The SUNCAT team met up with the UK Research Reserve (UKRR) Project Manager, Jean Crawford, last week to discuss SUNCAT’s role in the UKRR, the UKRR’s future plans and how SUNCAT might provide greater assistance in Phase 2 of the UKRR.
The UKRR has just received £9.84 million in HEFCE funding to proceed with Phase 2 of the project which aims to preserve access to low use print journals in Higher Education by storing copies in the British Library and selected Higher Education institutions allowing the remaining participating institutions to dispose of their print runs, freeing up significant space and resource.
SUNCAT contains the journal holdings data of all of the UKRR Phase 1 libraries. Currently it is used as an initial check on where journals, identified by UKRR participants for disposal, are held in other UKRR libraries. SUNCAT also displays the UKRR flag on journal holdings where this is supplied by our Contributing Libraries.
Both UKRR and SUNCAT share similar aims regarding the quality of journal data. Both are keen to see records updated, particularly to include ISSNs where these are missing, to allow for the accurate identification and matching of records for the same title. In the UKRR this ensures that participating libraries can confidently dispose of titles in the knowledge that they are being stored elsewhere and in SUNCAT’s case it allows researchers to quickly identify the location of titles throughout the UK.
One area where SUNCAT may be able to assist the UKRR further is by providing them with reports of journals which are not widely held in the UK and can therefore be considered “at risk” even if they have not been formally identified for disposal by UKRR participants.
SUNCAT will also consider adding any new libraries which join Phase 2 of UKRR which are not already in the catalogue to ensure that SUNCAT continues to be a comprehensive search and location tool for the UKRR participants. However, any new libraries added to SUNCAT will continue to be considered on a number of merits asides from membership in the UKRR.
Other possibilities which were highlighted in the meeting were that of adding the UKRR as a Contributing Library to SUNCAT or providing a UKRR “view” onto the SUNCAT catalogue. This view would include only UKRR libraries and exclude any electronic only records, making the search, discovery and checking process more efficient for the UKRR participants.
Finally, another planned SUNCAT development, involving deep-linking from holding records on SUNCAT directly to the equivalent record on the Contributing Libraries own catalogues, was also discussed. Almost all of the SUNCAT Contributing Libraries are now updating their records regularly, with the majority on a monthly basis, but linking out to records would mean the most up-to-date holdings information would be easily accessible to UKRR participants.