Electronic Resource Management Systems
The ERMS functions to deliver the same kind of ‘back-end’ functionality (notably the management of the acquisition/licensing and cataloguing) for electronic as the LMS does for (mainly) print resources. The development of ERM systems is example of how commercial development was informed by a specific library initiative –the Electronic Resources Management Initiative from the Digital Library Federation that began in 2004. DLF members are predominantly from the USA but Oxford University and the British Library are ‘Strategic Members’. JISC itself is a DLF ‘Allied Member.’
Notwithstanding this input from librarians, UK HE libraries appear to remain unconvinced that these products will deliver a good return on investment. Take-up has been slow and a significant number of libraries report this function is being managed by in-house solutions.
The problem of manual data entry is a significant issue. Xan Arch (Stanford University) wrote in April 2010; 'Manual data entry has also been a major concern with commercial ERMS products. Conference presentations in the last few years have often discussed how to streamline the heavy load of data entry and what staffing is needed to populate an ERMS' ('Under the hood -Buy Bulid or Borrow'. Against the Grain. April 2010). In similar vein Ryan Weir (E-Resources Librarian, Murray State University) writes. '..in comparison to larger institutions small to middle size libraries have even more hurdles to acquiring and implenting one of these [ERM] products. ….many libraries do not have the budget to pay for an ERM system; others feel they do not have the time or staffing capabilities to fully implement a system once it is purchased'. (Electronic Resource Management Systems and the Small to Medium University Library: An Argument for Implementation' by Ryan Weir. Against the Grain April 2010).
A summary of the key issues and the available (proprietary and open source) solution is in
'Building A Better ERMS'. By Maria Collins & Jill E. Grogg. Library Journal. 1st March 201
Innovative Interfaces, Ex Libris and Serials Solutions are the main commercial vendors of ERM systems for UK HE.
The ExLibris Verde webpage provides some basic information
The Innovative Interfaces page on ERM describes their product
Serial Solutions 360 Resource Manager is their ERM system
A (2011 ALA) presenetation on open source ERM systems