Having Our Cake and Eating It Too

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  • This article was downloaded by: [Tulane University]On: 06 October 2014, At: 07:59Publisher: RoutledgeInforma Ltd Registered in England and Wales Registered Number: 1072954Registered office: Mortimer House, 37-41 Mortimer Street, London W1T 3JH,UK

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    Having Our Cake and Eating ItTooRebecca T. Lenzini aa CARL CorporationPublished online: 22 Oct 2008.

    To cite this article: Rebecca T. Lenzini (1997) Having Our Cake and Eating It Too,Journal of Library Administration, 24:4, 39-48, DOI: 10.1300/J111v24n04_05

    To link to this article: http://dx.doi.org/10.1300/J111v24n04_05

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  • Having Our Cake and Eating It Too: Combining Aggregated

    and Distributed Resources

    Rebecca T. Lcnzini

    It's 3 great plcasurc to rchlrn to Oklal~oma for what is my third ycar here as a speaker. As 1 reflect on the past two years, 1 am struck by [lie spccd with which many o r o w pscdictions and discussions liavc moved forward. Consider that only two years ago, I stood in front of you to talk aboul "Trends in Documcnt Dclivery." At that time, tliougli ninny libraries were cxperimcnting, only a hantlfitl of rcscarch libnlrics hati cmbraccd tlocumctit dclivcry as a bona tide option.

    Times Iiavc changed, and cluickly. The February 1997 annual revicw issue of r l g r r i ~ r . ~ ~ r l~e Grnit? (ATG) scporls that "74%) of thc libraries (sur- vcyctl) use com~nercial documcnt delivery to f i l l Interlibrary Loans" (Lee, 16). 'l'hc Winter 1997 issue of Librnry fi.e~~cl.s dcvotcd to "Rcsourcc Sliar- ing i n a Changing 13nvironmcnt" includcs an articlc on tlic topic "Com- mercial Documcnt Suppliers: How Many of tlic ILLIDD Periodical Arliclc Rcqtmts Can They Fulfill'?" In the article the authors note tliat "In a 1994 survey of its members, thc Association of Rcscarch Libraries (ARL) found tliat 87% of thc rcspondcnts used co~imcrcial suppliers ant1 62'%, of rcspontlents rcportcd an increase in the usc of docunicnt supplicrs from the prcvious year" (Prablia S: Marsh, 553).

    Thc upward trend in tlic usc of document tlclivcry scrvices Iias contin- uctl since that survey and a growing number of rcscarch librarics have inkgratcd commcscial documcnt delivery options into their overall collcc-

    Rcbcccn 1'. Lenzini is Presitlcnt of C A R L Corporalion.

    O 1997 by 'fhc I-Inworth IJrcss, Inc. All riglrls rcscrvcd. 3 9

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  • 40 Economics of Digital Information: Collection, Storage and Delive~y

    tion management strategy, as we have heard reported at this conference over the past two years.

    Last year, my theme to this audience was one of expanding horizons, in particular, the expansion of online full text options available from a grow- ing number of industry players, including indexing and abstracting (MA) services, publishers themselves, new intermediaries and familiar faces, such as subscription agents or cataloging utilities.

    Indeed, the growth in the number and type of electronic publications since my last visit is astounding. Just two years ago, we could point to a few electronic publishing "experiments" (including TULIP and other small projects from selected STM publishers such as IOP). Even last year, we could look (as we did) at the home pages of a larger number of publishers and providers, each of whom was offering one or two journals, and perhaps one or two issues of those journals in an online environment. Most publishers and othersjust one year ago-were happy to demonstrate their prototypes and discuss them but were not ready for full scale use.

    But this year is different. I share Clifford Lynch's opinion which he expressed last fall at the Charleston Confcrcnce and which is included in the annual review issue of ATG: "In the last 18 months we'vc secn the evolution from exploratory prototypes of electronic scholarly publishing to a large corpora of electronic materials appearing packaged as actual products in the marketplace" (Lynch, 34).

    Lynch continues to describe the original nature of early pilot projects, such as TULIP, which had an underlying assumption that ". . . publishers would simply be the data providers and that the subscribing libraries or aggregating organizations like OCLC would be responsible for mounting and providing access to this content" (Lynch, 34).

