there are accelerating changes taking place in the document delivery market. For example, on January 14, 2000, after the first draft of this report was written, ingenta announced that it had merged with UnCover, providing ingenta's publishing customers with a distribution path to libraries and end users in the U.S. We believe that unmediated document delivery services are in transition. Our recommendation for subsidized unmediated ordering via an UnCover Customized Gateway is, therefore, an experiment and opportunity to gain experience with user initiated document requesting. Expanded services and improved user interfaces connecting widely distributed resources will result in new options for Rutgers to consider in the near future.

The Task Force examined lists of recently canceled serial titles and lists of most frequently ILL-requested serial titles. We do not, however, view unmediated document delivery as a replacement for canceled serials or ILL-requested articles. The document delivery service should be introduced as an expedited form of interlibrary loan. Graduate students, faculty, and staff will be given the opportunity to order articles needed immediately for their research and instruction from a set of UnCover journals not owned by Rutgers. RUL's collection of owned and licensed serial titles will continue to evolve, and our commitment to provide timely interlibrary loan for all titles not held by RUL is ongoing.

Our recommendation to exclude Rutgers undergraduates from the initial user-initiated document delivery service is based on limited funding and the assumption that with a $7.8 million materials budget, RUL owns or licenses a sufficient number of journals needed by undergraduates for basic research. This feature of the service depends upon the Collection Development Council achieving its goal to identify and refine the subscription list of core journals (print and electronic) at RUL.

Finally, the Task Force has reservations about targeting a document delivery service to graduate students, faculty, and staff that is tied to the UnCover database. UnCover is clearly not the index of choice of advanced researchers. Hence, the Task Force's recommendation to provide subsidized users at Rutgers, who discover citations from sources other than UnCover or Reveal, with a list of the titles available for document delivery on the libraries web page, with a link to our UnCover Gateway for ordering.

Recommendation Summary

While there is uncertainty about the impact of the merger of ingenta and UnCover in the future, it is possible that ingenta will provide access to British publications not previously available from UnCover. At this time, the Task Force believes that UnCover is the most practical and viable document delivery supplier. We recommend RUL purchase an UnCover Customized Gateway and customize it to:

Serial Blocking and Linking Mechanisms

To block users from requesting full text articles from journals Rutgers owns in either print or electronic form, we will send UnCover a file of the current titles we hold. Serial titles that have Unicorn check-in records and serial titles with an 856 tag will be selected. In many cases a title will have both a check-in record and an 856 tag. Three basic data elements are required: Journal Title, ISSN, and URL. See UnCover's Gateway Installation Packet for details.

Users will be blocked from ordering articles from these titles. Ownership blocking by title is admittedly less than perfect. For example, users will not be permitted to request delivery of articles from missing issues or from back issues we don't own of a recently acquired serial title. And users will be permitted to request delivery of articles from the back runs we do own of recently canceled titles. UnCover also offers "scan blocking," based upon the open or closed status of summary holding statements. The Task Force recommends that scan blocking be reconsidered after Rutgers has implemented the USMARC serial holdings format.

When a serial title is blocked, a customized message (for example, "To check library holdings click here") will appear. The blocking message for our electronic serial titles with 856 tags will contain a link to the external journal source's URL. The blocking message for print titles could contain a link to IRIS's URL. Because URLs in the Unicorn webcat are dynamic, we can not link to specific journal title records in IRIS for a view of holdings.

User Access and Patron Verification

User access to RUL's UnCover Customized Gateway will be by Internet Protocol numbers (IP's) in use at Rutgers. Users who are allowed access to RUL's proxy server are included. From RUL's UnCover Customized Gateway main page, users will be presented with two paths to the UnCover database. The first will be for Rutgers graduate students, faculty, and staff and will require validation for subsidized delivery. The second will be for all other RUL users, including Rutgers undergraduates, who can set up personal accounts and receive the discounted document delivery rate if they choose to place a personal order for copies of articles. In addition to our UnCover Customized Gateway, RUL should consider providing a link to Open Access UnCover for remote users who are not granted access to RUL's proxy server.

RUL will use patron validation to automatically set up core user profiles (system-created) for subsidized document delivery. We will select current Rutgers graduate students, faculty, and staff records from the Unicorn patron database and provide UnCover with a file of patron names and unique identification numbers (either SSN or library barcode). Updated files will be sent quarterly and expired users deleted. When eligible subsidized users set up individual user profiles they will still need to provide an address, e-mail address, voice phone number, and fax number. Our Deposit Account number and password for subsidized document delivery will be automatically suppressed.

Public Presentation, User Interface, User Online Help

RUL will send to UnCover a screen design, text, RUL's logo, and information links to user documentation. UnCover will use our wording and links to design the Customized Web Page "so as to preserve the 'look and feel' of the UnCover Web product."

