Category Archives: journals

New tool launched by Cardiff University provides insights into e-resource usage

 A new tool launched by Cardiff University’s information services directorate and JISC allows people to assess the popularity and use of e-resources so they continue to deliver value for money.

Download Raptor for free:

Eileen Brandreth, director of university IT at Cardiff, said: “I am confident that Raptor will make a real difference to education institutions looking to maximise value from investments in e-resources. The information that Raptor provides will enable institutions and individual Academic Schools to assess the best value and most useful e-resource subscriptions for their students and researchers.”

People using Raptor can produce statistics on e-resource use whenever they are needed in as much detail as they require – for example, usage by an individual university department.

Chris Brown, JISC e-Research Programme Manager, added: “The Raptor tool has successfully gone through beta testing and incorporated user feedback prior to the release of this version, which is ready for production deployment. With universities looking at the potential cost savings and efficiencies, the Raptor tool provides valuable statistics on resource usage. It can analyse a variety of log files and present important information, not only promptly, but most importantly, in an easy to understand and visual way.”

The fully-released Raptor system lets institutions view usage statistics from different access management systems in use across the education sector.

Chris added: “The team at Cardiff have used their wealth of experience in this area to build a tool that is easy to install, use and is extremely powerful.”

The launch of the tool follows the JISC webinar on the Journal Usage Support Portal which can also help librarians assess their subscriptions.

The Raptor system focuses particularly on federated access systems, where online resources request access authorisation from the ‘home’ institution of the visitor, resulting in easier single sign-on access for users.

Raptor is also now available for both Linux and Windows servers, further widening the potential audience.

Find out about a series of workshops for staff at institutions interested in benefiting 

See how this project fits into JISC’s wider support for libraries

National knowledge service

A UK-wide digital library for British higher education is in reach, says Ann Rossiter (SCONUL), if we can sort the licensing out.

The UK’s status as a world leader in research depends on its institutions having the best possible access to the full range of published work. Although we currently rank alongside the US and outstrip most European and Asian nations, we risk being overtaken in the next decade if we do not grasp the possibilities of new technology.

For the first time, a national digital library has become a realistic possibility, both technologically and economically. Such a shared service, delivering a national core collection of monographs and journals, would allow the UK to maintain its lead in delivering the best content electronically to all students, researchers and academics at higher education institutions. It would also overcome a significant barrier to new entrants to the higher education market: further education colleges would be able to buy into it, rather than having to build up their own individual libraries. The student experience would be improved by resources accessed through a national catalogue.

THES – read more


100 libraries now participating in the Journal Usage Statistics Portal (JUSP)

The JUSP consortium is pleased to announce that 100 libraries are now participating in the Journal Usage Statistics Portal (JUSP):

At a time of economic constraint, it is essential that libraries can evaluate usage, and make a compelling case about the value of journal subscriptions.  COUNTER compliant data is vital in providing UK Universities with empirical evidence to inform the management and procurement of e-journals. However, obtaining and analyzing usage data can be extremely labour intensive with each library having to visit each publisher’s website and download their own statistics.

The JUSP Portal provides a single point of access for usage statistics, meaning that users can easily and quickly compare usage across various publishers, subscription or academic years and journal titles. The Portal uses the SUSHI (Standardised Usage Statistics Harvesting Initiative) protocol to collect COUNTER compliant statistics .

JUSP welcomes WHELF members

The JUSP team are very pleased that most WHELF libraries have now joined the Journal Usage Statistics Portal (JUSP).

Libraries spend millions of pounds on electronic journals each year, but gathering statistics about their use hasn’t always been easy. Diminishing budgets must demonstrate value for money, and reliable data is key. Comparative usage statistics help evaluate the impact of e-resources and inform future purchasing decisions. The Journal Usage Statistics Portal (JUSP) provides a “one-stop shop” for libraries to view, download and analyse their usage reports from NESLi2 publishers. It responds to current financial challenges with time and cost saving benefits.

WHELF libraries in JUSP are able to view JR1 and JR1a usage reports for the OUP deal which are gathered automatically each month via SUSHI. We also collect OUP usage data back to January 2009 so you are able to compare usage through the WHELF deal with usage through earlier deals or subscribed titles.  If you use an intermediary service (Ingentaconnect, Swetswise or EbscoEJS) we also collect their usage reports and add them to those from the publisher, to give you a complete record of use.

Once in JUSP, WHELF libraries can benefit from access also to usage reports from their NESLi2 deals. Publishers currently in JUSP are AIP, Annual Reviews, Elsevier, Nature Publishing Group, OUP, Project Muse, Royal Society of Chemistry, Sage and Springer. We aim to include all NESLi2 publishers by the end of the year, and hope to extend JUSP to cover other publishers too. We are now able to collect usage data back to January 2009 via SUSHI for almost all publishers in JUSP.  We collect usage reports for these publishers whether or not you take the NESLi2 deal.

As well as giving you the ability to view or download usage reports, JUSP offers you a number of other reports and tables to help analyse your usage. Most reports can be downloaded as CSV files. You can also use our SUSHI server to gather reports from JUSP.

The number of libraries in JUSP is growing rapidly. We now have over 70 participating libraries and another 20 in the process of joining. JUSP members can log in to their own reports using Shibboleth authentication from the website .  You will find more information and updates on the website, including a new video presentation on how to use JUSP on the Support tab.

