Notes from the CMCAB Meeting in November

The Jisc Collection Management Community Advisory Board (CMCAB) met on the 7th November 2016 in Manchester, and welcomed a new member, Mark Hughes, Head of Library Services at Cardiff Metropolitan University.  Details of the other members of the Board are provided in the Board report from July.

A brief summary of the meeting follows:

Updates on activity and key developments from the CCM Tools and Copac teams were provided.

CCM Tools:

  • The team are finalising details of a pilot project with the University of Sydney which will enable our Australian colleagues to use CCM Tools to investigate international collection significance. It will enable Jisc to demonstrate the value of the CCM Tools to international partners and to investigate future access models.  The pilot is likely to begin in early 2017.
  • Community events remain a priority: events in Manchester and SOAS (London) will be run before the end of the year with additional events in the pipeline for 2017.
  • Development work continues on improving functionality.

Copac:

  • A Copac IdP (Identity Provider) has been set up and is currently undergoing testing. In the first instance this will allow those Copac contributors who are not members of the UK Access Management Federation to access CCM Tools.  This will be rolled out when testing is complete.
  • There have been a number of large updates and reloads of data to process recently. Update statistics are now provided on the Copac homepage.  The Board were interested to note this information and felt some more context would emphasise the volume of work involved.
  • A Copac contributor web site and dashboard have been created with the aim of streamlining workflows for both new and existing contributors. In the first instance these will be trialled as part of a project to load M25 consortium data onto Copac.
  • Some of the libraries in the M25 consortium fall outside the original scope for Copac, where the academic libraries were all members of RLUK. As we move towards the development of the National Bibliographic Knowledgebase, which will have a much broader scope, it was felt this was a good time to start expanding the range of contributors, so a new workflow is being tested with some of the M25 libraries..
  • It was suggested that it would be interesting to find out about the collection management projects undertaken by this broader spectrum of libraries, possibly via a survey or through forthcoming events.

GreenGlass projects

The University of Sheffield and the White Rose Consortium are both working with OCLC Sustainable Collection Services (SCS) using their GreenGlass product for collection analysis.  Board members outlined the data inputs and outputs involved and reported that further analysis of the outputs is underway.  There are many complexities involved in investigating and using the data and SCS have engaged in positive dialogue to investigate some anomalies identified.  The Board concluded that the project outputs were very interesting and would value colleagues reporting back on further analysis as it occurs.

Feasibility study on monographs

It was reported that this recently announced study had been initiated by the National Monograph Steering Group, which consists of representatives from UKRR, RCUK, British Library, SCONUL, RLUK and Jisc and is convened by HEFCE.  An invitation to tender invites bids from consultants to report on extending the UKRR to monographs, covering shared storage, digital surrogates, data, inter-lending, models and appetite for such an approach to monographs amongst the community.  The study has an ambitious timescale for completion by the end of April 2017.  This work is being undertaken in the context of the requirement for the UKRR to become self-funding.

Board membership

Following the appointment of Mark Hughes to the CMCAB it was agreed that Dawn Holland, Collections Manager at the University of Hull would also be invited to join from 2017.  This will improve representation from non-RLUK and SCONUL member libraries.

Community Engagement

It was agreed that making available summaries of CMCAB meetings on the CCM blog was a useful step in developing community engagement, which had been welcomed by colleagues.

It was reported that once the National Bibliographic Knowledgebase procurement was complete communication and engagement with the community will be more forthcoming.  There was some discussion about how to engage the community with wider conversations about NBK developments and other collection management initiatives. A webinar could be a valuable way to share information and to test community reactions to proposals.

It was also agreed that it could be useful to put out a pre-meeting call for input to the lis-collection-mgmt mailing list and to make more use of the list for possible surveys.  In addition information could be shared via SCONUL Focus and the RLUK mailing list.

Collection Management events

There was discussion about timing and content of potential events in 2017 hosted by the University of  Edinburgh and Bodleian Libraries, Oxford (who have offered to host a visit to their off site storage facility). We will liaise with colleagues at these institutions to progress plans and ensure that the momentum created by previous events is maintained.

