Library Hub Discover: New features and Action needed if you currently login to Copac

New developments

As part of the ongoing development of the Library Hub Discover service we have released a new Advanced search screen – at the moment this is accessible by choosing the ‘more search options’ link under the search box on the Search screen. There are still changes to make, but we would like your input whilst the work is ongoing.

  • The Advanced search screen includes a wide range of search options, allowing you to build precise searches.
  • It includes a map scale search which supports range searching eg. 63000-64000, to cater for the variations in the way some scales are represented in the records. We are continuing to try and identify the diversity of map scale types and standardise these for searching.
  • You can limit your search results using a number of options as on Copac, but the selection process should now be easier. For example, to limit your search to a couple of local libraries you can select these libraries from the list and they will appear in the box on the right to show you what has been selected, making it easier for you to work with the increasing number of libraries whose catalogues are included.
  • There is also a new region search option to allow you to limit your search just to libraries within your region.
  • We have added an export option, which has the same range of export formats as Copac. The export is now available on the holdings display as well as the full record display. It will be included in the search result list in due course.

Please let us know if you have any comments on the new search and export options. You can use the feedback link at the end of each Library Hub Discover screen.

Action needed

There will be no login option in the new Library Hub Discover service, as there is in Copac. If you currently login to Copac and you wish to retain the records in ‘My References‘ you must ensure that you export these records before the end of July. Your ‘My References’ list will not be available after that date.

The Copac login gets very little use and will not be provided in Discover. We will be replacing the ‘Search History’ facility in future with a History function that is available to all service users, not just those able to login. However, the widespread use of freely available personal reference management software means there is limited value in a ‘My References’ function in its current form and there will be no equivalent in Library Hub Discover. This means that if you are one of the few people currently using the Copac ‘My References’ facility, you need to export your references before the service is replaced at the end of July. From that date you will not be able to recover any references that you haven’t exported, other than by searching the new service to identify and export them. With apologies for anyone this change may inconvenience.

 

Introducing the Jisc Library Hub Discover pilot service

At the end of July 2019 Copac and SUNCAT will be replaced by the new Jisc Library Hub Discover service. This will continue to be freely available to everyone and will enable you to find details and locations of resources across the UK.

A pilot service has been launched so please try out the the new pilot Library Hub Discover interface and provide us with feedback:

https://libraryhub.jisc.ac.uk/discover/

The interface is still being developed so please use the feedback link towards the end of each page to comment on the service as it changes and as new features are introduced.

The main differences in the new service will be:

  • A much wider range of libraries will be contributing to the Library Hub Discover service, including many more UK University libraries. So if you are a member of a UK university there is a good chance your own library will be a contributor, allowing you to see your local library materials as well as those of other institutions.
  • The search interface is being redesigned, retaining many of the basic features of Copac and SUNCAT, but with a new look and feel and with new facilities planned, including the ability to filter search results by a range of criteria.

As part of the development process we are reviewing feedback from our user survey last year as well as taking note of all the comments we get from events and directly through the web site. So please take the opportunity to see what is happening and comment on changes as the interface is developing.

Note: This is a pilot service so many things are not yet complete:

  • The Library Hub Discover database is not complete and we are loading new contributing library catalogues each week. Once added the data is being maintained, although not all libraries are currently sending regular updates. You can see which libraries are included so far on the Library Hub Discover – About page.
  • The interface is still quite basic, more search facilities and other features will be added as work continues; the latest changes will be highlighted on the search screen.

The Library Hub Discover service is part of a wider programme of work to enhance existing Jisc library support services and bring them together in a way that makes them easier to work with. Library Hub Discover is one of the first pilots to be released along with the Library Hub Cataloguing service, with Library Hub Compare to follow. There is more information about the Jisc Transforming Library Support Services work on the TLSS project blog.

Copac User Survey Results 2018

“I cannot imagine research without it.”

