Management of E-Resources Cataloging Workflows at the University of Maryland, College Park.
The Library NEWS | Journal | Management of E-Resources Cataloging Workflows at the University of Maryland, College Park.
By: Beth Guay, Rachel Bloch Shapiro, Donna King
In 2011, one of the authors, a staff member of the Metadata Services Department at the University of Maryland, College Park, created an electronic resources cataloging management database (ERCM) to manage the details of MARC record set loads to the online catalog. After attending the NISO Standards update session entitled “The NISO ERM Data Standards and Best Practices Review” presentation at the 2012 Annual Conference of the American Library Association, at which cataloging workflow support was referred to as a problem area in electronic resources management, she decided to follow up with an investigation of the nature of the problem and to explore its relevancy to the ERCM. This article will inform metadata services departments about the management of constantly changing electronic resources cataloging workflows and also discuss cataloging workflow as it pertains to Electronic Resources Management System (ERMS) development.
The University of Maryland, College Park campus’ full-time enrollment for fall 2012 included 25,028 undergraduates and 6,925 graduate students. Collections in fall 2012 numbered 3.7 million volumes; 17,000 electronic journals (e-journals); more than 100,000 electronic books (eBooks); and more than 352 electronic databases. In January 2013, the Metadata Services Department included nine faculty librarians and 13 non-faculty staff. Electronic resources cataloging work crossed unit boundaries and all categories of staff. In all, 12 of 22 staff members either focused on or touched upon e-resources cataloging work.
In 2011, a staff member of the Metadata Services Department (MSD) at the University of Maryland, College Park created an electronic resources cataloging management database (ERCM) to manage the details of MARC record set loads to the online catalog, ExLibris Ltd.’s ALEPH. Because the benefits of the database quickly became apparent, it was decided to further develop this management tool. To refine structural relational database elements, the MSD staff provided an iSchool student with credit through a field study course from May through July 2012 to assist in the redesign. In June 2012, the staff member attended the American Library Association session entitled “The NISO ERM Data Standards and Best Practices Review,” (Jewell, 2012) which highlighted the cataloging workflow issues of electronic resource management, and the authors decided to follow up with an investigation of the nature of the electronic resource management system (ERMS) cataloging workflow problem and its relationship to the ERCM. This article provides a brief literature review of e-resources cataloging workflow issues, followed by the experience at the University of Maryland, College Park in the development of a new tool to manage the e-resources cataloging workflow.
Literature Scan: ERMS and the Cataloging Workflow Support Problem
As defined in Electronic Resources Management: Report of the DLF ERM Initiative (Jewell et al., 2004), an electronic resources management system is:
… a system that supports management of the information and workflows necessary to efficiently select, evaluate, acquire, maintain, and provide access to e-resources in accordance with their business and license terms
…through seamless interaction and efficient sharing of data with traditional MARC-based online catalogs, Web portals, federated searching tools, local resolution services, local authentication and access-management systems, and traditional library-management functions (p. 49).
Electronic resources cataloging workflow falls under the category of access provision. The authors did not examine available commercial, open source and in-house ERMSs to determine the extent by which they incorporate electronic resources cataloging workflows.
The literature scan focused on use of ERMSs in support of electronic resources cataloging workflow. The NISO ERM Data Standards and Best Practices Review Steering Committee (2012) notes that “a key challenge to overcome [in the workflow support problem] is that the term ‘workflow’ means different things to different people” (p. 32). In its Appendix C (p. 51), the Steering Committee selected and provided URLs to a number of libraries’ flowcharts that depict the variations in workflow; these were reviewed with an eye on the cataloging workflows. Five of the seven selected institutions’ workflow documents explicitly identify cataloging as an element of ERM workflow: those of Arizona State University; Deakin University; North Carolina State University (NCSU); the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA); and Western Michigan University Libraries.
The workflow flowcharts and report by Arizona State University’s (2010) task group presents the findings of their study and makes recommendations for the implementation of Innovative Interfaces Inc.’s (III) ERM module. The workflow flowcharts describe MARCit! 1 record loads for “full-text ejournal packages and aggregators and potentially for e-books” as well as workflow for cataloging individual titles, e.g., “reference ERs”2 (Arizona State University, 2010, p. 8). Both the MARCit! records and individually cataloged bibliographic records loaded to the ILS will be linked to the ERM resource record to facilitate catalog record maintenance. Catalog record maintenance activities are described but not flowcharted; these include the monthly checking and cleanup of MARCIt! record loads, and the closing or updating of holdings or the deleting of bibliographic records for cataloged electronic resources.
At Deakin University (2010), once a resource is approved for purchase and access is provided, the ERM resource record is updated with the access information. MARC records for eBook collections are downloaded to the catalog. For renewals, the ERM resource record is updated to record whether perpetual access has been obtained or not; next steps include ongoing maintenance of the catalog, including the downloading of MARC records for new titles and removal of catalog records for non-renewed titles. NCSU follows suit: resources are cataloged once activated and accessible. OPAC functionality is verified. If follow-up is required, Acquisitions is notified; otherwise, Collection Management is notified.
The UCLA (2011) “New Electronic Resource Workflow” flowchart separates Acquisitions/Licensing, ERM/Access, and Cataloging workflows. Cataloging follows notification that access to an electronic resource has been turned on. Additionally, prior to notification of access provision, the cataloging unit receives notification of interest in a resource, allowing selectors to be informed of potential problems with the cataloging of the e-resource. Both renewals and non-renewals trigger notification of cataloging. Once the resources are cataloged, ERMS managers are notified.