Progress report: National Bibliographic Knowledgebase procurement

At the time of the meeting the preferred bidder had been selected but the constraints of the procurement process meant that the information could not be released until later in November.  The contract will be signed with the supplier in early December with activity starting in the New Year.  NBK activity will run alongside Copac initially, at least during year 1 of the process.

Jisc’s Bibliographic Data Oversight Group (BIBDOG) will likely be incorporated into a new Library Support Services Advisory Group which will come into being shortly.  A dedicated section of the agenda for this group will be devoted to steering the NBK.  The CMCAB will still be required in order to drive community developments and input to the NBK.  The Board will be reviewing its Terms of Reference at the next meeting so will examine role and purpose moving forward more closely at that time.

Please send us your comments, observations and suggestions either by commenting on this blog post or contacting any member of the CMCAB.

Diana Massam.

Manchester Event Presentations

We held another ‘Introduction to CCM Tools’ event in Manchester on 15th November. Thanks to the Library at the University of Manchester for hosting us.

We were again very fortunate to have some fascinating presentations from colleagues about their use of CCM Tools and the speakers have kindly agreed to make their slides available, or to to write them up as case studies in new year.

Artists Books Benchmarking Using CCM Tools: Jane Daniels, Cardiff Metropolitan University.

CCM Tools at the University of Hull: Dawn Holland will be contributing a case study covering her ‘user story’ in the new year.

Collection development & profiling: Andrew Paton, University of Manchester Library.

Thanks once again to our speakers and our lively participants who contributed to an engaging and enlightening session.

Notes from the CMCAB Meeting in July

As reported in a previous blog post, the CCM Tools Advisory Board broadened its scope and remit following discussions earlier this year and with this came a new name: the Jisc Collection Management Community Advisory Board.

As part of this new remit the Board would like to keep members of the community updated with news of our activity and discussions.  Thus we will be providing a brief blog post summary of our meetings which are usually held 3 times a year.  Following this we are happy to receive comments and suggestions which can be discussed at future meetings.

The first meeting of the new CMCAB took place on 15th July at the Jisc offices in Manchester.  Our new chair, Christine Wise, took the helm.  The other members of the Board are as follows:

Jo Aitkins, University of Leicester; Sandra Bracegirdle, University of Manchester; Shirley Cousins, Jisc; Ruth Elder, University of York; Neil Grindley, Jisc; Stuart Hunt, University of Bristol; Thalia Knight, Royal College of Surgeons of England; Diana Massam, Jisc; Jane Saunders, University of Leeds; Gary Ward, University of Sheffield; Christine Wise, SOAS (Chair).

Highlights of the meeting were as follows:

CCM Tools: The Board were updated on responses to the general user survey about the revised interface launched earlier this year (these were small in number but all complementary) and two successful community events held in June/July.  It was agreed that the team would run a targeted survey in the future with more publicity and would focus on running additional events over the next few months.

Service enhancements: the team collated and prioritised all those suggestions we have received over the last year or so.  For this year we are looking at defining library groups, more search/refine options including looking into format and date; search history management and re-use.

A Copac update was provided: enhancements have been made to the de-duplication processes for pre-1800 items, improving the ability to successfully match records for newly added or updated records on Copac. Direct links to individual records are now available, for example, via a list of ‘Latest Popular Search Terms’ which can be accessed by search engines.  The direct links and search engine visibility enables individual Copac records to appear in web search results: recent usage graphs show how this data exposure has generated substantial traffic to Copac.

The Copac team are working on developing a new administrative interface to help streamline data loading and updates; there are many complexities involved in dealing with data loads, which can cause difficulties and delay to schedules.

Governance: positive feedback was received following Board member Ruth Elder’s announcement of the Board’s new remit and relationship with the BIBDOG group (see May blog post).  The Board agreed to provide details of discussions to the community via this blog which would also be a channel to gather feedback.

