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CDL / JSC Letter to Bibliographer Groups (June 2003)

For the past several years, the Joint Steering Committee for Shared Collections (JSC) has asked the UC bibliographer groups to recommend resources for systemwide access through the CDL Survey process. This input has provided the basis for JSC/CDL priorities and recommendations for new campus co-investments in digital content that are articulated in the current CDL Licensing Work Plan 2002-2003. We are continuing to work on the resources in the 2002-2003 Work Plan.

This year JSC has decided that input from bibliographer groups needs a different focus because of the budget situation and some issues that we will need to concentrate on this coming year. Some major e-journal packages are up for renewal and the Resource Sharing funds that subsidize centrally funded SCAP (Shared Collections Acquisitions Program) databases have been cut by $1 million for 2003/2004. CDC has asked JSC to create a framework for reassessing these SCAP databases for either potential cost sharing amongst campuses and CDL, or for potential cancellation. Given these circumstances, the CDL (in consultation with the JSC) will focus on three areas: renewals (especially on controlling renewal pricing), SCAP databases assessment, and continuing negotiations on the products included in the 2002-2003 CDL Licensing Work Plan. There will be very limited CDL funding to contribute to new database acquisitions.

The JSC, therefore, is not issuing the usual survey request for database recommendations for system-wide licensing. Instead of the survey, we would like your assistance throughout the year in three areas.

  1. Recommending open access material that deserves shared cataloging;
  2. Participating in the review of existing system-wide resources;
  3. Contacting your JSC Liaison if opportunities arise in which your group might want CDL assistance and/or facilitation in considering a new online resource for shared access.

1. Recommending open access material that deserves shared cataloging

Responses due: Ongoing as identified by bibliographer groups

Since JSC advises on shared cataloging issues, we are asking your assistance again this year in identifying freely available resources that have enough value and stability to merit cataloging for inclusion in, or identification through, the CDL collections. Subject specialists are in the best position to identify these resources and so we are asking the bibliographer groups to alert JSC to scholarly resources in two categories:

Freely available electronic journal titles that are indexed in our core A&I databases, so that we can explore linkage to full-text via SFX. A number of journal titles were forwarded for cataloging based on the lists submitted last year. CDL will begin this year by reviewing and including titles from the Directory of Open Access Journals (DOAJ), just launched by Lund University Libraries to catalog those that are indexed in our A&I databases. Bibliographer groups may notify their JSC liaison of other freely available journal titles throughout the year that also warrant access via CDL. For each title, please list the indexes that cover these freely available electronic journal titles.

Open access collections of monographs whose use would be enhanced by shared catalog records. From the collections recommended in last year’s surveys, the following collections are being cataloged by CDL Shared Cataloging over the next several months. Bibliographer groups may notify their JSC liaison of additional appropriate collections that they think should be considered. Please include a brief rationale for the investment in shared cataloging Collections forwarded for cataloging based on last year’s survey recommendations are:

  • Making of America (7300 monographs, 60 journals)
  • University of Wisconsin Institute for Research on Poverty (250 papers)
  • National Academy of Science Press (2500 monographs)
  • National Library for the Environment, CRS (1200) titles
  • Public Policy Institute of California (70 titles)
  • USENIX Conference Proceedings (79 titles)
  • Victorian Women Writers Project (168 titles)

2. Reviewing existing systemwide resources

Responses due: Ongoing based on calendar to be provided

Assessment of existing system-wide resources will be an important activity this year. The CDL Resource Liaisons will continue to assess the products that have been licensed and to track usage statistics. Over the summer, the JSC, in consultation with CDC, will be developing a framework for any databases that will be reviewed throughout the fiscal year. There is likely to be one structure for reviewing SCAP databases, and another for reviewing others. The review will include broad consultation with bibliographer groups, and we will communicate with you again when there is more specific information on how the review process will go. We expect to allow ample time prior to renewal for a specific product for bibliographer groups and the CDL

Resource Liaison to provide the following input such as:

  1. Is this resource still meeting the information needs of our users?
  2. Are there any problems with this product (both content and technological features)?
  3. Are there any other comparable products or competitors that we should consider as an alternative?
  4. Is the price for this product still reasonable?
  5. Does this product duplicate access available through another system-wide source?
  6. Should access to this product be continued or discontinued?

At any point during the year, JSC encourages bibliographer groups to bring to our attention any databases that should be replaced by superior products.

3. Contacting your JSC Liaison

Responses due: Ongoing throughout the year

At any point during the year, your bibliographer group is encouraged to notify your JSC liaison when you identify any new product that merits system-wide access, when your group has an offer for a product where it’s important to seize an opportunity, or would like assistance dealing with negotiation problems for products that are likely to be system-wide licensing candidates.

Bibliographer groups should also continue to consider the potential for Tier 2 negotiations for some databases. There have been a growing number of successful Tier 2 negotiations by collection groups in the past year, where a librarian in a collection group coordinates vendor negotiations, with campus Collection Development Officers and CDL Acquisitions personnel providing assistance as needed. The shared collections section of the CDL web site provides a number of documents to assist with Tier 2 negotiations. If any tier 2 negotiations encounter funding challenges, they may also be forwarded to JSC through your liaison for consideration.

JSC expects that you will consult and communicate with selectors and faculty members as appropriate throughout the system. Given the interdisciplinary nature of many databases, you should consider consulting with other collection groups as appropriate.

JSC will continue to communicate with all bibliographer groups as assessment plans are developed. Please do not hesitate to contact us.