White Rose Libraries: understanding collection overlap

The White Rose Libraries consortium have produced a final report on their investigations into collection overlap between the three member libraries (York, Leeds and Sheffield).  It sets out the results of a Jisc funded investigation exploring matching and de-duplication of bibliographic records in the Jisc CCM tool and SCS/OCLC GreenGlass, compared with manually checked results.

It is hoped that the report will be of significant interest to the library community, usefully helping to refine collection management requirements both for existing tools and for the emerging National Bibliographic Knowledgebase (NBK).  The authors are keen to ensure that the report is widely shared.

The full report including extensive Appendices is available below:

Understanding collections overlap final report July 2017 – including appendices

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.


  • 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.

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.


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!


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.

Announcing the 2014 phase of the Copac Collections Management project

The Copac Collections Management (CCM) project has been underway for over two years now, and we are pleased to announce that Jisc is continuing to invest in our work, enabling us to keep the momentum going through 2014. The value of this initiative has been widely recognised by Jisc, RLUK and the broader community, who see clear alignment and synergy with related activities, and particularly the National Monograph Strategy.

Since January we’ve been working with the library community to develop and understand the potential of the tools, which were released to the RLUK community in July. This is enabling us to learn invaluable lessons in terms of how to take the tools forward into service; it’s also allowed us to work closely with RLUK to build a community of users from across the UK, who have participated actively in workshops and feedback sessions, and who have helped us understand where the tools fit in current workflows, or where they could fit, and how we need to improve functionality.

In 2014, we aim to build on our user base; we’ll be continuing to drive community engagement activity to strengthen the support, use, and overall sustainability of the CCM tools.  We’ll be undertaking in-depth user testing, and then revising the CCM user interface and tools to help us move forwards to a service-ready version of the system.  We’ll also be continuing to develop the business case for the tools in conjunction with parallel Jisc and RLUK activities.

A major determining factor in our success so far has been a highly engaged, supportive, and effective Project Board. They’ve helped us to ensure the project remains grounded in the current realties of library collections management processes, and also to identify and explore the potential for the tools into the future. Without their help at the workshops and agreement to help support new users, we would not have been anywhere near as successful in our efforts. We’re indebted to Brian Clifford (our Chair) and Michael Emly from Leeds University; Mike Mertens from RLUK;  Christine Wise from Senate House Library; Thalia Knight from the Royal College of Surgeons, England; Sandra Bracegirdle from the University of Manchester; Ruth Elder from the University of York; Gary Ward from the University of Sheffield; and Ben Showers from Jisc.

We look forward to continuing this collaboration in 2014!