It was reported that a new oversight group is under consideration to work with Jisc as it develops a Library Support Services portfolio, called the LSS Advisory Group.  There is an overlap in membership of all three groups and it is important that they work in conjunction with each other but retain specific remits.

Community Events: we have a volunteer to host another CM@ event so will be taking this forward with a sub group.  Likely date may be early 2017.

National Bibliographic Knowledgebase: procurement is under way and the chosen supplier partnering Jisc will be announced by the end of October.  The implementation schedule for the NBK involves data aggregation at scale beginning from November 2016 followed by development of functionality and additional data loading, with the ambitious aim of service roll out by November 2018.

Working with consortia: the potential for CM activity to dovetail with activity taking place in a number of library consortia was flagged up.  Several Board members have links with relevant consortia and will keep the Board in touch with potential projects/links which we can facilitate.

Please send us your comments, observations and suggestions either by commenting on this blog post or contacting any member of the CMCAB.

Diana Massam.

Introductory events held in July

The CCM Tools team recently ran two ‘Introduction to CCM Tools’ events: the first hosted by the University of Nottingham and the second by SOAS, University of London.  Both events were well attended and provided those new to CCM Tools with an overview of different use cases for the Tools with supporting case studies.  This was followed by some user stories from colleagues who spoke about their early experiences using the Tools in their institutions.

Our thanks go to Amy Seal, Sarah Davies, Chloe Barnes and Paul Wearing for speaking at the events: these contributions from practitioners really help to bring the value of the Tools to life for participants. The speakers have kindly agreed to make their slides available below:

Amy Seal, University of Leicester

Paul Wearing, Cardiff Metropolitan University

Chloe Barnes, University of Sussex

Sarah Davies, University of Nottingham

Following the presentations (and tea and biscuits) there was an opportunity for participants to get practical with a hands-on exercise providing an introduction to the Tools.  Unfortunately technical problems at SOAS made this difficult at the second event, but everyone took the exercise away to use back at the office.  It’s also available here for anyone to use.

Another event has been scheduled at the University of Manchester on 15th November. Bookings will be opening on the lis-collection-mgmt email list shortly.

A Community Advisory Board for Collections Management


A recent paper circulated to the lis-collection-mgmt@jiscmail.ac.uk email discussion list outlined new developments in the role of the former Copac Collection Management Tools Board.

As announced by Ruth Elder at the CM@ Bristol event in February 2016, the Board considered that as a group with a broader remit it could provide a valuable role to the community: to encompass facilitating the sharing of good practice and development of skills as well as representing the views of the community in the increasingly dynamic and evolving realm of collection management.  To reflect this change the Board has been re-named: Jisc Collection Management Community Advisory Board (CMCAB)

You can read the full paper here: Collection Management Advice and Oversight May 2016, which also describes the provision of strategic oversight to Jisc in the area of Bibliographic Data Services and how this links to the work of the CMCAB.

We welcome feedback and comments from the community, so please add a comment to this post, email lis-collection-mgmt@jiscmail.ac.uk with your thoughts or contact Diana Massam, CCM Tools project manager at Diana.Massam@jisc.ac.uk

The Board will discuss this feedback and also the best mechanisms for gathering broader input into its activities at our next meeting in July 2016.

Thanks.

Opening up CCM Tools

At the recent Collection Management: Share the Experience event held in Bristol, (slides now available via our Community page) we announced that Copac Collection Management Tools are now open for use by any institution with Shibboleth or Open Athens authentication in place.

Previous restrictions on access to RLUK member libraries only, have been removed, and specific usernames and passwords are no longer required.

As part of these developments we have also refreshed the interface as detailed in the previous blog post.

Please give us feedback: future interface developments depend on you!

  • Please complete our survey
  • Contact diana.massam@jisc.ac.uk direct with feedback
  • Volunteer for user testing

We are looking for volunteers to work with us to produce supported case studies, so if you are new to using the Tools, and interested in working with us please contact me.

Or add a short story to our User Stories page on this blog, it’s really easy!

Thanks.

Launched: revised search interface and easier access

While things have been rather quiet on the blog lately, the CCM team have been working hard in the background on two big improvements to CCM Tools.

