Friday, November 20, 2009

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

British Standards Enhancement Group -November 2009 meeting

There was general agreement that the latest upgrade to the BSOL site was a great improvement. Members of the committee had received very positive feedback from users about enhancements to the site. Especially highlighted were separated keyword and number search that My Downloads now works for academic users. There was general agreement that the new design makes far better use of space on the screen and that the information presented is easier to read. Feedback from CLAUD (Librarians in Higher Education networking to improve library access for disabled users in the South and South-West of England) who act as advisors to JIBS on accessibility issues had also been very positive and their suggestions for further enhancements have been passed to BSI for consideration.
The committee were less happy with the upgrade process. It was felt that communication about the upgrade had been less than clear and messages on the main BSI site had been rather different to information on Twitter. BSI has learned from the experience and, in future, will announce target dates well in advance, even if they come with a “health warning” that they may change. The committee also reported on the problems some users had face with redirection of links and EZproxy that had given some access problems during the first few days of the upgrades operation. This was especially frustrating as both Sheffield Hallam and the Open University had offered free consultancy advice on EZproxy prior to the switchover; this offer had not been taken up. BSI promised in future to take up the offer of advice on authentication issues.
The next phase of development for BSOL will separate the product from the Group website and eShop at a more fundamental architectural level. BSI will also work on search enhancements and create the ability to identify users individually (regardless of their authentication method); this will help in implementation of personalisation features for academic users. There is at the moment no firm timescale for future upgrades and that includes Shibboleth compliance. BSI had decided to change its outsourcing development partner and some concern was expressed by the group that this would further delay any enhancements. However BSI had enhanced its in-house team and they felt that this would lead to significant improvements to the preservation of internal knowledge about the architecture and technology.

BSI has come to an agreement with IHS whereby they will no longer act as a sales agent for BSOL. IHS will still sell BSI content through their web products, but they will no longer act as a sales agent for BSOL.BSI were asked about the Info4Education deal – specifically whether discounts will be maintained. BSI confirmed that the pricing for BSOL will remain the same for the remainder of the deal lifetime (summer 2011) and JISC will be invoiced by BSI accordingly. The BSOL link from within the Info4Education page will be removed (effective 1st January 2010) and subscribers that currently access BSOL in this way will need to create a direct link. BSI Customer Support is on hand to help, where necessary. This has been communicated to JISC and BSI will make sure that messaging from JISC is complete

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

New NESLi2 SMP brochure is now available

Download the new brochure which contains information on the 2010 NESLi2 SMP offers.

JSTOR launches Arts & Sciences VIII Collection

JSTOR’s Arts & Sciences VIII Collection will include a minimum of one hundred forty (140) titles when it is completed at the end of 2011. This collection extends JSTOR's coverage in disciplines across the social sciences and humanities, with new and expanded focus on art & art history, classical studies, philosophy, language & literature, and music.

More than thirty rare 19th and early 20th century American Art periodicals form part of this collection, including 291, created in 1915 by Alfred Stieglitz and Bradley, His Book from the private press founded by William H. Bradley. Eleven of these periodicals are immediately available in the collection, with the remaining titles available by the second quarter of 2010. JSTOR has prepared a short video (5 minutes) has to give institutions a glimpse into these periodicals.

Read the full announcement

Sunday, November 15, 2009

RIP for A&I Services?

JIBS Workshop and debate on the future of abstracting and indexing services was held in Manchester. In the present mood (HE budget cuts) indexing services with little added value could be vulnerable. Overlapping services need rationalising. Indexing needs to be high quality, and abstracts need seamless linking to quality assured fulltext.

Excellent speakers and a frank debate of the issues made the event well worth the trip. Which services have one foot in the grave?

Can clever algorithms meet the differing needs of student essay-writers and doctoral researchers?

Would we prefer our A&I services to carry advertising, as google and facebook do?

Can EndNote with PubMed meet all the needs of a biomedical faculty?

Friday, November 06, 2009

Shibboleth report

Earlier this year the JIBS committee on behalf of the JIBS User Group recently conducted a survey about the implementation of Shibboleth across UK HE/FE & Research sectors. The results of this survey have now been published as a report on the JIBS website.

Thanks to June Hedges (JIBS treasurer) for all her work compiling this report.