Electronic Resource Management Systems: Alternative Solutions

roomagitatedInternet and Web Development

Dec 8, 2013 (4 years and 7 months ago)


World Library and Information Congress

73rd IFLA General Conference and Council

Cape Town Pre
Conference, August 16
17, 2007

Electronic Resource
Management Systems:
Alternative Solutions

Dalene Hawthorne

Emporia State University


Jennifer Watson

University of Tennessee

Health Science Center


Electronic Resource Management Systems
(ERMS) now exist, but many libraries do not
yet own them

Our premise about why:

ERMS are prohibitively expensive for many
libraries to purchase and implement

We wanted to know:

Does the size of the collection factor in the
making process?

Are there other reasons libraries have not yet
purchased an ERMS?

What are libraries doing when they can’t justify
the purchase of a full
blown ERMS?

Are there alternative solutions we can share?

Brief Literature Review

Focused the review on the period after
commercial ERM Systems became

Most of the literature on ERMS since 2004
is about implementation of commercial ERM

Some limitations of commercial systems
emerged from these articles:

the lack of a solution for organizations with
multiple integrated library systems, such as

the lack of integration with acquisitions data

commercial systems don’t address local needs

ERMS Survey

Emporia State University and University of
Tennessee Health Science Center
representatives presented their alternative
solutions at the North American Serials
Interest Group meeting

Realized from the discussion there was a lot
of interest in alternatives to full
blown ERM

ERMS Survey

Decided to conduct a survey to try to
learn more about ERM Systems in

Developed the survey and announced
it on e
mail lists in the U.S. and Europe

Left the survey open for a little over a

Survey Results

196 respondents completed the survey

Where are they located?

73.2% United States

17.1% Europe

3.2% Canada

2.8% Australasia

1.9% Asia

1.4% Africa

0.5% South America

Survey Results

What types of libraries do they

81.8% Academic

15.0% Special/Other

2.8% Public

0.5% School

How many libraries own a
commercial ERMS?

50% of responding libraries own
commercial ERMS

Not sure everyone understood the
question in the same way

Is price a limiting factor?

104 respondents do not own ERMS

47% indicated cost as a very relevant

Cost was the most relevant factor for
libraries that do not own a commercial

Does the number of e
resources matter?

Survey Question: Approximately how
many electronic resource licenses
does your library manage/renew

If you buy a bundle of 12 e
journals or a database,
count that as 1 license. Count an individual
subscription to an e
journal as 1 license. Please
estimate the total even if licenses are handled
outside of your library.

Number of resources as a
factor in owning an ERMS

Approximately 40% of libraries with
fewer than 100 e
resources own a
commercial ERMS

Approximately 57% of libraries with
more than 100 e
resources own a
commercial ERMS

Number of resources as a
factor in owning an ERMS

However, 49% of libraries that manage
more than 500 e
resources own a
commercial ERMS

Other factors?

28% cited concerns about

27% cited concerns about functionality

25% indicated limited staff and funding
to manage an ERMS

18% said already have home grown

Other factors?

15% cited limited resources to
research which system to buy

15% indicated reliance on consortia

12% said current workflow was OK

11% said they had too few e
to justify the expense

10% cited unsupportive management

Homegrown databases

Vendor tools

New uses for existing tools

Content management systems

Alternatives in Practice

No annual subscription fee

Ability to instantly update and alter database

Customize database to needs of library

Ensure database will integrate into website

Staff must keep up with e
journal changes

Technical expertise to maintain database

Homegrown databases



Help handles aspects of e
resources management

Inspire developers of

grown tools

Vendor Tools


WorldCat Lists

Library catalog



Microsoft Excel

Microsoft Outlook

Paper calendar

New Uses for Existing Tools

Innovative Catalog



Microsoft Excel

Microsoft Outlook

Shared Folder


Content Management System

Provides multiple points of access to
databases on the library’s website

Staff have an easy
use interface to
add and edit databases


Electronic resource management
challenges our organizational skills
and tools

As with any system selection, it is
critical to analyze the needs of the
institution and select an appropriate

System can be as simple as a paper
calendar or as complex as a
commercial ERMS


Are there interesting ideas we haven’t

Did anyone identify an option that
might be useful?

Thank You!

Dalene Hawthorne, Emporia State

Jennifer Watson, University of
Tennessee Health Science Center,

We thank Kimberly Parker for
graciously agreeing to present for