When it rains, it pours …

Working in the field of Electronic Resources in a Graduate Research Library can be very challenging at times.  One of my responsibilities is troubleshooting access issues. Electronic resources cover the whole works: electronic books, electronic journals, full-text, A&I and image  databases and many more.  Most often these access issues touch on:

  • Open URL
  • Authentication settings
  • Off or On Campus Access
  • IP Addresses
  • Browser Compatibility
  • Site Down (Broken Links)
  • Knowledgebase
  • Vendor Admin modules
  • Patron Confusion
  • Internal communications
  • Staff Training
  • Partial Open Access
  • Metadata
  • and the list goes one ….

The last few weeks have been pretty busy. I was inundated with a number of inquiries/issues via emails, phone calls and our online reference system, Libanswers.  At one point, one of our electronic resources were disrupted due to excessive downloads.

Ahh .. excessive downloads … there are lots of reasons for this to happen. Sometimes, users deploy smart technologies to trawl (search and download) for articles.  In some instances, I discovered that the cause of this was the Find Full-text Feature in Endnote.  This actions would trigger an alert that warns the electronic publishers of this violation.  When this happens, the publishers either forewarn us to follow up and investigate the matter; or they just ‘pull the plug’.  The latter are the ones that irk me. Perhaps, there could be some form of standardization to address this matter.

On our part, we try to be pro-active as possible.  Informing our users not to download excessively during our training sessions.  Telling them the electronic resources usage policy.  Putting put signs and posters.  Sending email alerts to the community and the list goes on …..

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