As a community resource, we always welcome your comments and ideas. We are often able to respond quickly to your suggestions and a number of reports now in JUSP have been developed as a result of user feedback. We would welcome any ideas from WHELF members on what else you would like to see in JUSP.

Angela Conyers, Evidence Base (

Jo Lambert, Mimas (

Library Excellence award for SHEDL

Sheila Cannell, Director of Library Services of Edinburgh University, accepted on behalf of SCURL a Library Excellence award for SHEDL as a Shared Services initiative supporting Higher Education in Scotland.  The ceremony was held in the Scottish Parliament and the award was presented by Christine May, Chair of the Scottish Library and Information Council, and also MSP Peter Peacock. 

 The attached image is of the SCURL SHEDL Steering Group whose commitment and energy to SHEDL is a positive reflection to collaborative procurement. SHEDL is now entering the third phase with access to online content of more than 1877 specialist publications from the American Chemical Society, Berg, Cambridge University Press, Edinburgh University Press, Intellect, Portico, Project Muse, and Springer.

Data has proven that online usage of the content made available by SHEDL has significantly outperformed the UK average with an increase in access of 41% from 2008 to 2009*    This indicates better value for the financial investment by the participants in SHEDL for Scotland’s users of Higher Education Institutions.

* E-only scholarly journals: overcoming the barriers. RIN. 2010.

E-journals: their use, value and impact – final report

This two-part report takes in-depth look at how researchers in the UK use electronic journals, the value they bring to universities and research institutions and the contribution they make to research productivity, quality and outcomes.

RLUK Calls for Journal Pricing Restraint

At its recent conference, RLUK announced it would not support future journal big deals unless they showed real price reductions.  With a cut to the teaching grant and research budgets flat at best, RLUK members believe that unless this happens they will be forced to cancel significant numbers of subscriptions which will fatally compromise the UK’s capacity for research.

The full press release is available here:

Evaluating the impact of SHEDL

This joint RIN and SCURL study looks at the initial impact of the SHEDL initiative, which aims to provide a common set of journals to all Scottish HEIs.

It looks at changes in patterns of usage in different institutions and in costs per download, as well as investigating the factors which may be affecting patterns of usage.

The report is available to download from the project page:

Chair in Digital Collections

Lorna Hughes, currently Deputy Director of the Centre for e-Research at King’s College London, has been appointed to a pioneering new post at the National Library of Wales. She will become the world’s first ever Chair in Digital Collections. The post, funded for five years by the University of Wales, is the first academic Chair to be established in any national library in the world.

Lorna has twenty years experience in researching and organising digital information and has worked in universities in Glasgow, Oxford, Arizona, New York and London.

Lorna will undertake and lead academic research on the latest developments in digital resources, while applying their findings to the large digital collections housed at the National Library of Wales. This work spans the creation, provision, investigation, interpretation and conservation of digital collections, including legal issues, the management of data, innovative research methods, and technological developments in access, search and exploitation.

Lorna says, ‘I am delighted to be joining the National Library of Wales, which has a world-class reputation and some very important collections. The NLW has incredible digital collections, and has taken a very strategic approach to digitisation in recent years. I hope to develop a number of new research projects related to the creation, management and use of digital collections. I am also very committed to developing collaborations and partnerships, both nationally and internationally.’

In many respects Lorna will be going back to her roots as she takes up the job of Chair in Digital Collections.

‘I had a Welsh grandfather, who practiced as a dentist in Glasgow in the 1930s! Sadly, he died many years before I was born, but I am now inspired to track down some of my Welsh connections. I am also really looking forward to re-locate in West Wales,’ she added.

Andrew Green, Librarian of The National Library of Wales, is looking forward to Lorna beginning in her new post in Aberystwyth.

‘The National Library of Wales is very glad to appoint a person of Lorna’s calibre and expertise. We hope she will be inspired by the collections within the National Library and beyond. We’re sure she will be able to bring her enthusiasm and experience together for the benefit of extending our understanding and appreciation of digitised and as yet undigitised collections to the world’s attention and benefit,’ said Andrew Green.

Professor Marc Clement, Vice-Chancellor of the University of Wales, also expressed his pleasure at the appointment:

‘The University of Wales is delighted to be instrumental in establishing this unique professorial post.  I feel certain that Professor Hughes brings exactly the right mix of experience and enthusiasm required to lead the innovative work of pioneering the Library’s new technological developments.’

NewsBank UK

As of 1 January 2010 a new online newspaper service is available for all Welsh public, HE and FE and health libraries, the Welsh Assembly Government and the National Library of Wales.

Designed specifically for libraries in Wales, this new online Newspaper resource, Access Wales & UK Newspapers,  features popular titles from within Wales, providing in-depth coverage of local and regional issues and events. Well-known titles from England, Scotland, Northern Ireland are also included, further expanding the scope of this robust research tool.

Updated daily, Newsbank UK provides millions of current and archived newspaper articles that researchers can use to pinpoint sources, compare perspectives and track subjects historically and geographically. Users can quickly and easily search either a single Welsh newspaper or Welsh and UK titles simultaneously. Customised searches can be created and saved for future use or configured for email alerts.