Introduction to E-Resource Management


"94 % of librarians still rely on nothing more sophisticated than spreadsheets to manage electronic collections, which in some cases represent 80 % of their collections budget." (see OCLC report below)

Managing E-Resource requires a range of approaches and systems. There are also a number of initiatives and projects--for example KBART, SUSHI, COUNTER, CORE, JUSP etc
ERMS Electronic Resource Managememt Systems
Open URL Resolver and Knowledge Base
Usage statistics and Information

**Knowledge Base Plus (KB+)**
KB+ is a service from Jisc Collections to provide a shared academic knowledge base for the UK academic community. It was originally funded through HEFCE's Universities Modernisation Fund in response to studies by Jisc and SCONUL that found significant demand from library directors for shared services in the areas of library management systems, e-resource management and licensing. KB+ captures and represents information that institutions need to manage their subscribed resources, for example the details of titles in publisher packages, e-resource licences and institutional entitlement and holding information. It seeks to provide a one-stop shop for the management of this information for and by UK institutions but also making sure that this information is widely available throughout the supply chain to any other systems, vendors and services that require it. KB+ is available free of charge to all UK academic institutions at www.kbplus.ac.uk. KB+ is now in its third phase of development.
What do I use KB+ for?
  • KB+ is a service to manage your subscriptions and licences, or both of these together, especially in relation to electronic resources.
  • KB+ stores accurate title lists with holdings of a number of content providers ( see Which publishers are on KB+? )
  • Among other things, you can use KB+ to
    • Build up and compare historical title lists of your deals/packages across the years
    • Compare packages and where individual titles are represented in different collections
    • Show title changes and how a title moves between collections
    • Attach documents and notes on licenses and subscriptions
    • Store your institutional licenses.
  • KB+ is not only a piece of software. KB+ is a community-based service. It works as a central representative for library customers, liaising with publishers for accurate lists and provide these lists to link resolver vendors.

Systems in use in UK HE

For a list of UK HE institutions with the systems they use to manage electronic resources go to the 'E-Resource Systems' page

Reports articles and resources


Meeting the E-Resources Challenge. An OCLC report on effective management, access and delivery of electronic collections. OCLC [no date 2013?)

From the report:-
"Librarians have been evolving their methods and approaches to managing the increasing range and number of electronic collections. But much of the technology that has been developed to support this evolution is locally deployed, and involves multiple systems that each support only a single aspect of managing electronic resources.
The result is a complex and siloed set of hardware and software built on closed systems. In addition, the variations of data licensing and the limitations in system capabilities have forced librarians to develop a number of workarounds to manage their electronic resources that can be labor intensive and costly. We know this. We have known it for a while. Yet a massive 94 % of librarians still rely on nothing more sophisticated than spreadsheets to manage electronic collections, which in some cases represent 80 % of their collections budget. The many surveys of librarians’ needs in relation to e-resource management create a compelling general case for change, but often fail to surface the detailed scenarios that are needed to inform the nature of that change".

**Balancing the Management of Electronic and Print Resources** by Marshall Breeding. THE SYSTEMS LIBRARIAN, 19 June 2014

Rethinking Resource Management
“Focus on the user” may not be a phrase that first comes to mind when thinking about transforming your technical, resource management workflows, but evaluating through this lens can bring inventive new directions. Ken Chad discusses ways to re-think library workflow and systems by evaluating what you do through the eyes of your users. Users want to solve particular problems and your workflows should support that resolution.Presented as a ProQuest webinar in April 2014

'Building A Better ERMS'. By Maria Collins & Jill E. Grogg. Library Journal. 1st March 2011
'Librarians have struggled for nearly a decade with how best to handle electronic resources, as the information economy has shifted inexorably toward electronic materials. In the interim, experimentation and product development has confirmed that electronic resource management (ERM) is nothing short of chaotic.
The problem is that managing e-resources is a distinctly nonlinear and nonstandardized process. Harried librarians—shuffling mountains of paper and sticky notes and juggling byzantine email folder structures—expected ERM systems to address issues of workflow efficiency and, especially, interoperability with other systems. Yet what has materialized, amid a patchwork of standards, is less like a silver bullet and more like a round of buckshot. The ERM systems that have been developed have addressed some needs very well, including license management and administrative information storage. They’ve left other issues, such as interoperability, unresolved.'

'Electronic Resource Management Standardization — Still a Mixed Bag.' by Todd Carpenter (Managing Director, NISO. Against The Grain. October 2010
(A very good summary of the current state of play regarding e-resource management that also a usfeul summary of the various standards'---a brief extract......

'What is it about digital resources that make them more complicated to manage than their print counterparts? While the item management lifecycle for a print product is linear and moves from selection through ordering to receipt, cataloging, circulation, and eventually de-acquisition, the lifecycle for digital resources is quite different. The electronic resource lifecycle is circular and iterative and contains many additional steps not relevant in the print world. Product selection can require both trial use and technical evaluation, because e-resources are often encompassed in their own information system. Many e-resources come bundled in packages that have to be evaluated as a whole as well as for their individual resources. E-resources are usually licensed, not sold like their print counterpart, so along with price consideration one must negotiate a license that matches the intended use, population to be served and other terms. Providing access is no longer a matter of simply cataloging and then placing the resources on shelves. Electronic access includes IP address management, A to Z list management, authentication setups on both the library and publisher sides, possibly user ID setups, possibly OpenURL knowledgebase management, and whatever setup or policies are needed to ensure license compliance. Not to mention all the issues of ongoing support, such as troubleshooting, downtime and other problem management, usage monitoring, user training, etc. And this entire process begins again at renewal time. The availability of titles within an electronic collection can change — even mid-subscription — requiring a re-evaluation of the whole product. And the previous year’s usage may necessitate license renegotiation, a process that usually can’t be relegated to a third party such as a subscription service agency.'

The April 2010 issue of Against the Grain (ISSN 1043-2094) has a series of articles on aspects of Electronic Resources Management

The Book

Managing the Transition from Print to Electronic Journals and Resources: A Guide for Library and Information Professionals (Routledge Studies in Library and Information Science). By Maria Collins (Editor), Patrick Carr (Editor). Routledge 2008

Open Source solutions for e-resource management

Open source solutions are not so widely adopted for the management of e-resources and for print (ie LMS/ILS). Here are some examples:
CUFTS
Simon Fraser University, Canada
http://researcher.sfu.ca/cufts/erm
Appraisal of reSearcher suite by University College Cork

CORAL
University of Notre Dame, Indiana, US
http://erm.library.nd.edu/

ERMES
University of Wisconsin La Crosse
http://murphylibrary.uwlax.edu/erm/
http://ermesblog.wess.com/
Brief review: 'Open source ERM through ERMes' By Alexander Kouker. Libfocus blog 29 June 2012

Ematrix
State University of North Carolina
http://www.lib.ncsu.edu/e-matrix/
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q1qhZaZbg_o