Jun 062013

We’ve been blogging about the new look SUNCAT for a few months now, giving you a look at the new homepage, some background on the technical architecture and also some idea of the new features which will be available. However, we now hope to let you have a preview of the new service itself!

The current service will continue as the primary service until further notice, but you can check out the redeveloped service from 8th April when we preview it at the UKSG Conference (Bournemouth 8-10 April). We will let you know the url on the day and from then on we would encourage you to take a look, experiment and let us have your feedback, good and bad! The service is still in development so the more feedback we can gather at this point the better.

If you are attending UKSG, please come along to the EDINA stand 26 and we will be happy to demo the service for you and answer your questions in person. However, we would also encourage you to let us know what you think or if you have any questions or suggestions via the EDINA helpdesk at edina@ed.ac.uk.

 June 6, 2013  Posted by at 2:10 pm News Tagged with: , ,  No Responses »
Feb 072013

On Monday, 4th February, one of the SUNCAT Project Officers kicked off the Twitter Takeover of the Voices for the Library (@VoicesLibrary) in the run-up to National Libraries Day on Saturday, 9th February. Check out Twitter for #nld13 to see what libraries across the UK are doing.

To give a bit of background:
Voices for the Library (@ukpling) describes itself as “Publicising the Public Library Services in the UK and the work librarians do.” Their sister Twitter account is @VoicesLibrary, which has a “new librarian every day”. As described in an earlier blog post, a call was put out on the LIS-PROFESSION mailing list, asking for librarians from all walks of life who would be willing to talk about where they work, and what makes it so special. Natasha Aburrow-Jones (@TashaAJ), the SUNCAT bibliographic Project Officer, was selected to kick off a week of diverse librarians talking about their roles (others include a museum librarian, a public librarian, an art librarian, an NHS librarian and a University librarian).

Natasha says:
“I applied to be one of the Voices for the Library in the run-up to National Libraries Day as I wanted to tell everyone what a fantastic service SUNCAT is, and how the team behind it are so dedicated to their work. I also wanted to point out that SUNCAT is not merely a librarian’s tool – it’s available for anyone (everyone!) to use.
I was somewhat surprised / most honoured to be selected to be the first Voice; I presumed that my role was so specialised, that it wouldn’t have great appeal to everyone. However, that presumption seems to have been blown out of the water with the comments I’ve received since undertaking the #TwitterTakeover!”

Over the course of the working day, Natasha issued 42 tweets, mainly covering the work that lies behind SUNCAT, to show what happens during the average SUNCAT day. This included talking about the range of libraries that contribute data to SUNCAT, the continual updating of the database, the “Weird and Wonderful” titles found in SUNCAT (and are blogged about thematically), data munging, ease of searching SUNCAT and what a timesaver it is, etc. She also mentioned the new interface that SUNCAT will be having in the near future.

A Storify made up of the tweets has been put together, and can be found here:
You can look at the tweets as they happened, and the responses.

There was much re-tweeting, spreading as far as Sweden, the United States and Australia. It also meant new followers for both @TashaAJ and @suncatteam. Comments included:
(On the new SUNCAT interface) “Wow, that looks very different. I rely on SUNCAT to identify libraries to source articles for ILL requests.”
“Are you doing a “Weird & wonderful” libraries SUNCAT post for National Libraries Day?” – we are now! The post will be put up on Friday, in time for National Libraries Day on the 9th February.
“I’ve never used SUNCAT so I learnt a lot!”

 February 7, 2013  Posted by at 11:58 am News Tagged with: , ,  No Responses »
Feb 042013

You may have seen a recent call on LIS-PROFESSION for a call for a Twitter takeover of the Voices for the Library account to celebrate National Libraries Day on the 9th February. The call said:
What do Librarians actually do? As part of National Libraries Day, we want to celebrate librarians of all shapes and sizes. A librarian a day will take over our sister account @ukpling and share their experiences of working in the library and information profession.

Well, you might be interested to know that the first Twitter takeover on Monday 4th February will be none other than @TashaAJ – normally known as Natasha Aburrow-Jones, the SUNCAT Bibliographic Project Officer.

@VoicesLibrary said it best:
Interested in finding out more about what goes on at SUNCAT Union Serial Catalogue? Our first tweeter for #nld13 is @TashaAJ. Starts 4/2/13

Feel free to follow either @VoicesLibrary and/or @TashaAJ and see what goes on in the SUNCATteam!

 February 4, 2013  Posted by at 9:10 am News Tagged with: , ,  No Responses »
Feb 042013

SUNCAT is sending out a survey to Contributing Libraries on Monday, 4thFebruary, to discuss what the libraries are doing with regards to the adoption of RDA (Resource Description Access), the new cataloguing rules that are due to replace AACR2 (Anglo-American Cataloguing Rules, 2nd edition).  The results will help with integrating RDA into SUNCAT, for example, in adding new MARC21 codes for display, new indexing routines, etc. The analysis of the answers will also form the basis of a paper that has been accepted for publication in Alexandria: the journal of national & international library and information issues (0955-7490), in a special RDA-themed issue.

