We maintain a high research profile within the library and information sector, leading or contributing to a number of national projects intended to improve the management of eResources and the measurement of their usage. The services that we are developing will not only help us to ensure that delivery of our own resources remains customer focused, meeting real demand and creating value for money, but will also be of similar benefit to the wider library community both nationally and internationally.

Our recent research projects include:

Knowledge Base+ (KB+)

HEFCE has invested £600,000 in the creation of a shared service knowledge base which is intended to help UK academic libraries manage their eResource collections more efficiently. Called Knowledge Base+ (KB+), it holds data relating to the licensing and subscription packages of electronic publications in a central location, data which, in the past, has been stored and managed locally with considerable duplication of effort across the sector.

[Partners: JISC, MIMAS, Cranfield University]

Enhanced Transfer Alerting Service (ETAS)

Given the vast numbers of electronic journals to which academic libraries subscribe, it can be difficult for staff to keep up-to-date with frequent changes in their ownership. When a publisher sells a title to another company, often without much notice, not only does the way in which the content is accessed change but there may also be financial implications when the subscription is renewed. Without being able to track these changes or receive timely notification of them, library services can potentially become disrupted.

Although a basic Transfer Alerting Service (TAS) was created some time ago, we have helped to develop the original service to enable publishers to submit transfer notifications to a searchable database. This tool should improve communication from publishers to libraries in the future, and increased awareness should help the latter to minimise breaks in service to customers as well.

[Partners: UKSG, MIMAS, JISC, Cranfield University]

Institutional Repository Usage Statistics (IRUS)

Following our prior involvement in the Publisher and Institutional Repository Usage Statistics (PIRUS2) project, which successfully demonstrated that it is feasible to create, record and consolidate usage statistics at article level from a wide range of repositories and publishers, we are now contributing to the JISC-funded IRUS-UK. This new aggregation service will enable the owners of participating institutional repositories (IRs) in the UK to share standardised usage statistics which will provide evidence of their value and impact nationwide. The database will also record all content downloaded from participating IRs to enable comparisons with publisher usage data.

[Partners: MIMAS, Cranfield University, EvidenceBase]

Journal Usage Statistics Portal (JUSP)

JUSP collates the usage data of over 40 subscription databases produced by journal publishers and intermediaries and provides a single gateway for libraries to view, download and analyse customised reports of their customers’ usage of those services. It is already in use by nearly 150 libraries and creates significant cost and resource savings for them because they no longer need to collect and collate usage data from each provider individually. It is therefore an excellent example of a maturing shared service which is helping the library community as a whole to respond to current financial challenges.

[Partners: JISC, MIMAS, Cranfield University, EvidenceBase]