UKLA Roundup: August 2012

The August 2012 roundup from the UK LOCKSS Alliance support service is now available.

The intention of this roundup is to highlight ongoing system and content development, and to keep members informed of the activities of EDINA and other UKLA members.

Please note in particular the new documentation around integration of LOCKSS with Serials Solutions 360Link and Ex Libris’ SFX, and the spreadsheets made available as part of the content release process.

If you have comments, queries, or suggestions for future content please contact edina@ed.ac.uk.

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Article in DPC / DCC What’s New

Adam Rusbridge has written a short article on ‘Accessing ceased or cancelled content with LOCKSS‘ in the August 2012 edition of DPC/DCC What’s New.  The article provides an update on recent developments around link resolver integration and introduces the benefits that results from supply of access.

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New Title List Features in version 1.55

The Title List function in your LOCKSS box allows you to report on the holdings of your LOCKSS box or the content available in the LOCKSS network as a whole. The latest release of the LOCKSS software includes some new options, and this post provides a general guide to usage of the Title List feature.

Please see the post View your holdings with LOCKSS titles export for an introduction to the Title List feature.

Title List Main Screen

Title List main screen

Basic Report Options

The main Title List screen presents you with several options for the report, described below. Note that the defaults will produce a standard KBART report, but these options allow you to customise that to better suit your needs.

Scope

This option allows you to specify the scope of the data you want to report on:

  • Available – all titles available in the LOCKSS network. This is all the content LOCKSS users can select from.
  • Configured – the titles that you have configured for collection on your institution’s machine using Add Titles.
  • Collected – the titles that have successfully collected on your machine. A title must be fully collected before it will appear in this list; partial completion is not enough.

Type

This option allows you to filter the titles to include only journals or books if you need to:

  • Journals – show only journal titles
  • Books – show only book titles (those that have an ISBN)
  • All – show all titles

Data Format

This option specifies the format of the data that is output from the reporting tool; the default Title Ranges (KBART) format displays a line for every complete range in a title, while the other options allow you to consolidate these into a single line per title.

The KBART coverage_notes field will contain a description of the complete ranges covered by each row, therefore documenting where the coverage gaps are in the consolidated formats.

  • Title Ranges – show a row for each unbroken range within a title (this is the default KBART format).
  • Titles – show a row for each title, consolidating all the individual unbroken ranges into a single range using the outermost start and end volumes. Note that the single range specified in this format may contain coverage gaps.
  • SFX DataLoader – show a row for each title, with the coverage_notes field listing coverage ranges in the SFX DataLoader format.

Output Format

This option specifies the digital format in which the report will be produced:

  • TSV – tab-separated format
  • CSV – comma-separated format
  • On-screen – the report will be turned into HTML and displayed on-screen

Having selected these options, press the List Titles button to generate the report.

A Title List report showing the customise option

The above shows the top of an HTML report. Notice there is a link to return to the main Title List page, and a button for customising the report you have generated.

Customisation Options

To provide finer-grained control over what gets into your report, there are customisation options allowing you to specify which fields to output and in what order.

Select the Customise Fields button either on the Title List screen or the HTML report screen. You will see these extra options appear at the bottom of the Title List screen:

Title List Customise

Title List customisation options

Coverage Range format

The default KBART output reports each unbroken range of a title on a separate line. Sometimes it is more useful to have a single line per title, with start and end points. The coverage_notes field is therefore used to elaborate which specific ranges are fully available within a title listed in a particular row. This field can display data in a number of formats:

  • Year Ranges – a comma-separated list of ranges, e.g. 1996-2002, 2004-2006, 2009-
  • Year(Volume) Ranges – a comma-separated list of ranges including volume in parentheses e.g. 1996(1)-2002(7), 2004(9)-2006(11), 2009(14)-
  • Year Summary – a concise format showing only the start and end of the whole range, e.g. 1996-
  • Year(Volume) Summary – a concise format showing only the start and end of the whole range, e.g. 1996(1)-
  • SFX DataLoader – this is the format defined by ExLibris for use with their SFX DataLoader utility, e.g. $obj->parsedDate(“>=”,1996,1,undef) && $obj->parsedDate(“<=”,2002,7,undef)

Note that year ranges can have an empty end point, meaning they extend to the present. The summary formats are for convenience and do not indicate where there are coverage gaps. The SFX format represents the same information as the year(volume) format but in a more verbose format.

Field Ordering

The field ordering box lists all the default KBART fields in their default order. You can edit the contents of this box to change which fields appear in the output. The ordering will also be reflected in the output report. On the right-hand side is a list of all the valid field names – be sure to include at least one of the identifying fields or there will be no way to organise the title records!

