Notes from the e-cat group meeting Jan. 4, 2000


Maggie Powell
Jim Shetler
Fanny Hsieh
Tony Oddo
Rosemary Plotnick
Laurel Bliss
Dana Van Meter
Kim Parker
Matthew Beacom

1. We have a new member. Laurel Bliss of RSC is our Intern/Volunteer. Laurel will work with the group working to catalog the ETC materials. (Tony, Matthew, and Laurel)

2. EBSCO e-journals aggregation records

=> A small change to the 2nd draft of the memo to the public services staff about the project was suggested. We'll take out the example record and substitute for the example a search phrase. The example record is difficult to follow in the e-mail message. Better to leave it out and let folks go to Orbis for the example.
=> The point of doing this is to get feedback from reference and other p.s. staff about how well these records may serve readers and what (if anything) we can do to improve them.

ACTIONS: Matthew will revise the e-mail message per our discussion and send it to Maggie. Maggie will send it to the yulpub-l. Matthew (and others) will monitor the yulpub-l archive for comments. Maggie or others who receive comments may forward notes to us.

=> Problems with the EBSCO ftp site for the record sets were recalled. We need to work with the folks at EBSCO to sort this out before we do any loading.

ACTIONS: Matthew will contact Oliver Pesch at EBSCO and ask about the status of the sets for the two products we are subscribed to: Academic Search Elite and Business Source Premier. (By the way, these names or titles are problematic, too.) Matthew will keep the e-cat comm. informed.

=> We discussed some issues concerning possible overlap of titles between the two EBSCO products and the effect of such an overlap on how we represent the titles in Orbis. We need to know the extent of any such overlap of titles and any differences in coverage within a title per product. After we have some sense of that, further discussions of options may be useful.

ACTIONS: Matthew (and Kim?) will talk to EBSCO contacts.

Options could include:

*** having "duplicates" in the catalog when a title is represented in both EBSCO products

advantage: if we drop one product but not the other, it makes things easier for us; if coverage differs for a given title in the two products that information is not lost by "deduping"; the difficulty of "deduping" or merging records is avoided.

*** dedup the records

advantage: one record per EBSCO source version of each title. Cuts down on the multiplicity of records for the same title.

A larger view of the issue: As e-versions of titles proliferates, we are seeing a proliferation of records in the catalog. Such "separate records" have both advantages and disadvantages for us and for readers. A "single record" approach to multiple versions is not currently a fully viable solution. There may be little we can do about this now, but we need to be aware of the larger implications.

=> help me work up a small survey questionaire for the libraries that are trying to load or have loaded the EBSCO titles.

I need to ask the about 20 libraries about their experiences loading and using the EBSCO records as part of my work on the PCC task group that started this whole thing.

ACTIONS: I'll draft a brief questionaire this week. You all tell me how to improve it.

3. Chadwyck-Healey (and other, similar products) full text databases

We discussed the status of our project to add records to Orbis for the C-H full text databases such as the Database of African-American Poetry. That project has been stalled for some time. We have 4 new C-H full-text databases to load records for, but these are not "live" yet. There are similar products from other vendors that also need to represented in the catalog. At our last meeting we formed a sub group to focus on this project. That group is Dana, Matthew, and Maggie.

ACTIONS: Dana, Matthew, and Maggie will meet in Jan. (the 20th) to discuss and begin action on getting the records loaded into Orbis.

4. Training issues

We discussed some aspects of training M&P and C&T staff in cataloging and acquistion units.
We re-iterated the decision we made at a prior meeting not to have copy catalogers check URLs in records they bring into Orbis. The alteration in workflow seemed too disruptive for the value gained. This issue may need to be revisited later. We talked about focusing training efforts on the individual staff persons who will be doing e-cataloging work. Full-strength staff in the cat. dept. present some opportunities for e-cataloging duties to be spread to more staff in that dept. Dajin and Matthew continue to work on procedural documents to be used by C&T staff in the Cat. Dept for fixing the broken URLs in Orbis records uncovered by the URL report and checker. ETC materials are slated to get full cataloging now. The recataloging project will be an opportunity for training a C&T.

ACTIONS: In later Jan., Tony, Rosemary (and Carol?) will meet to develop any needed documentation. Dajin and Matthew will have a draft document to be used as part of training a C&T to fix the broken URLs uncovered in the Jan. 2000 report (reports come in mid-month; training will begin post ALA MW.)

5. Kim raised a couple of new issues for us to discuss. Workflows and cataloging priorities for e-resources especially as related to the issue of activation of a subscription. Concerns raised in CDC conversations seemed to be mostly about timing. When would the URL be shown in the record? When would the cataloging be complete? Would an e-resource need a high priority for cataloging in order for readers to use the catalog as a source of information about e-resources important to Yale? Some ideas mentioned by us included: surpressing the records until the URL is activated. Adding the URL only when the resource is activated and letting readers see the "on order" record in the catalog as they can for other formats. Using briefer order records when necessary. Using brief records (title + and URL) temporarily for titles that are activated and not yet cataloged.

ACTIONS: Kim and the acq. sub-group will work on developing a workflow and procedural recommendations that address the concerns mentioned above. The sub-group should work with Acq. Support Group on this.

6. Kim's next concern was the issue of titles changes in e-resources. With traditional media we have some procedures and policies in place for serials, but for e-resources we don't. And with e-resources, not only can serials change titles, but so can anything on the Web. We need to consider some processes for discovering such changes and policies and processes for representing such changes in our catalogs. This is a complicated issue and may not be one that is easily solved. Dana suggested that we treat non-serial title changes in e-resources in ways that are akin to how we treat loose-leaf publications. We create a "title history" in the records. This approach may be more sound that a "quick and dirty" approach suggested by Jim and Matthew (i.e. drop the old title into a 246 and add the new title in the 245; ignore the problem of dating when which title was used.)

ACTIONS: None assigned, but Kim and Dana and Jim Shetler may want to work on this issue. Fanny, how about you?


"Jake supports the management of and linking between online resources and descriptions thereof. jake consists of a database containing information about e-resources (including online journals, databases, search interfaces, and textbooks) and how they relate to each other. These relationships include a functional but minimal amount of title authority control, listing of indexing and fulltext coverage, and resource evolution."

ACTIONS: We'll ask for a demo.

8. Forum on the catalog, the collections, and the Web

We discussed the possibility of holding a forum for staff on the topic of what do we at YUL want the relations to be among the catalog, the collections, and the Web. We thought this might be useful. And we thought it may be good to seek out some partners. CDC was mentioned as the most likely one.

ACTIONS: Kim will raise the issue with CDC members.

Next meeting:

Feb. 1, 2000