Following extensive user testing we have refreshed and redesigned the search interface in order to make it more intuitive and to highlight the visualisation options in results. The new interface will still be at the same URL: http://ccm.copac.jisc.ac.uk/

Key changes are:

  • Improved and more consistent navigation
  • New results screen layout: highlighting visualisations
  • Clearer batch search workflow
  • New visualisation graphs
  • More help tooltips and revised help pages

We have also revised the content on the website and blog, integrating content and presenting it more clearly (we hope!). Additional support materials will be developed in the future.

In addition to the changes outlined above, we have also set up easier access via Shibboleth authentication (single sign on). This means existing users no longer need their specific CCM usernames and passwords if their institution uses Shibboleth.

There are some aspects of the interface which are still a work in progress. However, we are keen to release it to existing users so that they can use it, test it and hopefully give us feedback before a wider launch to the academic community in the new year.

We are therefore asking all our users to please take a look at the new interface then complete our short survey.  Your feedback is really important to us.

Thanks for your help.

Pilot access for non-contributors to Copac

Back in February we ran an event to explore the possibility of extending access to the CCM Tools beyond RLUK member libraries: to those who do not contribute their library catalogue data to Copac. In response to a call for interest, a small group of 11 intrepid and keen institutions were represented as we got together in the welcoming environment of SOAS Library in London. Participants were given an introduction to the Tools which was followed by a discussion about their likely requirements and potential ideas for making use of them.

The consensus at the event was that our volunteers hoped to find the Tools useful despite the fact that their own library catalogue data is not currently part of the Copac database.There were many parallels between the requirements of this pilot group and our existing users, who face many of the same issues about space pressures,benchmarking collections and identifying unique and special material.

“… we could …. use it especially to help with our weeding projects, when we need to make tough decisions… and the possibility of discovering some of our books or collections are not as rare or unique as we may have previously believed.”

Aniska Kumra, Goldsmith’s University of London

Since February our pilot group have been experimenting with the CCM Tools: we do appreciate the precious time this has required when there are so many other demands on library staff time. It seemed now was a good time to catch up with some of them to find out how they have been getting on. We got some really positive feedback about the value perceived in the Tools: several colleagues had specific projects planned or in progress already:

“We [have] made a start on significance assessment of parts of our very new special collections using CCM Tools to gather data……….We might extend the CCM Tools brief to our Artists’ Books collection……”

Jane Daniels, Cardiff Metropolitan University


 “We have a significant amount of uncatalogued donations and special collections material I’d like to investigate with the tool to hopefully gather data on how rare or unique (in terms of holdings) some of this material might be.  From data gathered, we’ll hopefully be able to make informed decisions on whether to retain items or not, and if findings can be demonstrated using graphs, it’s likely to have more impact on the decision-making process.”

Sandra Cockburn, Oxford Brookes University


“… we have over 2,000 shelves of books in our external store, as part of assessing what we should continue to hold, [it] will be very helpful to run these against COPAC holdings – we may have rare items we need to hold on to?”

Jo Atkins, University of Leicester


“Potential use cases we are keen to try … are:

Map items we have identified for potential withdrawal …to help inform us on potential disposal or retention decisions.

Use CCM to identify most widely held texts in particular subject areas and then match that against our own holdings to identify potential gaps and weaknesses (we’d be interested to see if we could do this with any areas where ‘library resources’ scores had been lower in last year’s NSS).

…using CCM to identify core collections of texts when we hear of new courses or research areas incoming to the University…”

 Mark Hughes, Swansea University

In addition we got some valuable feedback about suggestions for enhancements, particularly in relation to increasing the scope of available data on Copac: reflecting the diverse needs of the pilot group:

The bigger questions….[it] would be a really valuable tool if COPAC holdings extended to SCONUL Libraries generally, [which] would allow us to look at holdings within regions and locally.”