We would be very grateful if our Contributing Libraries completed this survey. We are happy to receive more than one questionnaire from any given Contributing Library, as there may be different answers from different departments, etc. The survey will be open for 3 weeks.
 February 4, 2013  Posted by at 8:54 am News Tagged with: ,  No Responses »
Dec 172012

Issue 10 of the SUNCAT Newsletter(December 2012) is now available. It includes information about:

  • New libraries on SUNCAT
  • Redevelopment of SUNCAT
  • SUNCAT’s involvement in Open/Linked data project work
  • SUNCAT and RDA
  • SUNCAT’s service for the UK Research Reserve (UKRR)
  • Details of the latest user satisfaction survey
  • How to integrate SUNCAT into your library website and services
  • The Keepers Registry
For further information about SUNCAT please see our website, follow our news on Twitter  or contact the EDINA helpdesk at edina@ed.ac.uk.
SUNCAT is the Serials Union Catalogue for the UK. Visit the service at http://www.suncat.ac.uk or the SUNCAT blog at http://suncatblog.blogspot.com
 December 17, 2012  Posted by at 10:08 am News Tagged with:  No Responses »
Nov 122012

Last year we asked you about your use of SUNCAT. We thank all of you who responded to this survey, the results have fed back into the service and we are using your comments to inform the redevelopment of the SUNCAT interface. This year we are asking some slightly different questions and value any responses we receive so that we can continue to evaluate and develop SUNCAT to meet our users’ needs and expectations.

The survey has 10 questions and should take less than 10 minutes to complete. We would not only appreciate your comments but would also encourage you to circulate the survey details as widely as possible, to library staff and particularly to end-users.

Thank you in anticipation!

SUNCAT is the Serials Union Catalogue for the UK. Visit the service at http://www.suncat.ac.uk.
 November 12, 2012  Posted by at 1:09 pm News Tagged with:  No Responses »
Jul 172012
The Discovery programme takes forward the Vision of the earlier JISC and RLUK Resource Discovery Taskforce (RDTF) which has been working with partners from the libraries, archives and museums since 2010. EDINA, as a JISC designated National Data Centre, has significant existing operating capacity and experience in delivering key aspects of the Digital Infrastructure, including shared services, which provide cost-effective delivery of national services to a broad UK HE/FE constituency.   EDINA fully supports the Resource Discovery Task Force vision and is a signatory to the Discovery Open Metadata Principles.  SUNCAT is a key part of the UK Digital Infrastructure and has been involved in initiatives under the Discovery banner

SUNCAT: exploring open metadata ran from February 2011 to July 2011.  This project sought to determine what must be done to extend access to the catalogue, including holdings’ information, and explored what may be done within the project timescales. It looked at:

  • exploration of licensing issues
  • establishing or validating existing use cases
  • mechanisms for providing open access
A XSLT (Extensible Stylesheet Language Transformation) was developed and the code is here.
This work included developing a mapping of holdings’ information and this documentdescribes the work which was carried out. 
Further funding was supplied for a follow up project entitled, DiscoverEDINA,to run from 1st December 2011 to 31st July 2012 .  One of the three components of this project is further enhancement of the SUNCAT work carried out in the first project. 
An overview of the licensing issues is provided in the DiscoverEDINA Blog and can be updated with the information that a licence has just been signed by Glasgow University.  Work is currently underway to transform the data for the libraries which have signed the licence using the XSLT transformation developed in the SUNCAT: exploring open metadata project.
SUNCAT is the Serials Union Catalogue for the UK. Visit the service at http://www.suncat.ac.uk or the SUNCAT blog at http://suncatblog.blogspot.com
 July 17, 2012  Posted by at 11:34 am News Tagged with: , ,  No Responses »
Apr 162012

The latest SUNCAT Benefits and Impact Survey Report is now available. The report highlights:

– How the service is being used
– How SUNCAT benefits users
– The current level of satisfaction with the service
– How users would like to see SUNCAT develop

Comments from respondents include:

“There are so many search options which you can use, it just makes my job so much easier!”

“If not for Suncat I would spend a lot of my time trying to locate material”

“More than my work taking longer, the quality of my work (catalogue records) would be lower”

“It’s easy to use, has a broad scope of materials held, and is very simple to use. I recommend it to students as well as library staff.”

For any questions about the report or SUNCAT in general please contact the EDINA helpdesk at edina@ed.ac.uk.

 April 16, 2012  Posted by at 1:47 pm News Tagged with: ,  No Responses »
Mar 222012

The SUNCAT team will be attending the UKSG Annual Conference in Glasgow next week, from Monday 26th March until Wednesday 28th March.
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”.
Follow the conference through the UKSG blog at http://uksglive.blogspot.co.uk/ and on the Twitter hashtag #uksg

The 35th Annual Conference is being held at the Scottish Exhibition Conference Centre in Glasgow. We shall be attending sessions covering interesting subjects such as the SCARLET Project: special collections in the age of the app, and Digging for the unknown known: practices and promises around journal article mining.
It looks to be an exciting conference!

SUNCAT will be on the EDINA stand (number 32) covering all breaks. Please come along and see us if you’re attending. It would be lovely to talk to you about SUNCAT and other EDINA services.

 March 22, 2012  Posted by at 11:38 am News Tagged with:  No Responses »
Feb 022012

It is National Libraries Day this Saturday (4th February). Celebrate and support libraries of all kinds by visiting them and using the services they provide. SUNCAT now contains serials records of 82 academic, research and National libraries, and this number is growing. Take a look at our Contributing Libraries map to see where they are located and for their contact details. Follow what libraries near you are doing by checking out these hashtags on Twitter: #LoveLibraries; #SaveLibraries; #NLD12.

 February 2, 2012  Posted by at 2:30 pm News Tagged with:  No Responses »