Emerald leads new JISC RSS project to push Table of Contents into library catalogues


Paul Evans, head of web services at Emerald Group Publishing, explains the value that the project will bring to both library staff and users, “Cataloguing journals and articles has, up until now, been considered a ‘luxury’ in resource terms by many academic institutions. Once TOCRoSS is complete, cataloguing journal articles becomes automatic and the commonly asked question, “Why can’t I find any articles on the OPAC?” becomes obsolete.”


[UKPRwire, Tue Jan 31 2006] Emerald Group Publishing Ltd announces that it is leading a Joint Information Systems Committee (JISC) project: ‘Table of Contents by Really Simple Syndication’ (TOCRoSS). The project team will develop an RSS news feed service that automatically pushes publisher and e-journal information into library catalogues. Started in October 2005, the project will run for 10 months, completing in July 2006.

Emerald, a leading publisher of journals in management, and library & information services, is leading the project. Emerald’s head of web services, Paul Evans, is the project manager. Market-leading library systems and services supplier to the UK and Ireland academic and public library market, Talis, is the project’s technology partner. Talis is working with Emerald to develop the publisher RSS and will develop the open source software environment to manage the service at educational establishments. The University of Derby, a pioneer in the use of open URL for linking to electronic journals, is working as the test bed and evaluation partner. JISC is backing the project with £15,000, and all partners have committed to match the funding, making a total of £60,000.

The open source software developed will be freely available to further and higher education establishments, publishers, and library management systems developers.

To drive TOCRoSS, an RSS server located at the publisher site will generate a ‘feed’ of information that can be automatically picked up by an RSS monitor located at the customer site. The project will also develop a plug-in module for the library management system to enable the catalogue and the OPAC to be updated with the information from the RSS stream.

The RSS 2.0 standard will be used as the technology base for the project, and TOCRoSS will include a proposal to extend the standard to encode metadata associated with e-journal publishing events, for example publication of a journal, issue or article.

With TOCRoSS in place, e-journal table of content data will be fed automatically into library catalogues without the need for cataloguing, classification or data entry. This will improve the accuracy of records, save time for library staff and deliver a more integrated OPAC experience to library users. It will be of particular value to academic libraries, where students often choose search engines such as Google over the library catalogue or myriad databases for tracking down articles and information.

Paul Evans, head of web services at Emerald Group Publishing, explains the value that the project will bring to both library staff and users, “Cataloguing journals and articles has, up until now, been considered a ‘luxury’ in resource terms by many academic institutions. Once TOCRoSS is complete, cataloguing journal articles becomes automatic and the commonly asked question, “Why can’t I find any articles on the OPAC?” becomes obsolete.”

Talis Research Group's Richard Wallis sees this as an example of the bringing together of new Internet Web Services technology and real business requirements. "RSS has, up until now, been used to deliver news-feeds or alerts of blog postings to individuals' desktops. This simple, yet powerful, technology has many potential applications in machine-to-machine communications. TOCRoSS will demonstrate how the innovative application of simple technologies enables the delivery of services that previously would not have been viable."

TOCRoSS will also deliver benefits to the publishing community, improvements in the dissemination of data and information to libraries will lead to a corresponding improvement in the value and management of e-journals and other resources.

A demonstrator service is a key deliverable of the project and is expected to be up and running by June 2006.

One of the objectives of the TOCRoSS team is to deliver a service that can be widely and easily adopted across the academic community. To ensure this happens, an audit will be carried out at the start of the project to establish a baseline for current practice and information availability at test sites. The project team will develop a beta implementation and deploy it at the test sites, then carry out an impact assessment to determine the effect on users and user behaviour.

When the project is complete, the TOCRoSS software will be available with an Open Source license, making it possible for publishers and library management system suppliers to use it freely with their products and services.

The technology solution developed for TOCRoSS will also be applicable to other publisher ‘events’, such as book publication, author talks or calls for papers.

Progress updates and further information will be disseminated by the project team at industry events throughout 2006, including the UK Serials Group national conference taking place at the University of Warwick from 3rd – 5th April 2006.


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NOTES TO EDITORS:

TOCRoSS Project Partners:

Emerald Publishing Group Limited
Emerald is a leading English language publisher of academic and professional literature in the fields of management and library and information management. It started publishing its products electronically in 1994 and recently launched its third generation platform hosting more than 150 journals and databases in August 2005. Emerald has over 150 customers in the UK FE/HE community, and more than 110 of these subscribe to the Emerald Fulltext database. Emerald is actively involved in the library and information science community through its participation in the work of bodies such as UKSG, BBSLG and IFLA and is in regular attendance at industry conferences. Emerald actively supports industry standards such as Athens, OpenURL and DOIs. It has been involved in many research projects, the most recent example being with the CIBER group based at University College London.

Emerald has its own excellent IT resource capability for projects including database, programming and project management (PRINCE 2) skills.
Contact: Paul Evans, Email: pevans@emeraldinsight.com

Talis Information Limited
Talis is a leading provider of products and services for public and academic libraries in the UK and Ireland. Talis has many customers located throughout the UK and Ireland, including many leading universities, colleges and public libraries.

Talis has been involved with many research projects, including working with Northumbria University on RSS. Talis is also very active in eGovernment national projects and is associated with industry bodies such as BIC, NISO, and W3C.
Contact: Richard Wallis


University of Derby
Derby has for many years been innovative in its development of access to digital and electronic resources. It was the very first University in the UK to use 1CATE as their Open URL resolver, a working partnership that began in 2001. It has also been at the vanguard in the implementation of this Open URL resolver on the Talis platform and continues to work as a development partner with Talis for other modules for the LMS.

Derby has had a long association with Emerald and has recently assisted with trials of Emerald’s new website, and was visited by Emerald staff for an on site demonstration and feedback.
Contact: Melanie Keady

Notes for editors

1. JISC – the Joint Information Systems Committee – is a joint committee of the UK further and higher education funding bodies and is responsible for supporting the innovative use of information and communication technology (ICT) to support learning, teaching, and research. It is best known for providing the JANET network, a range of support, content and advisory services, and a portfolio of high-quality resources. Information about JISC, its services and programmes can be found at www.jisc.ac.uk/, or contact Philip Pothen on 020 7848 2935 / 07887 564 006 or p.pothen@jisc.ac.uk.

2. Emerald www.emeraldinsight.com/
Emerald Group Publishing Ltd is the leading English language publisher of academic and professional literature in the fields of management and library & information services and is a globally recognized source of online management information. Emerald is COUNTER-compliant, meeting the international code of practice for reports that allow clients to measure the usage of online information products and services in a more consistent way.

Emerald publishes over 150 titles such as Management Decision, European Journal of Marketing, Journal of Documentation, Library Hi Tech, Journal of Knowledge Management and The TQM Magazine. Emerald’s flagship product, Emerald Management Xtra, is dedicated to the continued development of business schools and management departments world-wide.


FOR FURTHER INFORMATION PLEASE CONTACT:
Catherine Dhanjal, TheAnswer Ltd, Tel: 0208 655 0953/0794 166 9925, Catherine.dhanjal@theansweruk.com
Or
Gill Crawford, Emerald Group Publishing Limited, Tel: 01274 777700, email: gcrawford@emeraldinsight.com or
(Advertising/colour separation queries to Gill Crawford)
Ref: TA-298

Company: Emerald Group Publishing


Contact Name: Gill Crawford

Contact Email: gcrawford@emeraldinsight.com

Contact Phone: 01274 777700

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