    He notes that

    What we're seeing instead is publisher Web sites. The major scien- tific and technical publishers are now becoming access providers and each of them is setting up a Web site. So, the general content access arrangements that are under discussion today are about patron access to journals on such Web sites, rather than scenarios where libraries license and locally mount content for use by their patrons. (Lynch, 34)

    Lynch is right, of course, and he leads us directly into my topic for today: aggregated vs. distributed resources. Perhaps we should begin by defining these terms. By aggregated, we are not referring specifically to local loading or indeed to any particular technological approach. Rather we usually are referring to an offering from a third party or one which we

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  • crcatc oursclvcs wliicli combines rcsourccs from many suppliers to crcatc a larger si~iglc resource for our uscrs. By distributed, we mean rcsources which cxist separately in disparate locations. Publislicr offerings on indi- vidual Web sites offer a good cxamplc of tlistributcd rcsources available today.

    J L I S ~ as all aside, Ict mc state that wc as a profession consistently 11-y to see tlic world in black and white, with a "vs." in the middle. Rcmembcr the acccss "vs." owncrsliip debate of scvcral years ago? Today, we talk about acccss "co~iibi~icd" with ownersliip-virt~~al collcctions, ctc. But we've fnllen for the same trap in the aggrcgatetl "vs." distributed resources debate. My question is simple. Do wc rcally have to choosc between these options'? Or is there a combination offering which bcttcr serves all of us and our uscrs?

    Karen fluntcr oEElscvicr notes:

    . . . one of the reasons we (Elsevier) arc building ScicnccDircct is a concern ovcr tlie inhercnt incfficicncy of individual journals res id i~~g at individual Web sites . . . I think tlierc is a role for the aggregatoc the party (or parties) which pull togcthcr in one organizcd space tlie publications ofmany publislicrs. Agents would like to play tliat rolc, as would traditional online hosts such as OCLC. ScicnccDircc( is also able to function in that way. (Huntcl; 41)

    Iluntcr goes on lo summarize her idcal: "We'd like to connect f~~l l tcs t inforliialioll on our server to locally-mounted abstracting and indcxing scrviccs" (1luntc1-, 41). That is, Huntel- arid many othcrs would like to see tlic combination model which leverages tlie strcngtli of t l~c aggrcgator and tlic strcngtli of tlic publisher togctlicr.

    Clearly, Elscvicr is not the only organization to recognize this win-win co~nbi~iation. In 1997, at least five organizations (four of them subscrip- tion agcncics) will be offcririg scrviccs to address just this opportunity and nccd:

    OCLC FirstSearcli Elcctronic Collections Online (ECO), offering acccss to over 260 electronic journals, available 2nd quarter 1997. Blackwells Elcctronic Journals Navigator (EJN) with ovcr 200 jous- nals, available now (rclcnscd January 1997). Swcts~~ct with a similar ~ u ~ m b c r of.journnls, tlemonstratcd i n proto- lypc at the December 1996 CNI meeting in San Francisco and again at ALA Mitlwintcr in Washington, D.C. last month. InfoQucst fiom Dawson/Faxon, wliicli will offcr a by-now I.amiliar set ol'capabilitics.

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  • 42 Econonlics of Digital Informatiot~: Collection, Storage and Delivety

    * EBSCO will also introduce a service in this area though it was as yet unnamed as of ALA Midwinter.

    Other companies will undoubtedly introduce similar services this year, among them OVID with more extensions to its series of "collections" and CARL through DIALOGaCARL with its Uncover links and RLINICIT- ADEL partnership.

    Each of the organizations named above aims to mcet the core need of helping libraries manage their electronic subscriptions. Each will handlc, with various technical approaches, the validation of users which is required and will provide the tools to allow downloading and display of electronic publications, no matter what format is chosen. For publishers, all of these organizations, as far as I know, will either link to thc publish- er's server or will store the publisher's electronic collections as an addi- tional service.

    Why have these organizations taken the lead in this particular arena? Subscription agents see this new servicc as a natural extension of the serials subscription management services they have traditionally supplied. For its part, OCLC is looking to extend its scrvice offerings and has presented ECO as a more library oriented approach to their earlier experi- ments in electronic journals (which were more publisher oriented). All of these offerings are aimed squarely at you, the collection management professional. To quote a recent press release: "OCLC preserves the library's role in collection development by enabling libraries to subscribe to the journals of their choice directly with publishers or through thcir subscriptions agents, and then accessing the collection in one place" (If Rumors, 10).

