Dear EBSCOhost

Dear EBSCOhost:

For the past four years, our campus has used Ex Libris’ SFX as our link resolver. We also license many, many EBSCOhost databases (our students love your interface!) so having EBSCOhost integrate well with SFX is a huge priority for us. Unfortunately, EBSCOhost’s holdings format does not work well with SFX and the openURL format.

Here’s an example that a student let me know about just last week:

Author: Lintner,, Timothy
Article Title: The Savage and the Slave: Critical Race Theory, Racial Stereotyping, and the Teaching of American History
Journal: Journal of Social Studies Research
Volume: 28
Issue: 1
Year: 2004
Pages: 27-32
ISSN: 0885-985X
OpenURL: of Social Studies Research&volume=28&issue=1&date=20040301&atitle=The Savage and the Slave: Critical Race Theory, Racial Stereotyping, and the Teaching of American History&aulast=Lintner, Timothy&spage=27&pages=27-32&sid=EBSCO:ERIC&pid=

The holdings available in SFX for this title are: $obj->parsedDate(“>=”,2004,undef,undef) (which translates to: available from 2004). This format (year only) would be great if all your publisher agreements started in January of each year, but that’s not the reality. The actual holdings for the EBSCOhost full text for the title above are: 09/01/2004 to present. So, anytime one of our users wants an article from v.28, no.1 (March 2004) they are going to be extremely frustrated. I manually edited the holdings for this title (so if you try the openURL above the holdings look perfect) and all titles that students encounter problems with, but there are thousands of titles and I simply do not have the time to edit each and every one of them.

I don’t understand why you can’t send metadata to Ex Libris  that includes volume, issue, and year for your journal holdings. I’m posting this message to my blog in the hopes that other librarians are wondering the same thing.  Please let me know if there is anything I can do to facilitate a resolution.

Sincerely yours,

Jen Holman


December 15, 2009. Tags: , , . News, Subscriptions. Leave a comment.

GetTeXt Menu Updates

Our GetText menu targets (the links to the full text, library catalog, etc.) are incredibly confusing.  In talking with one of our insightful student workers at the reference desk today about this confusion, I realized that if I split our z39.50 library catalog target in two (one for ISBN look-up and one for ISSN look-up), I could simplify the language used to describe the target.

So, this message that once had to serve for both books and journals:

old target

gets split into a message for journals (still a confusing message as the z39.50 search is linking at an ISSN level and isn’t checking whether we actually have holdings or not, but moving in the right direction):

new journal note

The journal target will also always display with the ILLiad link as many times the journal article requested will either be prior or after our actual holdings.

and a new target for books:

Next on my list…manipulating Wiley journal use statistics.

December 1, 2009. News. Leave a comment.