Speaking up: working with publishers to deliver excellent resources

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I’m working out on the desk in a rather peaceful library this afternoon (for those of you who don’t know, we’re undergoing some refurbishment over the summer vacation, and the Library desk can currently be found at the Out of Hours entrance) and while I make sure I’m up to date with various resource issues, my mind has turned to a meeting I’ll be attending on Monday.

I’m a member of the JIBS Scopus Enhancement User Group, a group comprised of library staff of all descriptions from varying institutions all over the UK. Bolton has been a member for a very long time, and we were chosen to be on this group due to our strong emphasis on teaching, which sets us apart from other members, whose primary institutional function may be research, for example. The Scopus Enhancement User Group meets to discuss Scopus, a very important resource to which we have access. Although the value of the group is clearly to discuss the resource with a range of other Scopus subscribers, this discussion takes place with Elsevier, providers of the Scopus database, who can inform of us as representatives of the HE community of developments in the short, medium and long term, and can listen to our views on the development of the resource.

It’s really important for resource providers to understand the way in which resources are used, what developments are valued and if there are any issues that may prevent the resource from being used successfully. Elsevier aren’t alone in their approach, and as a librarian, I welcome the opportunity to meet with providers and ensure that the resources you wish to use for your studies are delivering in the best way possible. From major content considerations such as the inclusion of electronic books within a database, for example, to relatively minor issues, such as the way in which a provider indicates subscribed-to content, it’s important that resource providers hear us, and that we make ourselves heard!

If you ever find that there’s something you don’t like about a resource – maybe you think a search box could be better placed, or you think there is an issue in the relevancy ranking of search results – then do let us know. We’ll always take your feedback to the providers; it really matters!

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