Jan 302014

Booking is now open for this free half-day event focusing on some of the key issues in journal management – with presentations and discussion of the overarching themes and successful approaches in addressing them.

This is an opportunity to learn more about developments of EDINA activities in this area -covering the redeveloped SUNCAT (http://www.suncat.ac.uk), as well as community initiatives such as the UK LOCKSS Alliance (http://www.lockssalliance.ac.uk/) and Keepers Registry (http://thekeepers.org/), focussing on long-term access to journal content.

Join us for a lively debate and afternoon tea.

Presenters: Zena Mulligan (SUNCAT), Fred Guy (Keepers Registry, SUNCAT) and Adam Rusbridge (Keepers Registry, UK LOCKSS)

Draft Agenda

1.00 – 1.30 pm   Registration and tea/coffee

1.30 – 1.45 pm   Putting the Serials Forum and EDINA services in context

1.45 – 2.30 pm   Managing your journals – how SUNCAT can help you fulfil your ILL requests; keep your catalogue up to date and analyse your collection (including use cases; details of the redevelopment; demo of the new service, and future plans)

2.30 – 3.00 pm   Forum discussion on SUNCAT issues

3.00 – 3.30 pm   Tea/coffee and cake

3.30 – 4.15 pm   Securing continuing access to e-journal content: how EDINA’s services can help (with reference to the Keepers Registry, UK LOCKSS Alliance, and PECAN initiatives)

4.15 – 4.45 pm   Forum discussion on Keepers Registry, LOCKSS, PECAN etc. issues

4.45 – 5.00 pm   Summary and next steps


London: Monday 17th March 2014, Brunei Gallery, SOAS, near Russell Square, London
Registration and event details:

Edinburgh: Friday 21st March 2014, Main Library, University of Edinburgh
Registration and event details:

For further information about the Forum please contact the EDINA helpdesk at edina@ed.ac.uk

We look forward to seeing you in March!

 January 30, 2014  Posted by at 5:02 pm News Tagged with: , , , , ,  No Responses »
Dec 112013
Issue 11 of the SUNCAT Newsletter (December 2013) is now available on our website. It provides a round up of the SUNCAT news and developments for this year, including information about:
  • New libraries
  • The new SUNCAT platform
  • Upgrade to Aleph v.20
  • RDA and SUNCAT
  • SUNCAT’s service for the UK Research Reserve (UKRR)
  • Details of the latest surveys
  • Development of the blog
Please get in touch if you have any questions or comments about the contents.
For further information about SUNCAT please see our website, follow our news on Twitter @suncatteam,  or contact the EDINA Helpdesk at edina@ed.ac.uk
 December 11, 2013  Posted by at 3:37 pm News Tagged with:  No Responses »
Nov 062013

EDINA will have a stand at the UKSG Forum next Friday, 15th November, at 11 Cavendish Square in London. The day is focused on library discovery technologies and will provide an excellent overview of the area, with lightning talks, an exhibition area of key discovery providers and plenty of networking time. This is a free event so we would recommend registering online as soon as possible.

Adam and I will be at the EDINA stand, number 9, and happy to talk to you about EDINA services and initiatives, including SUNCAT, The Keepers Registry and also the UK LOCKSS Alliance. We will also be very pleased to give you a demo of the new look SUNCAT, so please do take a few minutes to stop by.

 November 6, 2013  Posted by at 11:31 am News, Uncategorized Tagged with:  No Responses »
Jul 302013

We very much hope that you like our new-look SUNCAT blog. This is to complement the new-look SUNCAT service which we are developing at the moment. See our ‘Developments’ blog posts for more information on what we are doing . New features of the WordPress blog include: categories assigned to each blog post; a tag cloud; recent blog post links; and a search box.

You are very welcome to subscribe to the SUNCAT blog via email using the box provided on the blog homepage, as well as set up an RSS feed using FeedBurner. If you have any comments or suggestions regarding our blog please let us know by contacting the EDINA helpdesk at edina@ed.ac.uk.

 July 30, 2013  Posted by at 1:18 pm News Tagged with:  No Responses »
Jul 292013

I attended the Umbrella 2013 Conference with a poster about the redevelopment of SUNCAT. This was my first time at the Umbrella Conference and my first chance to look around Manchester – both were very enjoyable and informative!

The poster itself, was one of a select group of only 8 posters, 5 traditional and 3 digital, and focussed on the redevelopment of SUNCAT and how it can support the journey from resource discovery to access.

Studying the SUNCAT poster


I spoke to information professionals from a wide range of libraries, including:  NHS Libraries and University Libraries from Oxford to Malta! I also spoke to delegates from Public Libraries and from more specialist organisations such as the Social Care Institute for Excellence, Statoil (an international energy company) and the Northern Ireland Assembly. Both the range of delegates to engage with and the formal sessions opened up a world beyond the field of Higher Education that I am most familiar with.