    How will these services really work? Once the selection process is completed, the library's "subscription" to an online journal will be placed, as the OCLC press release suggests, either through an agent or directly with the publisher. Pricing will be relevant at this point, since in order to be able to place an order with an agent, pricing will need to be straightfor- ward, allowing the agent the ability to quote, invoice, collect and pay. In many cases today, pricing is at this point. Two approaches to pricing of electronic subscriptions appear to be commonly in use now: (1) the elec- tronic subscription is free providing the library maintains its paper based subscription; or (2) access to the electronic version is available for a percentage surcharge above the paper based subscription price.

    In any event, the library will need to register its electronic journal (EJ) list with the selected EJ management service. The question then becomes, how will the managcrnent service interact with the library's users? To begin, the scrvice expects the user to connect to the article index which the

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  • service has providcd to locate articles of interest. Validation occurs at various points depending on the managcmcnt service selcctcd. However, in most cascs, it appears that once the user is conncctcd to the index, he or she will be able to freely browse.

    When an articlc of intcrcst is located, the user will bc presented with options for full article delivery in various formats. If the user wishcs to display, download or print the full article, validation by the management service is invoked, typically using cither IP or password authentification, or a combination of both. Oncc this authorization is cleared, the managc- mcnt service softwarc then requests the article either from thc service's own electronic storehouse or over the network to the publisher's scrvcr or designated Ioclt' [on.

    Thc scenario works well, generally speaking, though most of the ser- vices, as noted above, are not yet in full production. There arc, however, a fcw wrinkles, among them thc establishment and maintenance of the criti- cal link between the citation and the l'ull article. Clifford Lynch has noted: "We still need to link records in A&I services to the content that's out there on those publisher web sites as this content shifts from printed to clcctronic formats. Who's going to do that?" He adds his opinion that this area represenls "a prctty hefty responsibility" (Lynch, 36).

    Karen IIuntcr has also raiscd s o ~ n c questions ahout the infrastructure investments which are required to bring the new elcctronic journal model to fruition. She notes: ". . . bodies of illformation need to be related and linkcd to onc another. We want to create secure gateways and seamless links, something more easily said than done. . . . What you'd like to be able to do is pass customers through from one system to another without having to reenter a password or a whole new authcntification procedure" (Hunter, 41).

    Both Lynch and Huntcr arc rightfully concerned about the user and the creation of a service which meets user needs. On a personal Icvcl, Ict me state that I am very supportive of thcsc ncw EJ management service offcrings, but must confess that 1 too see a fcw wrinkles. For onc thing, it appears that each of thc offcrings is managing the same set of roughly 200 titles. For another, each supplier is now introducing yet another aggregated article index as a searching and finding tool to allow the user to then request the electronic article. But users are already familiar with and may prefer other networked online I&A tools, and libraries have invested in providing support and training for these existing services. So, in reality, we need to build ~nultilaycrcd links, say from the user's favorite index to the management service's proprietary index finally to the actual article on thc publisher server, for example. The final wrinkle is the reality that thc

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  • 44 Economics of Digital Information: Collection, Storage arid Delivery

    world of electronic journals today is very small in relative terms, meaning that all these services wish to link not onlv to publishers' electronic iour- nals, but also to document suppliers, so the service can be more comilete. We have come full circle to the start of this paper: we're back to document delivery.

    At this point in the paper, however, I'd like to introduce the audience to an up and coming new buzzword for us: "Coopetition." Perhaps you have run into this word and concept before. It is relatively new and is certainly "hot" in certain industries, particularly those involving computing and technology. What exactly is "coopetition?" One definition I found says the following:

    co-op-e-ti-tion ko-ap-pe-tish-en\n (cooperation-, competition] (1991) neologism to define the act of working with others toward a common goal with the intention of competing against those same others once the goal has been attained. (Weber, 37)

    A finnier definition is offered by Bob Frankenberg, president and CEO of Novell: "You compete in the morning, mcet for lunch, and work together on a project in the afternoon. Seriously, coopetition is a way to find better solutions, to advance your company's capabilitics beyond what it could accomplish alone. The result is a bigger market for everyone" (Lucas, 15).