Note that the first two fields will be used to sort the resulting list.

Omit empty columns

Some columns have nothing in them due to a lack of appropriate data. Select this option to automatically omit such columns and simplify the report.

Reset/Cancel

If you decide you don’t want to customise the output after all, or have made a mistake, you can select either:

  • Reset – to reset the field ordering list to its original values
  • Cancel – to cancel customisation and go straight (back) to the report output

Finally, press List Titles to produce the report, or Hide Customise Fields to skip the customisation and use the three default report configuration options of scope, data format and output format.

Direct URL access to reports

It is possible to access a range of reports directly without manually selecting options on the Title List screen. This is useful for those applications where an automated update of the LOCKSS box’s holdings is required, for example when updating a knowledge base periodically. The default report can be retrieved by requesting the URL

http://lockss.box:8081/Titles?format=tsv

There are five configuration options for direct URL reports, which can be specified as URL parameters. The first four correspond to the basic report options described earlier:

  • format – output format: tsv, csv, html
  • scope – data scope: available, configured, collected
  • type – title type: journals, books, all
  • report – data format: kbart, titles, sfx
  • coverageNotesFormat – format for the coverage_notes field: year, year_volume, year_summary, year_volume_summary, sfx

The bare minimum is a format parameter. So for example a TSV report, in SFX report format, on titles configured in your LOCKSS box, can be retrieved from:

http://lockss.box:8081/Titles?format=tsv&report=sfx&scope=configured

Using the report

There are also several common uses for the reports generated by the Title List feature:

  • Reporting what is available on the LOCKSS network. This can be used to populate a knowledge base in a link resolver such as SFX, or cross-referenced with an institution’s subscriptions to produce a list of what should be added to LOCKSS.
  • Reporting what titles an institution has configured their LOCKSS box to collect. This can be used in institutional reporting on LOCKSS, or cross-referenced with subscriptions and available titles to find out what is missing from your configuration.
  • Reporting what has been successfully collected by LOCKSS. This report can indicate where there might be problems, or be used in institutional reporting.

We plan to produce format options for other link resolver products as necessary, though the standard KBART report should be sufficient for many applications. After the current phase of user interface development, the reports should also be useful in configuring your collection list with less manual effort.

If you have any further use cases for these reports do let us know at edina@ed.ac.uk.

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Report on Private LOCKSS Networks

A report investigating community demand and requirements for setting up a UK Private LOCKSS Network is now available.

The report summarises a survey of members of the UK LOCKSS Alliance carried out by EDINA during October and November 2011. The survey investigated the potential value of Private LOCKSS Networks to UKLA members and focused on assessing the type of content members wish to preserve in a PLN, together with the cost and resource implications.

Agreed at the UKLA Members’ Meeting in May 2012, next steps are to prepare a short proposal identifying possible routes forward.

A Members’ Meeting of the UKLA was held in York on 10 May 2011 where attendees expressed an enthusiasm for further assessment of PLNs. The approach agreed was to conduct a survey of members to assess the level of interest for establishing a PLN, and to gather more detailed information on community requirements:  how members could envisage the PLN being structured, the content they proposed using it for, and how they expected to benefit from the PLN. A full report of this event is available on the UKLA website.  The PLN survey was carried out during October and November 2011 and focused on identifying content for preservation, costs and resources together with potential infrastructure models. The purpose of this report is to summarise the results of the survey and apply them to the various factors that need consideration when establishing a new PLN.

We would be grateful for UK HE community feedback on this report, so please either submit a comment to this post, or contact EDINA directly at edina@ed.ac.uk.

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UKLA Roundup: June 2012

The June 2012 roundup from the UK LOCKSS Alliance support service is now available.

The intention of this roundup is to highlight ongoing system and content development, and to keep members informed of the activities of EDINA and other UKLA members.

Please note in particular the summary report and presentations from the UKLA Members’ Meeting, and the persona and requirements documents that support the ongoing user interface enhancement activity.

If you have comments, queries, or suggestions for future content please contact edina@ed.ac.uk.

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Understanding the Status of Titles

This post is intended to clarify the different classifications you might see for titles in your box, or titles which have been committed to the LOCKSS network.

Available, Configured & Collected

When you use the Title List feature in your LOCKSS box to report on its holdings, there are 3 options available to you that affect the scope of the report:

  • Available will include all titles available in the LOCKSS network. This is all the content LOCKSS users can select from.
  • Configured will report the titles that you have configured for collection on your institution’s machine using Add Titles.
  • Collected will report on the titles that have successfully collected on your machine.

