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WGC Minutes - June 11, 2003

Attending: James Alberts, David Banush, Roswitha Clark, Nancy Holcomb, Linda Miller, Margaret Nichols (chair), Jean Pajerek, Lois Purcell, Nathan Rupp, Cecilia Sercan, Pam Stansbury, Zoe Stewart-Marshall, Marijo Wilson, Iris Wolley (recorder)


We welcomed James Alberts, the new Assistant Librarian at the Sidney Cox Library of Music and Dance, to the group.

E-Journal Maintenance Task Force Final Report - David Banush

David chairs this Task Force and other members include Jean Pajerek, Nathan Rupp and Scott Wicks. This report submitted to TSEG, April 25, 2003 concerns the second and third phases of the task force's charge. Phase one was addressed in a preliminary report, to TSEG of October 31, 2002 and is available to view via the StaffWeb at:

Highlights of the report:

Consistently coordinated or comprehensive maintenance is not done to e-journals. Updates come about almost exclusively through user or public services reports of problems. There are some aggregator collections that are maintained outside of CTS as time permits. Only the ProQuest Aggregator records are routinely maintained and this is done manually.

Several strategies for e-journal maintenance have been considered by the Task Force. It is a given that no solution will satisfy all library stakeholders. The one given most attention is an automation-rich strategy. This recommended e-journal maintenance relies on using separate records for all electronic versions of a title with the exception of U.S. federal government documents.

  • The first step of this solution involves an automated process to clean up bibliographic records that represent multiple versions of a resource on a single record (mulver records). The cleaned up records would then describe only the physical item. New records for the electronic-only versions would be automatically generated and loaded into the Voyager database. The records will be vendor-supplied full MARC records or records generated in CUL based on metadata from extended sources. All electronic resources will be identified with a special statistics code to allow identification and extraction from the database. Extraction of the records will enrich the title list of electronic resources and make them known to users.
  • An up-front investment in librarian and programmer time is needed to make this strategy work. But it is thought that this method would make the process of e-journal maintenance simple and efficient over time. End users will benefit by more enhanced service as the maintenance becomes more routine and more comprehensive. ProQuest maintenance will be automated as well and this will further enhance long-term gains in productivity. Moreover, ProQuest records will have URLs linking directly to the title of the journal within the database, a major improvement over the current situation.
  • There are drawbacks, both locally and nationally, with this strategy. There will be multiple records in the CUL catalog representing the same title. This has implications for both public services and users. CONSER has devised a national policy in which a single separate record represents all electronic manifestations of a title. While it is good to follow national strategies, the Task Force thinks that the benefits of their recommended strategy will far exceed the costs, drawbacks and benefits of other methods. TSEG supports the Task Force recommendation.

The recent decision to use MARCIVE supplied MARC records for U.S. federal government documents will benefit the Library and users. This MARCIVE service provides records for government e-journals covered by the depository program. There are complications using these records and the Task Force recommends use of the single record (mulver record) for these items. While this is inconsistent with the multiple record concept for non-governmental e-journals, it is the best approach at this time. In the short-term the impact on users will lessen as the federal government moves to exclusive electronic distribution for almost all government publications.

There will be a small amount of records that will not be maintained by automated means. These will receive manual maintenance on a passive basis. Individual titles from selectors will continue to be added using established means. Maintenance for those will also occur when users or public services discover problems. This type of maintenance is a continuation of what is currently being done, but it will not represent such a substantial amount of labor as in the past.

To read the details of the E-Journal Maintenance Task Force Final Report, go to: Click on the title to open the Word document.

Other business

The remainder of the meeting included member plans for attendance at ALA Annual 2003 meetings.

Submitted by Iris Wolley