    When asked what makes coopetition work, Frankenberg replied: "It works because everyone involved is confident at being the best at the components they bring to the table. It's the nature of the way business is done in the computer industry today" (Lucas, 15). But coopetition is not just in use in the world of computing. Let mc offcr some examples of coopetition in our own industry. Here's a recent press release from two familiar companies:

    Blackwells and Silverplatter Information have reached an agreement to investigate systems linking and integration, in linc with the con- tinued growth of their respective electronic information delivery systems, Blackwell's Electronic Journal Navigator and Silverplat- ter's ERL (Electronic Reference Library). Blackwell's EJN launched in January 1997 for the delivery of Electronic Journals regardless of their format or location. SilverPlatter's ERL technology already pro- vides for local and wide area network distribution of secondary database information in over 500 institutions worldwide, as well as delivering Internet based subscriptions from over 15 regional servcrs worldwide including Blackwcll's own ESP (electronic subscription

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  • provider) ERL that delivers Internet subscriptions to SilvcrPlattcr databases for their UK customers in the corporate, mcdical, and academic markets. (If Rumors, 9)

    Could someone chart that series of relationships'! Wc arc no better (or worsc) at Uncover. For example: we arc preparing a release (vcry similar to the onc wc just read) which will announcc our work with Blackwell's EJN as a full-service document supplier. We have also becn approached to work with InfoQucst. We are already a docunlcnt supplier on OCLC FirstSearcli and we are in discussions about our relationship to ECO. We Iiavc worked with SilverPlatter for scvcral years and are now beginning our work with OVID. (Incidentally, UnCover does, as you know, offcr a vcry compelling suite oFUstand-alonc" collection managc~nent and docu- ment delivery serviccs.)

    To continuc though, UnCover and CARL are both owned now by KniglitRidder Information. CARL has dcsigned an aggregatcd offering named DIALOGaCARL which we believe hamesscs the power of Dialog and its imprcssive content offerings in a Wcb-based search interfacc designed specifically for library uscrs in public and academic library set- tings. Naturally, DIALOG@CARL will fcahlre links to UnCovcr, as well as to ILL.

    Now, DIALOG@CARL is a definite competitor to several of UnCov- cr's "partners," including OCLC Firstsearch, OVlD and SilverPlatter. On thc othcr hand, Blackwell's EJN will feature an article lablc of contcnts database, as will Swetsnct, OCLC ECO, InfoQuest and EBSCO's offering. These databases, thcoretically, over time, could compete with Uncover. In fact, Swetscan and Faxon Finder, which are thc article index componcnts of Swctsnct and InfoQuest, have been availablc as direct competitors to UnCover for some time. Coopetition? I think so.

    The vendor world is not thc only area for partnerships that border on coopctition. Consider the entire area oTconsortia in our market. Consoliia are appearing like mushrooms these days, either in an official or unofficial manncr. Some libraries now can legitimately claim to bc in six or ten diffcrcnt consortia, a11 of which may be considcring acquiring or licensing the samc informatiomften at different prices. Are these consortia then competitors for thcir library participants'? or collaborators?

    And Ict's add interlibrary loan to the picture. Suddenly it's as if ILL has bccn discovered. On the exhibit floor of ALA this past month, a dozen vcndors wcrc showing their ILL "solutions" or "workstations." Why is ILL "hot" with vendors? Our Product Managcr for this area at CARL hypothe- sizes that the combination of Internet access to so many library catalogs (showing us what we could be borrowing) and the continued acceptance and

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  • developinent of 239.50 based links to holdings and other data combine to make it possible for us to really reach these collections in a meaningful way, that is, to put materials in the hands of our uscrs. And as my first boss, Hugh Atkinson, advised mc as a young librarian at the Univcrsity of Illinois, "It docsn't mattcr if you have it. It only matters if you can get it."

    At the same time, the emerging IS0 standard and the growing commit- ment to that standard will create new systems and options which will allow libraries to pursue ILL agreements outside the traditional OCLC domi- natcd approach, creating morc official or unofficial sharing consortia and alternate paths to materials. Not surprisingly, unmediated ILL (patron- placed orders or transactions) is on the horizon and a growing number of vendors are creating systems and workstations which are aimed squarely at what is perceived to be a major area of opportunity within the library market. And naturally, co~mnercial document suppliers are being invited to this wholc arcna.

    What does all of this mcan to you as collection devclopcrs? Well, for one thing, it certainly means that your lives are not getting simpler. It's a VERY messy world out there. I heard the word "chaos" applied to our market just after ALA. Many professionals 1 have talked to feel oveiwhelmed by the incredible allay of choices. Heather Miller from SUNY Albany calls 1996 "The Year of MORE" in ATG's annual issuc (Miller, 21).

    It's my sense that our natural need to organize and control is working against us these days. We are frustrated by trying to bring control over something that's not controllable yet. We arc, as always, trying to elilni- nate duplication, to acquire resources at the best price.