Note that each scope is a subset of the previous one.

Committed Titles

The LOCKSS website provides a spreadsheet listing the publishers who have committed to providing their content in the LOCKSS network. This is available on the page at http://www.lockss.org/community/publishers-titles-gln and is regularly updated.

Note that content that has been committed is not instantly available in the LOCKSS network. It must be scheduled to go through a preparation and testing process that includes (a) writing a plugin which knows how to collect the content (b) testing that plugin to make sure the content collects properly. At this point the content is released to the network – the regular emails detailing new releases are the end result of this process which is perpetually being undertaken by a team of content testers in Stanford.

The spreadsheet is made by combining committed publisher data with a KBART report on Available titles from the Title List. It lists each title with the fields Publisher, Title, ISSN, eISSN, and the following fields indicate the status of each title:

  • Preserved Volumes lists the volumes that are preserved in the LOCKSS network
  • Preserved Years lists the years that are preserved in the LOCKSS network
  • In Progress Volumes lists the volumes that are committed but have not yet cleared the testing process
  • In Progress Years lists the years that are committed but have not yet cleared the testing process

Years and volumes are listed as one or more ranges separated by semi-colons. In some cases the data are not available for one reason or another. The fact that data are missing does not necessarily indicate that the title is not released.

We hope this outline of title statuses will aid institutions in making appropriate use of the reports and data available from LOCKSS boxes and the lockss.org website. Please direct any questions to edina@ed.ac.uk.

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UKLA Members’ Meeting: Presentations now available

A UK LOCKSS Alliance Members’ Meeting was held on the 24th May 2012, at the National Railway Museum in York.  The event was intended to provide current members with an update of recent activities, a forum to share information between member institutions, and an opportunity to discuss and plan activity for the period from now until 2013.

The full agenda and presentations are available online at: http://www.lockssalliance.ac.uk/meetings-and-events/

A number of key activities were discussed:

  • A service review of the UK LOCKSS Alliance was undertaken in September 2011 and has provided EDINA with clear strategic direction for communication and development activity.
  • A regular news roundup has been established, published on a six-week cycle.  The roundup contains contributions from the development and support teams at EDINA and Stanford, and member contributions from the UK and international communities.
  • The review highlighted the need for enhancements to the user interface. After discussion with Stanford University, EDINA has taken on a project management role for these and has produced a set of requirements and drafted a design proposal.  The document has been distributed to the membership for comment and implementation will begin shortly.
  • Functionality to integrate LOCKSS with link resolver systems has recently been released.  This has been a key requirement for current and prospective members, and will be a useful promotional tool both for recruitment of members and for development of institutional support.

Update 4th June 2012: A summary report from the event is now available.

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Introducing the UKLA Personas

At last week’s Members’ Meeting we introduced a set of personas to describe the background, aims and roles of staff working with the LOCKSS system.  Personas are “descriptions of typical users along with stories about how they would use the product to meet their goals.”  The personas we have established will inform our user interface development work.  By developing an understanding of staff roles we can make sure the planned developments satisfy those roles.

We’re now making available the set of draft personas for further input and comment.

These personas also have wider application for the UK LOCKSS Alliance community.  They will be useful for prospective members planning their participation in the LOCKSS initiative and deciding how to assign LOCKSS-related work, and they will help us ensure we target support documentation at the appropriate level.

We wish to ensure that the characteristics of current institutional deployments of LOCKSS are reflected in the personas.  If you feel we are missing tasks and goals that apply at your institution,  we would be grateful if you could share these by commenting on this blog post or emailing edina@ed.ac.uk.

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LOCKSS User Interface Requirements document

We are pushing on with the preparations for User Interface (UI) development, and are about to get started with the preparatory first stages of coding. The UKLA Members’ Workshop on Thursday will include a presentation on the content of the proposed developments, and also a session for discussion of the requirements that have been identified.

In advance of this we are sharing the draft requirements document, which describes the different types of users of LOCKSS, common use cases which they encounter, the main features identified for implementation, and the work packages which will be undertaken.

Please feel free to record your comments using the link below.

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UK LOCKSS Alliance Members’ Meeting

Registration is currently open for a UK LOCKSS Alliance Members’ Meeting, scheduled for 24th May 2012.

The workshop will be used to update members on activities of the UK LOCKSS Alliance and developments of the LOCKSS software.

We encourage  participation from all UKLA member institutions;  further information and registration details are available online.

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