Academic journal article Library Technology Reports

Chapter 4: Electronic Resource Management Systems and Related Products

Academic journal article Library Technology Reports

Chapter 4: Electronic Resource Management Systems and Related Products

Article excerpt

Abstract

ERMS software is available to help with electronic resource management, but each system and company provides a different option. Chapter 4 of Library Technology Reports (vol. 50, no. 3) "Electronic Resource Management Systems: A Workflow Approach" covers some of the major available ERMS products, including vendor ILS add-ons and standalone systems, open source options, and home-grown development The chapter also provides an overview of library service platforms and a brief discussion of how the ERMS impacts other library software such as discovery interfaces, ILS systems, link resolvers, and interlibrary loan software.

This chapter is intended to highlight a few of the major ERM systems available to libraries at the time of this writing. It is by no means comprehensive and should not be taken as the final word on any of these systems or vendors. Described below are a few of the major products and vendors available for vendor ERMSs, open-source systems, and the newly available library service platforms. It is important to keep an open mind when evaluating products. All the products in this chapter have changed and improved significantly even during the writing of this report and will continue to do so. While I do not have direct experience with each product, I have tried to interview librarians and libraries that use each of these and to incorporate some of their (anonymous) comments, as well as literature reviews and case studies, into this chapter. Several of these vendors have both an individual stand-alone ERMS and a library service platform; both are discussed here, but in separate sections.

Vendor Systems

The following ERMSs are all available from commercial providers. Many of these systems are from well-known library software vendors. This is intended to be a brief overview of some of the available options for electronic resource management. It is not an exhaustive list or a complete review of any of these products.

EBSCO ERM Essentials

EBSCO is one of the major library vendors of both software and content. It provides journal aggregator services but also has subscription databases that can be independently licensed. EBSCO has been expanding its software for managing electronic resources into a complete software suite, including software management, content, and a single search discovery platform.

EBSCO is well known for its journal aggregation software, EBSCONET, which comes with its journal subscription management service. The software allows easily adding new titles to subscriptions, as well as traditional journal processes like managing claims and looking up information on journal subscriptions and history. An additional service can also incorporate usage statistics for journals into the system, allowing EBSCO to consolidate COUNTER statistics information for journal subscriptions. This allows EBSCO to generate cost-per-use information for each subscription within the tool, as well as to create larger aggregating reports.

EBSCO's stand-alone ERM tool, ERM Essentials, is a newer entry into the ERM arena, but the company is well positioned to offer such a service by building on its extensive content metadata and relationships and subscription management information and expertise. EBSCO ERM Essentials consists of a knowledge base, an A-Z list, and a link resolver, as well as some reporting functionality. EBSCO can field a knowledge base with journal and publisher information for any of the journals it offers through its subscription service. In addition, since EBSCO is also a content database publisher, there are presumably certain synergies available in the data. EBSCO A-to-Z will generate a list of journals included in subscriptions, pulling holdings availability information and links from the knowledge base. The EBSCO link resolver product, LinkSource, is also new, but it is integrated into EBSCO ERM Essentials.

EBSCO ERM Essentials

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