Many thanks to those of you that filled in the Copac user survey, we appreciate the time you took to provide your feedback. The full survey results can be seen at: Copac User Survey 2018 (pdf).

We had a good response, with more than 700 people taking the time to complete our questionnaire. The majority of people were based in the UK and were generally regular users. In terms of context, 44% of responses were from library staff/information workers, followed by academic researchers and lecturers. The majority of people were from higher education, with independent research/personal interest coming second. Most respondents recorded that they were interdisciplinary or in the field of History.

High levels of satisfaction

We’re very pleased to see that respondents are generally happy with the Copac service, with 97% indicating that they are ’very satisfied’ or ‘fairly satisfied’ with the service. Over two-thirds of respondents would be extremely likely to recommend Copac to a peer. Copac also scored positively on ease of use, with most people (89%) finding the service easy to use. Similarly, the service scored well on the perception of time saved, with 90% agreeing that their work would take longer without Copac. Both of these areas were reflected in the comments throughout the survey.

Development areas

Alongside the general satisfaction with the service, there were many valuable comments on different aspects of Copac with a wide range of requests for developments. As in previous years, the most requested enhancement was to increase the number of contributing libraries. We’re pleased to say this is something that is now underway through the development of the National Bibliographic Knowledgebase (NBK) that will underpin a resource discovery service to take over from Copac in mid 2019. In the NBK we aim to include the catalogues of all the UK university libraries that wish to participate, as well as continuing to add more catalogues from specialist research libraries. You can find out more about this development on the NBK project site.

Other areas raised by respondents related to data quality and deduplication. Much of the data on Copac is of good quality, but most libraries have areas where their data is more variable. The issues of data quality and deduplication are closely interlinked, as it is the variability of data that makes deduplication a complex process. We have always worked to try and standardise incoming data, to support resource discovery and other services, and this will continue, but with the NBK we are taking this a step further and will be working with contributing libraries to see how we can help them upgrade data where this would be useful. This will benefit the libraries locally as well as helping to reduce the levels of duplication for services based on the NBK.

In terms of change requests, it is satisfying to see that the second most frequent response to this question was ‘no improvements needed’ and we will bear this in mind as we respond to the diverse range of other requests we received for individual interface enhancements. As we move over to the NBK there will be a new resource discovery interface and we will be looking to retain the overall simplicity of the Copac interface whilst introducing a range of new facilities, such as improved ways of filtering search results. We will be asking for feedback on the new interface once this is ready for testing.

If you have any questions about the survey or the NBK development please contact us at: help@jisc.ac.uk (please state that your enquiry is for the Copac team)

Creating Copac: Matching diverse data

Creating a database with many contributing libraries is an interesting process. The way in which different libraries catalogue their collections can vary significantly, for example. depending on the nature of the library and the catalogue system they use. In addition, there are record variations within individual library catalogues, reflecting changes over time in cataloguing standards, local systems, and individual cataloguing styles. In an ideal world we want one record in Copac for each document with details of all the libraries that hold a copy of that document. In practice this can be challenging… We’ve previously talked about our overall approach to deduplication, but the team that undertook the recent White Rose collection analysis project expressed a need to know more about how record matching works in Copac, so we’ve written a summary document setting out the basic match process all records go through as they are added to Copac.

In essence…
Incoming records go through an initial check to identify whether they might be duplicates of records already on Copac. If a match is found a ‘potential duplicate pair’ is created.

Potential duplicate pairs of records then go through a detailed match process to confirm whether they are genuine duplicates. Incoming records may form match pairs with multiple Copac records and each match pair is tested in turn.

  • If a pair of potentially duplicate records fail the detailed match tests the new incoming record is added to Copac as a single, unconsolidated, record.
  • If a pair of potentially duplicate records pass the detailed match tests the records are merged to form a consolidated record. If an incoming record has multiple match pairs that succeed in passing the detailed match all the records will be brought together in a single consolidated record; a record will never appear in more than one consolidation.
  • The incoming record may match with an existing Copac record that is itself already part of a larger set of records, so the new record will be merged into that larger consolidation. It is not necessary that each record in a consolidation matches every other record in that consolidation.