Jo Atkins, University of Leicester


 

“… we’d like to see the scope extended, and like to be able to run data against both regional groupings….. or custom groupings of our own (e.g. against our self-identified peer set of institutions).  There would be tremendous value in being able to drill down to do comparisons against groupings like this and we think that would expand the use cases we’d see for CCM by enabling us to do different things.”

Mark Hughes, Swansea University

Thanks to all our pilot participants. We are in the process of building up an evidence base to support extending access to CCM Tools and the feedback we get from them is key to this process.

Keep an eye on this blog for more information later in the summer.

Working with users to improve the CCM interface

Since our last update we have completed the first round of formal user testing of the CCM Tools user interface. The tests were carried out for us by our Jisc colleagues who are experts in user research. They conducted 5 tests involving specific tasks followed by each tester (thanks to our volunteers!), and have presented us with the results.

In summary, the tests confirmed the overall value of the Tools as represented by this info graphic:

CCM User Test Results 2There was plenty of confirmation of the value and credibility of the Tools but as we expected some issues were identified with usability. NB The reason there are no measures against ‘findable’ (i.e. visibility via an internet search) and ‘accessible’ (specific accessibility assessment) is that these areas weren’t covered in the tests.

KEEPING THE GOOD BITS

Several aspects of the interface were well liked i.e. the simple uncluttered layout, and worked well in the tests. Regular users who have built up familiarity with the Tools may be pleased to know that we won’t be throwing everything out and starting from scratch but will be improving the existing design. We have therefore identified those parts which will be retained within our re-design.

One key feature identified was that the visualisation tools (i.e. graphs and maps) were not clearly enough signposted to new users. So we will be featuring these more prominently in a re-design. The graphs themselves also need some work to make them clearer to view, and we will be working to develop clearer calls to action to indicate next steps in a workflow: when and why batch searches should be used for example when too many results are returned.

WHAT NEXT

We are currently working on an initial re-design based on the user testing: this has been clarified following plenty of discussion within the team: we have been experimenting with paper prototypes, and post- it notes plastered on the office walls. Once this is complete it will be re-tested with volunteer testers, and hopefully released to existing users before the summer.

This is the first stage of work on the user interface, reflecting initial priorities. However, we also have a longer term list of recommendations for further developments which we hope to implement in the next phase of work.

TELL US WHAT YOU THINK

So: if you have thoughts (positive or negative) about the CCM interface please let us know and we will incorporate them in future plans. Contact Diana Massam, project manager at:

Diana.massam@manchester.ac.uk

CCM Tools: moving into service

The CCM Blog has been a little quiet recently but that doesn’t mean we haven’t been busy!

The CCM team, like all members of Mimas staff here in Manchester, officially became Jisc staff from 1st August 2014. While you may spot Jisc in our new email signatures, we are still working in the same way on our services and projects, with the same colleagues, so it is ‘business as usual’ for our users and collaborators.

We would like to belatedly announce that the CCM Tools project has entered a new phase of activity from September 2014. This will involve us working to develop the Tools, moving from the current pilot project status and ‘beta’ interface to a service ready resource which will become part of the Jisc portfolio of services. Our aim is to be ready to launch as a service in July 2015, with some earlier phased releases to existing users. Key areas of work over the next few months include:

  • Formal user testing of the CCM interface (currently ongoing) undertaken by user experience specialists
  • User interface enhancements reflecting recommendations from user testing work
  • Engaging with potential new user groups to investigate user requirements and use cases
  • Developing additional user support materials based on an analysis of needs
  • Technical development to support user identification and management as we scale up to service
  • Ensuring our activity dovetails with the priorities of the recently published National Monographs Strategy

We will be supported in this work by the existing CCM Board, whose members have kindly agreed to provide oversight and guidance for this phase of work. Board members will ensure we continue to engage with the community and reflect their needs as we move into service.

We are really excited by these developments. Users of the current version of the Tools have provided us with very positive feedback via our survey, at community events and on our user forum about their value in facilitating effective collection management activity.

Jisc has responded to this community support by demonstrating a commitment to the further development of the CCM Tools as a service.

We will be reporting on progress via this blog: so watch this space.