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Category — Visits

Ebsco Information Day

On Wednesday, May 13th I was fortunate enough to attend an EBSCO Information Day at the very picturesque venue, Birmingham Botanical Gardens. Over the cries of the resident peacock, I got the chance to hear about some of the developments at EBSCO and librarians from DeMontford University shared their experience of moving over to EBSCO as their main subscription agent.

The day started with an overview of EBSCO, their different sections and their road map for the future, it was interesting to hear about the different areas and how this knowledge and experience could provide libraries with a complete approach to managing subscriptions and resources, from purchase, access, authentication, cancellations etc.

During the morning they talked about new services they were developing to help libraries manage their e-resources subscription information; ‘electronic subscription management’ and  ‘e-journal package management’ – to help maintain the large journal package deals. They then demonstrated their new federated search tool ‘EBSCO Integrated search’

In looking for effective ways of managing the information related to e-resource subscriptions I think it is important to understand the context of the data in relation to the other systems within the workflow and therefore integration is key, unfortunately I didn’t get a chance to question what was the level of integration  between the e-subscription database and other databases, for example if you took a subscription that included online access would that be recorded with the pint subscription details and then again in the e-resource database?

We did however get the opportunity to see a demo of their ‘Integrated Search’ product, which I think builds on established user interface. They have been able to learn from other federated search tools and minimise the complexity of the search by providing less of a learning curve for users of EBSCO products as they are in a familiar environment and can navigate the results in a similar way.

While they were keen to highlight some of the negative comments regarding competitor federated search tools I was not however clear how their product resolved some of the fundamental issues with regards to federated searching.  The speed of the search and reliability depends on the connectors with the other databases as is the case with all federated search engines.

I was interested to see what they were bringing to the market, I think the competitive price  are appealing, EBSCO are in a great position of also being publishers therefore you could choose to get a number of your databases via them, the disadvantages however are the lack of flexibility as you are not hosting the system, the reliance on the company – you could be using them not only to purchase the resource but also to provide it.

June 8, 2009   No Comments