Our Customized Gateway Web Page needs to include two links to the UnCover Gateway database. The first link will be for current Rutgers graduate students, faculty, and staff; and will require users to enter a User ID numbers to validate their eligibility for subsidized document delivery. Text for an invalid user screen and referral message will be sent to UnCover. An alternate link to the Gateway database will be for users who are not eligible to order subsidized articles. These users will not need to enter an ID number, but will receive the discounted document delivery rate if they wish to create individual profiles and make payment for articles using a credit card or individual deposit account.

A file of UnCover titles available for document delivery, currently 9,699 titles, can be provided by UnCover on a monthly basis. This file will be matched against the file of current RUL serial titles we send to UnCover for blocking, and Rutgers titles will be deleted. A web page will then be created (Entitled, for example, "Graduate Students, Faculty, and Staff -- Serial Titles Available for Subsidized Unmediated Document Delivery" - or - "Graduate Students, Faculty, Staff - Order Articles from these Serials"), listing the titles, giving information about the service, and providing a link to the UnCover Gateway for ordering. In addition, the Task Force recommends RUL investigate the feasibility of creating and maintaining brief IRIS records for the titles available for subsidized document delivery, with a link to the UnCover Gateway for ordering.

Statistics & Reports

To track article ordering by user status and department, RUL will implement UnCover's Cost Center function. When placing an order, users will be prompted to select their status and department from a pull-down box. Up to seven pull-down boxes can be created, each containing up to twenty terms.

RUL will receive Monthly Gateway Usage Reports, Monthly Deposit/Billing Account Reports, and Monthly Cost Center Reports. Statistics will include breakdowns by user status; number of participants; number of orders; cost of orders; average cost per order; and journals ranked by expenditure, cost per article, total costs, and number of users.


Rutgers has a Reveal Site License and we will need to block subsidies for articles from serial titles we own when they are ordered by the Reveal reply e-mail order function. The Reveal SUMO (subsidized unmediated ordering) Filter will be set up to apply blocks on the basis of the serial file we supply to UnCover. Individuals may still order articles from our blocked titles, by using a personal credit card.

Rutgers users who already have an UnCover Reveal profile will need to create a new profile in order to take advantage of the subsidized document delivery service.


Spring Semester, 2000

10 ports @ $2,500 per port (per year)
Includes features such as custom web screens, SUMO (subsidized unmediated ordering), and quarterly updates of RUL's serials file to the UnCover database.
$ 25,000          
Automatic Profile Creation
     One time set up fee2,000          
Patron Validation
     One time setup fee
     Quarterly maintenance (per year)
Cost Center function
One time setup fee100          
Reveal SUMO Filter one time setup fee2,000          
Reveal Custom Messaging one time setup fee250          
Electronic file of titles available for Document Delivery, monthly updates (per year)1,500          
     Setup Fees           $ 33,350
     Document Delivery           $ 41,650
     TOTAL           $ 75,000

Future Annual Port and Maintenance Fees

Ports: 10 ports @ $2,500 per port (per year)$ 25,000          
Patron Validation, quarterly maintenance (per year)500          
Electronic file of titles available for Document Delivery, monthly updates (per year)1,500          
     TOTAL$ 27,000
Implementation Plan

January - February 2000

Fill out the Gateway Installation Packet, including IP's, text for the customized Gateway screens, and messages. (Office of the AUL for Public Services & Communications)

Compile the file of serials with current check-in records and 856 tags. Set up a referring URL and test patron validation for subsidized document delivery. (Systems Department)

February 2000

Send the complete Gateway Installation Packet, serial file, referring URL for patron validation to UnCover. (Office of the AUL for Public Services & Communications)

Create user documentation and an explanation of the service (LSU Libraries model, for posting on the web. Compose publicity and news releases to make graduate students, faculty, and staff aware of the new service. (Office of the AUL for Public Services & Communications)

April 2000

Notify Rutgers the Customized Gateway is available for testing, 45 days after receipt by UnCover of the Gateway Installation Packet. (UnCover Company).

Test the UnCover Customized Gateway and document delivery option. (Generalist Electronic Resources Team).

Post the Gateway and documentation to the Web, publicize the service . (Systems Department and Office of the AUL for Public Services & Communications)

June 2000

Distribute UnCover Reports to the Collection Development and Public Services Councils. Evaluate service and Reports received to date, budget for next FY year. (Office of the AUL for Public Services & Communications)

June 2001

Appoint an UnCover User-Initiated Document Delivery Evaluation Team to evaluate the UnCover service, review the market and services of other document delivery vendors. (Office of the AUL for Public Services & Communications)

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