1. Identify trends and future directions in publishing and aggregation of serials.
Libraries are turning to electronic journal formats for a variety of reasons, but primarily to satisfy user demand. Given the growing trend, what is the future of the print journal? Will publishers continue to provide print? What is the future of packaging and delivery? As electronic becomes the format of choice, what is the future of the journal itself? Will article databases be more prevalent? Recently some publishers have pulled their serials from out of aggregations. Might smaller, publisher-produced, or more subject-oriented aggregations emerge? What changes might we foresee that will impact on the ways in which we provide access to this information? How might new standards, such as Onyx, DOI, and OpenURL change the ways in which we provide access to serial literature?
2. Determine the types of data that are needed for users to find, identify, select and obtain electronic serials at the journal, issue and article levels. Determine also the types of data needed (by libraries and others) to sustain the business practices of providing access to serials (acquiring, licensing, paying, auditing, rights management, archiving).
While the bibliographic records plays a pivotal role in the environment of the ILS, how important is it in providing to electronic journal literature? Users have always used A&I services, in conjunction with the library catalog. With the growing use of link resolvers that enable direct access to online text, what role does the catalog play? What types of data that have traditionally been given are no longer needed or as important? What kinds of additional data might be needed? And what is the role of the bibliographic record in this environment? What is needed in the way of holdings and pattern data given the potential for more remote storage of print, archiving of electronic copy, and self-checkin?
3. Determine the most effective means for providing this data as well as what processes are used to trigger its creation and maintenance.
It was traditionally the role of library catalogers and support staff to provide catalog and holdings records. However, CONSER has long included members of the serials industry in this process. EBSCO and Chemical Abstracts are both long-time CONSER members who have helped to maintain data and enrich CONSER records with additional information that catalogers could not easily provide. More recently, EBSCO, Proquest, and others have created record sets for their aggregations. And now serial management companies have begun providing record sets and other products to libraries by using the CONSER database.
Are there new partnerships that might be forged, new opportunities for data gathering and retrieval?
4. Determine the role of CONSER and the shared bibliographic record.
As the CONSER database becomes more widely used, what types of data do we need in the bibliographic records contained within it? What information do we need locally to accomplish the tasks in #2 and what can be cooperatively maintained for the benefit of all? How else might CONSER work with members of the library community and serials industry to further the access to serial literature?