My favourite speakers had to include:

The joint session from Clinical Librarian, Victoria Treadway and Consultant, Dr Girenda Sadera on how a Librarian joined and supported the daily ward round at the Critical Care ward at Wirral University Teaching Hospital. The importance of developing a good working relationship was highlighted as critical to embedding a librarian into the multidisciplinary team of clinicians including doctors, dieticians, pharmacists and physiotherapists. Victoria went out of her way to support the team’s information needs within and out with the ward rounds. Secondly the need for very quick answers was discussed, so an iPad and a small selection of high quality evidence based resources were utilised. Although Victoria found the experience challenging at first, the support and trust of all the team have made it a very rewarding role.

Janice Lachance’s inspiring talk about her varied career from obtaining a law degree, through to working as the Director of Communications for a large US Labour Union to working alongside Bill Clinton on his cabinet and getting to fly on Air Force One. Janice’s message was not to pigeonhole ourselves too much by our past and current job titles and to look closely at the many transferrable skills information professionals possess and to branch out into other positions where these skills would be invaluable. Janice also advised informational professionals to think and act like executives and align your own and your department’s goals with the organisation’s objectives.

Geoff White, a producer with Channel 4 News also presented a fascinating session on day in the life of a newsroom and how stories to feature are selected and verified.

I can definitely recommend the conference to anyone looking to get a broad overview of what’s happening across the information profession.

Please let get in touch if you have any queries about the poster or about the redevelopment – more posts to follow on this…

 July 29, 2013  Posted by at 3:50 pm News Tagged with: , , ,  No Responses »
Jul 262013

The SUNCAT software is about to be upgraded from Aleph 500 version 18 to Aleph 500 version 20.  This will provide more functionality such as improved matching of records.

There will be no disruption to the service provided to users during the time the server is being upgraded as the service will run on another server, normally used to as a backup server.

We will not be updating SUNCAT with files from Contributing Libraries during this period but once the upgrading is complete every effort will then be made to load the accumulated backlog as quickly as possible.

Once we know when updating can recommence we will pass on that information.

 July 26, 2013  Posted by at 2:32 pm News No Responses »
Jul 032013

UK Research Reserve (UKRR), a collaborative programme between the HE sector and the British Library (BL), aims to preserve research material for the community and build up a national research collection in a time of rapid change. By de-duplicating low-use research material together, UKRR members (29 HEIs, led by Imperial College London, details can be found on UKRR’s website: http://www.ukrr.ac.uk/what/default.aspx) are able to dispose of print journals and repurpose newly available space to better meet local demands, without losing access to the content. So far, UKRR members have released more than 70km of shelf space, or 10,700 square metres, and it is estimated that more than £21m capital savings and £8m estate management costs have been achieved.

The HE-BL partnership is supported by the Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE). It started with an 18-month pilot phase which proved the concept and set the foundation for the programme. Its success resulted in HEFCE’s further investment of £10m to expand the scheme nationally and to encourage more HEIs to take part. UKRR has been further awarded an extension of 12 months to January 2015; it enables us to de-duplicate more material, improve our data, and explore potential opportunities.

The collaborative and coordinated approach we have adopted aims to identify one ‘access copy’ (normally held by the British Library) and two preservation copies distributed amongst the membership. To achieve this, one of the processes we put in place is called scarcity checking (i.e. a process designed to determine if an item offered by one member is available elsewhere within the membership, and if so, at which institutions ), and the collaboration with EDINA helps streamline work flow and save time and staff resources required in the process. Initially, the scarcity checking was conducted by each member institution as they offered holdings to UKRR for de-duplication. It was time consuming and prone to errors and inaccuracy.

A successful pilot was run between the University of Edinburgh (one of UKRR members) UKRR and EDINA. EDINA developed a script which triggered an automatic process to accept a file of records submitted by a UKRR member for searching against the whole SUNCAT database and the local catalogues of the two UKRR libraries which are not SUNCAT Contributing Libraries. This collaboration has contributed to the quality of the data we process, helped reduce associated risks and significantly reduced the time required for checking in member libraries. As a result we have more reliable data to base our final de-duplication decisions on.

UKRR’s work with its partners is key to the programme’s success, and such collaborations further demonstrate synergies that can be created when the community work together. We value the work that EDINA has done for us, and we look forward to continuing working with EDINA and to bringing benefits and values to the community.

