We’ve released a new Copac database and made a number of revisions to the interface. The most visible changes are:
- An updated look which will work better with mobile devices.
- Increased deduplication, including all pre-1800 materials.
- Clearer indication of document format (eg. print vs electronic).
- Options to expand merged records. You can look ‘under the bonnet’ of a merged record to see the original individual records supplied by each library, or just a subset of the original records eg. just those for printed materials.
We have currently removed the options for sorting search results. This is a temporary measure, one of a number of changes we have made whilst we assess how the new database performs now it’s in service. We will reintroduce the sort options again once we have a better sense of the overall system performance. We are also looking to move off our old hardware in the near future with one aim being to increase response times.
Changes to the database and interface have been made in response to feedback, in particular balancing concerns about duplicate records vs the desire not to lose access to the original records from each library for early printed materials. We’ve recently been working with Copac users on the interface changes and we’re continuing with interface testing and development later this year. So any feedback you have on the interface will be valuable for us to include into the ongoing development.
Note: The document format identification and deduplication are not perfect, they are both affected by the variability of the data. Deduplication of records for early printed materials has raised particular issues. We have a range of checks to try to deal with some of the record variation in both these ares, but we will be looking further at these in the future.
Four of our contributors changed to a new library system last year, so to ensure we can continue to update their data we need a complete catalogue reload. They have had difficulties successfully exporting data so, currently, four catalogues are missing from Copac. We have been working with one of the libraries and their system supplier to help resolve problems with their data export. This has taken some time, but we should begin the load of the York catalogue shortly. If this goes well we will be aiming to load the other missing catalogues as soon as possible. The libraries affected are:
- Imperial College London
- University of Manchester
- University of Sheffield
- University of York (including NRM and York Minster)
The new database and revised interface have involved major changes behind-the-scenes to provide us with a stable base for continued service expansion, as well as the potential to introduce new facilities in the future. We have some ongoing system issues and we’re working to mitigate these in the short term, whilst at the same time planning a move from our old hardware onto a new cloud platform, with a focus on response times.
Keeping in touch
You can stay in touch with Copac activity through:
- Twitter: http://twitter.com/copac
- Our mailing list: email@example.com
- Or via the blog: http://copac.ac.uk/blog/
You can also provide feedback on the service at any time through the Copac helpdesk: firstname.lastname@example.org as well as by filling in our annual user survey. We really appreciate your feedback and the comments we get help guide the development of the service.