Each consolidated record can be ‘expanded’ in the Copac result display, so you can see all the originally supplied records that have been brought together to form that consolidation. This means all the information in a record from a specific library can be seen in context – particularly important for early materials.

The data deduplication is a fluid process and Copac records change daily in response to additions and deletions supplied by our contributing libraries. Similarly, the match process itself evolves over time as the data changes and new matching problems emerge. However, we need to be careful that in trying to improve our matching of some records we don’t create mistaken matches for others, which can result in incorrectly merging records.

The Copac Record match summary document provides a more detailed overview of the Copac record match process: Copac Record Match and Deduplication Procedure 1017

If you have any questions about this – or any other aspect of the Copac service – you can get touch via our helpdesk: help.copac@jisc.ac.uk

Cataloguing interface for small collections?

If you are involved with a small specialist library that has a collection of historic/research interest, but which doesn’t currently have a web based catalogue, the Jisc Copac team would be very interested in hearing from you:

  • to improve the visibility of your collections through inclusion in Copac
  • and potentially to provide you with a web catalogue interface for your collection

One of the roles of the Copac union catalogue is to connect the UK (and wider) research community with the research materials they need, whilst helping to promote the contributed collections to the widest possible user community. Copac includes many of the major UK libraries and, with the move of Copac into the Jisc National Bibliographic Knowledgebase (NBK), the number of academic libraries will be increasing. However, we are also focused on incorporating the catalogues of smaller specialist libraries with collections of national and international research interest. By making these smaller catalogues part of Copac we help to make the collections of these, potentially less familiar, libraries visible internationally, increasing their accessibility to the research community.

At the moment we take catalogue records in a range of data formats, but we are aware that not every small library will have an electronic catalogue and an online presence. We have had interest expressed in a simple Copac cataloguing interface that would allow small libraries to create electronic records for their materials, which we might then include in Copac. Such a cataloguing service would not presuppose any understanding of MARC or other data standards and would be aimed primarily at small libraries, with historic collections, that don’t have their own online catalogue.

Before we decide whether we should be developing a simple cataloguing service, we need to have a better sense of which libraries might be interested in such a service.
If you think this would be relevant to your library could you get in touch and let us know the following:

  • Which library are you involved with and what is the size and nature of the collection?
  • Is your collection accessible to researchers and others?
  • What type of catalogue/finding aid do you have currently?
  • Would you use a simple cataloguing interface that allowed you to create and export records in multiple formats, including MARC21?
  • Would you wish to see the records you create included in Copac – moving to the NBK in future?
  • Would you value a local ‘view’ of your data that had the appearance of a local catalogue, allowing you to search and view just your collection?
  • Would you be willing to test and provide feedback on a trial cataloguing interface?

Deadline: We would like expressions of interest by the 31st July 2017.

Please contact us via the Copac helpdesk help.copac@jisc.ac.uk

Once we have a better understanding of the likely level of interest we can then decide whether to take this work forward and develop a trial cataloguing service.

The National Bibliographic Knowledgebase

We’re pleased to announce the development of a National Bibliographic Knowledgebase (NBK). This will be a three year development that builds on the long term success of the Copac service. The NBK will provide a new platform for expanding the database to include all UK Higher Education libraries that wish to participate, as well as retaining and increasing the range of non-academic research libraries. This greater inclusiveness of HE (and other) libraries has been the most frequent enhancement request from Copac users and we will now be working towards that goal. Jisc has commissioned OCLC to create the NBK and we will be working with the Higher Education library community to bring on board many more HE libraries, as well as continuing to expand the range of specialist research libraries that contribute their catalogue.

