September 24, 2013 Meeting of Content Access Policy & Technology (CAPT)

Time and Location of Meeting

September 24, 20133:30 pm - 5:00 pm Main Library, Room 428

Agenda Details


Agenda not yet available.

Minutes Details


Sarah Shreeves, Bill Mischo, Beth Woodard, Jim Dohle, Jenny Johnson, Jenny Emanuel Taylor, Sue Searing, Michael Norman, Lynn Wiley, Tom Teper, Beth Namachchivaya


Digital Collections Management

The Digital Collections Access and Repository Working Group is experiencing an increase of requests for the Library to take stewardship of digital collections (either already created or to be created) that fall outside of currently established operations, such as those of Digital Content Creation and Preservation. Setting aside the appropriateness of the collections (which is a separate consideration) these collections can require significant storage or preservation attention, many times have specific access or delivery needs, cannot be easily absorbed into normal workflows, and may have long term sustainability issues. The Digital Repository Advisory Committee has discussed forming a Digital Collections Advisory Group which would meet on an as-needed basis to assess the feasibility of proposals that do not constitute “business as usual”.

Given that we estimate a growth need of 16 TB  for the Medusa Repository every six months for known projects and have a limited number of IT staff  and preservation staff to support preservation activities and access systems, we believe we need to have a set of criteria for taking in new digital content that has significant storage or preservation needs, requires specific software for access or delivery, has potential sustainability issues, and/or cannot be easily absorbed into normal workflows.

The Committee discussed the need to develop guidelines/checklist that selectors use when evaluating whether or not the Library ought to consider providing a home for external digital collections:

Metadata: Is there sufficient existing metadata for access to the collection?  At what level of granularity is metadata needed, and at what level does it now exist?  How much and what kind of effort would be required to create or enrich existing metadata to make the collection accessible?

Format:  In what format(s) does the collection exist?  How have other institutions supported this or other common formats for this content? What is required for the Library to support this format?

Access:  Is the request to dark archive or make the collection accessible?  If the objective is to provide access, what are the access requirements–e.g. what systems, permissions, etc.?

IP issues?

Infrastructure:  Digital content requires sustained access, which includes not only an access and discovery system, but underlying storage and curation of “master” versions of the content.  What kind and how much storage is required for this content?

Sarah Shreeves agreed to draft a charge for a Digital Collections Advisory Group–include membership from CDC and Digital Repository Advisory Committee.

Group charge to include these points:

  • Develop a set of guidelines for assessing whether or not the Library has the capability to take in and provide sustained support for digital collections
  • Identify common needs for infrastructure, software, staffing, and foundation needs in the Library to support digital collections, and communicate these to the Digital Repository Advisory Committee on an ongoing basis.
  • Make recommendation to selector(s) and other individuals/groups in the Library about whether or not to add proposed digital collections

Web-scale implementation (Jenny Emanuel Taylor and Michael Norman)

Michael Norman summarized the work of the Web Scale Implementation Group over the past 15-18 months, as described in the executive summary the group provided by email prior to the meeting.  Primo has been available in the Library for over a year now.  It combines indices for Online catalog, SFX knowledgebase, IDEALS, CONTENTdm, and LibGuides.  There are a number of positive takeaways from the Library’s experience with the Primo implementation, but the group feels there are some significant issues with the current implementation that prevent the group from recommending that Primo be designated as a production discovery and access service for the Library.  The group articulated pro’s and con’s of Primo, and discussed potential next steps.


Comprehensive –in size and depth of coverage

Exact title phrase searches work quite well

Primo is a viable interface to the online catalog

Upwards of half of the CIC institutions are using Primo and/or implementing Alma–this gives the Library a powerful cohort of institutions that can influence Primo development directions


Poor results for keywrd searches or searches that mix fields from title, author, subject and/or publication dates

Default full-text search produces unmanageably large and non-precise search results

Primo search algorithms and relevance rankings are inadequate, and group finds they are not as robust as those supported by other vendors

It is not possible to effectively incorporate EBSCO data into Primo search results; many users prefer to use specific EBSCO databases for subject-based research, and Primo simply cannot incorporate these search results into its Primo Central index

Scopus data is poorly incorporated into Primo, although this is improving incrementally

Primo poorly supports topical undergraduate research, and is not being used in library instruction for most of the undergraduate instruction sessions

The Library is nearing capacity in supporting its Primo hosted implementation of 6-7 million records.  This adversely impacts indexing of records, thereby negatively impacting user access and system performance

Concluding points:

What would greatly simplify user access to content, and their ability to integrate it into research and learning?  There doesn’t appear to be a straightforward answer to this question.  Primo clearly doesn’t address all user access needs.

What could the Library improve in current system usability that would also benefit web-scale discovery efforts?  e.g., improve SFX user-facing functionality

The Library has focused heavily on discovery and access–that drives up usage, compared to other peer research libraries, and consequently it drives increased expectations.


Appoint Discovery System RFP Task Force:

Membership:  Susan Avery or Sarah Williams chair;  Kirstin Dougan, Michael Norman, Jenny Emanuel Taylor, Jim Dohle or Robert Slater; Resource person:  Kathie Veach

Form 5-6 small groups to work on specific areas of search and discovery which feeds into

  • Organize Library-wide feedback
  • White paper submitted to UL and CAPT in early October

WAG Question/Proposal

Web Advisory Group would like to refer a question regarding links to serials in the online catalog.  WAG really needs to refer this to a different group, one that works on catalog interface issues (formerly PIT)? (Sue Searing will follow up with an email recommendation)