    But these native instincts, above all others, may need to be exorcised from us. In the bottoms-up world of the Internet, control is an anathema. Wc have, I belicvc, an important ncw rule to understand: "It's OKAY to buy something several times." Said another way, "If you buy he same information three times in three different ways, but you meet user needs each time, then that's probably okay."

    Can we afford this rule? I honestly don't know. But can we afford the time and cnergy it will cost us to "de-dup" the incredible number of offerings in front of us, whether thcy arc databascs, journal articles or simply bits of online information? In his Charleston paper last fall, Clif- ford Lynch used the word "coherence" and I believe this word is descrip- tive of what we're looking for-not control but coherence (Lynch, 36).

    Because what we're trying to create is the best of all possible worlds for our uscrs. It's uscr acceptancc and satisfaction which we aim for. I recently attended the Australian Online and OnDisc meeting in Sydney. There Lyn McCullagh, Deputy University Librarian, Macquarie University Library,

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  • Rebecca 7: Le~izi~ii 4 7

    presented a paper on "Customer Needs and Service Provision." She referred to three levels of scmice in creating customer or user loyalty (and she was referring to library users and library service in this case): "must havc's," "nice to havc's" and "delightcrs," where the "delightcrs" were unexpected pleasures and were the strongest satisfiers of all.

    Lynn was an intcrcsting spcaker; though a librarian, shc adopted a number of business terms and approaches. She suggestcd that we prescnt our old products as ncw, using new terms. She encouraged us to hire staff who were customer drivcn and results oricntcd, and to directors, she said "hirc the best staff, tell them what you want and let them do it." She felt that wc nccdcd to maximize our use of technology and to offcr traditional services in what she called "more digestible and convenient forms." She and her stall' measure thcir success in customer defincd tenns-they use surveys, they monitor "repeat business," ctc. Finally, and most impor- tantly, shc admonished us on the topic of leadership. She noted that "once we get one, all we do is look for faults" (McCullagh).

    I am personally convinced that we are in a pcriod of rapid service expansion and that we have every opportunity to be very successful. Thc combination model, with aggrcgators serving as front-ends and doing the work of linking to the wealth of distributed resources, is a powerful one and can serve users well. And, we can allow users to come to the same information on their terms, not ours, even if this freedom creates a duplica- tive world for us. We can in fact create the coherent world that Clifford described. He citcd examples of the cohcrcnce of the printed journal, thc subject indcx, the library shelf. These are our models, not to repeat in the electronic world, but to reinvent.

    REFERENCES

    I-lunter, Karen, "Things that Keep Me Awake at Night," Agai~tsl rlte Grait~. February 1997, v. 9. no. I, p. 40-42.74.

    "If Rumors Were Horses," Agaitisr rhe Groiti February 1997, v. 9, no. I , p. 9 (Blackwells and SilverPlattcr Information); p. 10 (0CI.C Firstsearch Elec- tronic Collections Online).

    Lce, Barry and Judy Lee, compilers, "Against the Grain Annual Kcport Survey," Agrritisl rhe Gruiti. February 1997, v. 9, no. I . p. 16.

    Lucas. Allison, "Leading Edge." Srrles and Markcling Mutiugetnetil, August 1995 ,~ . 147,110. 8,p. 13-18,

    Lynch, Clifford, "Tcchnology and Its Implications for Serials Acquisitinns," Aguittsl [he Grain, February 1997, v. 9, no. I , p. 34-37.

    McCullagh, Lyn, "Customer Needs and Service Provision," papcr delivered at Inforination Onlinc and OnDisc 97, Eighth Australasian Conference and Exhibition, Sydncy. Australia, January 21-23, 1997.

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  • 48 Economics of Lligi/ul Infornia/ion: Colleclion, Storage and Delivery

    Miller, Heather, "A Curn~udgeonly View of the Ycar in Acquistions," Ag~irul rhe Gruirr, February 1997, v. 9, no. I , p. 2 1 .

    Prabha, Chandra and Elizabeth C . March. "Commercial Docunicnt Suppliers: How Many of the ILLIDD Periodical Article Requcsts Can They Fulfill?" Lib~.a/y T,.ends, Winter 1997, v. 45, no. 3, p. 551-568.

    Weber, Samuel, "Anatomy of 'Coopetition'," Elec~~onics. August 1991, v. 64, no. 8, p. 37-38.

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