In the short term the NBK will be developed in parallel with the continuing development of Copac and we aim to move all current contributor data onto the new platform. As the NBK becomes established it is anticipated that Copac services, including Copac Collection Management tools (CCM tools), will become integrated into the NBK, to offer functionality that utilises the expanded data set that the NBK will provide. We will be looking to enhance existing services in resource discovery and collection management, as well as developing new services to support libraries in the management of their print and digital resources.

Full details of the NBK are available on the Press release on the Jisc National Monograph Solutions (NMS) blog.

We have also added information about the NBK to the Copac FAQ pages.

This is very early days for the project. The Copac team will be working with current Copac contributors over coming months as we begin to develop the new NBK. We will also talking with library consortia, as well as individual institutions, as we look at widening the range of contributing institutions.

Interface update: New Sort & Direct Link options

We’ve been making some changes to the Copac interface and adding new facilities. The main developments are:

  • Search results now have an estimated number of records, so for larger results you have a better idea of the number of records involved.
  • The Sort facility can now be used for a result set of up to 2000 records.
  • Where your search includes a title the Sort will include a Title Rank option to bring exactly matching titles to the top of the list.
  • The Full record display now includes a ‘Direct Link’ option. You can copy the direct link and include it in your own documents. This lets you link directly to a specific Copac record without having to search.

In addition the online Help has been updated and expanded to provide more information about managing your search results. There is a ‘Help’ button towards the top right of each screen.

These developments are in response to feedback from people using Copac, so if there are changes or additions you would like to see please get in touch. We are currently working on the deduplication procedures, in particular for pre-1800 materials, and we will be introducing enhancements to this process in due course.

If you have any comments or questions please get in touch with the Copac helpdesk: help.copac@jisc.ac.uk.

Copac cloud platform and new Web address

We have now moved the Copac service onto our new cloud platform. This is the final stage of a project to transfer the service onto a more responsive platform with greater flexibility to support future development. We will be continuing to check all aspects of the service now the move is complete – if you notice any problems please let us know via the Copac helpdesk: copac@mimas.ac.uk

You will also see there is a new Copac URL: http://copac.jisc.ac.uk
This reflects the move of Mimas services into Jisc last year. The old Copac Web address will continue to work for the forseeable future.

If you use the option to login to Copac it is possible that the Web address change may take a while to be picked up locally. So whilst we expect that most people will see the change immediately, in some cases it could take up to 24 hours before the login works for you.

As part of the work on Copac during the platform move we have removed one little used feature. Previously, where a university library didn’t have its catalogue on Copac, the library could provide information to let us to set up a local catalogue search – so a member of that university who was logged into Copac could search both Copac and their local catalogue together. This facility has been little used, so has been removed for the time being – with apologies to those who have been making us of this option. There are discussions underway about the future scope of the Copac service and once this becomes clearer we will look again at whether there is still a need for this type of facility and, if so, the best way of providing this.

Copac maintenance 30th June 2015

We are coming towards the end of a project to move Copac onto a new cloud platform, which should give us a more responsive and flexible platform for development into the future. We are planning to move onto the new cloud service on the morning of the 30th June. We don’t anticipate any downtime but the service should be considered at risk that morning.

We are also going to be moving to a new Web address to reflect the fact that Copac, along with other Mimas services, is now part of Jisc.
We will provide details once the new address is fully established, but the existing Copac Web address (http://copac.ac.uk) will continue to work for the foreseeable future.

If you have any questions please get in touch through the Copac helpdesk:
copac@mimas.ac.uk

Postponed: Copac Office Move: 17th-20th April

Unfortunately our office move has now been postponed.
We’ll post the new date nearer the time, but it is likely to be early May.

The Copac team is on the move on Friday 17th April and settling into our new office on Monday 20th April. Along with the rest of our Jisc Manchester colleagues we are moving to:
Jisc
6th Floor, Churchgate House
56 Oxford Street
Manchester
M1 6EU

With apologies in advance – you may find there is a delay in response to queries sent between 17th-20th April whilst the move takes place. But we’ll get back to you as soon as we can once we’re installed in our new space.