Daryl Yang, UKRR Manager

Jun 072013
Whilst it is the norm for services such as SUNCAT to carry out an annual survey (reports are here) of users and their use of the service, it is also most important for those running such services to be aware of how users (actual and potential) approach resource discovery generally.  The report entitled UK Survey of Academics 2012 ,funded by Jisc and RLUK and carried out by Ithaka S+R, is therefore of considerable interest.  The report details the findings from a survey of a sample of UK academic staff with just under 3,500 responses received.
One chapter, of particular significance from a SUNCAT perspective, is that entitled Providing materials to academics: formats and sources.  One most interesting finding is:
“In the case of journal collections, about half of all respondents–slightly more in the arts and humanities than in other fields–strongly agreed that they “often would like to use journal articles that are not in [their] library’s print or digital collections.”
Given that SUNCAT’s principal raison d’être is to provide information on the serials’ holdings (print and digital) of major research libraries (there are currently 90 Contributing Libraries) this makes welcome reading.  Of some worry, though, is the response that, when locating information at the outset of research:
“Overall, the largest share of respondents–about 40%–indicated that they begin their research processes at a general purpose search engine on the internet or world wide web. A slightly smaller share–about one-third of respondents–indicated that they begin their research at a specific electronic research resource/computer database. A relatively smaller share–slightly less than 15% each–of respondents reported starting with an online library catalogue or a national or international catalogue or database”.  (p.21)
For a service such as SUNCAT it is vital for all potential users to know it exists and what facilities it provides.  SUNCAT is assisted in alerting users to the existence of the service by information provided on institutional websites and EDINA is very grateful to the many institutions who have promoted the service in this way.  To assist library staff, a leaflet outlining specific ways some organisations had promoted the service was distributed in 2011 and proved to be a useful source of information.  We will be looking anew at the information in the leaflet and updating it where appropriate.  We will also be looking at other ways of promoting the service and bringing it to the attention of potential users and would, of course, welcome any suggestions on ways we might consider.
There was another response in the report of considerable interest to SUNCAT.
Roughly 3 out of 5 respondents indicated that they often or occasionally use library-provided inter-library loan or document delivery services to access journal articles and monographs. (p.39)
The importance of serving inter-library loan staff has long been recognised.  In the recent survey for the provision of feedback on the new interface  there were requests for the inclusion of British Library Codes and email addresses.  BL Codes will be made available in the initial release of the service and it is hoped to provide the email addresses in a future release of the software.
The report, therefore, is of much interest to SUNCAT.  Whilst it does reinforce some of the reasons for the establishment of the service in the first place, it also is a prompt to us to review our promotional activities to try and ensure that all who might have reason to use the service know about its existence.
 June 7, 2013  Posted by at 3:34 pm News Tagged with:  No Responses »
Jun 062013

The SUNCAT team were very happy to attend this year’s excellent UKSG Annual Conference in Bournemouth. We hope that those of you who attended were able to visit the SUNCAT stand and try out our new interface!

Team members Paula Cuccurullo and Celia Jenkins have summarised some of the plenaries and breakouts they attended for the official UKSG conference blog.

You can still take a look at the new-look SUNCAT. Let us have your feedback via edina@ed.ac.uk. The new service is still in development so please continue to use the current SUNCAT as your primary service.

 June 6, 2013  Posted by at 2:44 pm News Tagged with:  No Responses »
Jun 062013

The SUNCAT team will be attending the 36th Annual UKSG Conference to be held in Bournemouth next week, from Monday 8th April until Wednesday 10th April.

UKSG “exists to connect the knowledge community and encourage the exchange of ideas on scholarly communication. It is the only organisation spanning the wide range of interests and activities across the scholarly information community of librarians, publishers, intermediaries and technology vendors”.

We shall be attending a variety of sessions, including ‘Discoverability in the digital age’, ‘How libraries are changing to meet student needs’, ‘Making metrics meaningful’ and ‘Simplifying the search experience’.
Two members of the SUNCAT team, Paula Cuccurullo and Celia Jenkins, will be contributing to the UKSG blog. You can also follow SUNCAT at the conference on Twitter @suncatteam, as well as follow the event in general @uksg, with the conference hashtag being #uksglive.
In addition, Fred Guy, SUNCAT Service Manager, along with Adam Rusbridge of EDINA will be giving a breakout session on ‘E-journals and long term availability: an overview and panel discussion on the archiving infrastructure to meet the needs of users.’ It looks to be an exciting conference, as always!
SUNCAT will be on the EDINA stand (number 26) at the conference exhibition, covering all breaks. Please come along and see us if you’re attending. We will be previewing the new-look SUNCAT, answering any questions you may have about SUNCAT, as well as telling you about other EDINA services.
 June 6, 2013  Posted by at 2:32 pm News Tagged with:  No Responses »