Sherif EBSCO Enhancement Group

 21 November 2019

Leeds Beckett University



Sarah Thompson (ST), University of York - Chair

Julie Cleverley (JC), Leeds Beckett University

Tom Vause (TV), Leeds Beckett University

Sarah Robbins (SR), Liverpool John Moores University – Minutes

Helen Buchanan (HB), Imperial College London

Martin Kelleher (MK), University of Liverpool

Clare Miller (CM), Newcastle University

Nadine Edwards (NE), University of Greenwich

Geraldine O’Beirn (GO), Queens University, Belfast


Steve Giannoni (SG), EBSCO Information Services

Richard Bramwell (RB), EBSCO Information Services

Adam Walsh (AW), Ebsco Information Services



  1. Apologies for absence:

Beverley Delaney (Open University)

Helen Handley (University of Birmingham)

Kerry Hadaway, (University of Southampton)

Emma Hollinshead, (Aston University)

  1. Welcome and Introductions; Membership update

Tom taking over from Julie, Martin attending in lieu of Elizabeth Gillespie

  1. Minutes of the last meeting, 30 July 2019

3A1 Action: BW/EBSCO user research to reach out to Liverpool


3A2 Action: BW to check whether there are plans for placard reports and report back

            Ebsco have analytics and different tools on front and back end. Not tracking personal data, but tracking usage and movement. How should Ebsco make this info available to institutions? This is being looked at as part of a wider discussion around how analytics are used.

3B Action: BW to look into including an 'Accessibility Help' footer

            Ebsco are looking into putting this in the new Ebscohost interface. But looking at UoL there is a link already there, so there is a possibility this is already live. This isn’t on Leeds Beckett’s page so looks like UoL has been specifically configured. MK to ask EG how this was achieved

4C Action: ST to coordinate feedback from the Group and send to SG

            Is this still required? Leeds Beckett have done something for themselves. Action: Tom to share this with interested institutions [Now Done]

5a Action: ST to pass this invitation on via the Sherif mailing list.

            No takers from the community, but will be discussed later in the meeting.

5b Action: BW to confirm how databases without title lists will be handled

            The new Publication Finder should be coming in early 2020. This can be trialled with current setups for anyone who is interested in testing it. Interest from Greenwich and Liverpool. AW to clarify with developers.

6 Action: ST to amend June 2018 minutes:


Action: ST to chase up with Richard Bramwell as still awaiting an update on this from Richard


Reply from Richard: Please find the response from Adam Walsh our Library Services Engineer: “ I think a lot of sites question that we don’t have an easily accessible print book or ebook limiter. Essentially getting them added can be requested via support. They would request “Custom Stackable Limiters” for Print Book only and Ebook Only.”


Action: ST to check ‘Exporting search strategy – ST asked whether this was being looked at.  TL confirmed that it is being actively worked on and feeds in to the current UX work.’

ST to go back to other users who have raised this issue, put a case together for this issue and email it to TL

ST to follow up with Helen after the meeting. Could be enhanced in the new release


Action: SG to check with TL ‘Personalisation/folders in EDS and SSO problems – several customers have reported items that have been saved to folders going missing when users log back in to their account at a later date.  TL agreed to investigate this with EBSCO colleagues.‘

TL to investigate this issue with the authentication team and other within EBSCO and report back

No response received so SG to chase

Action: SG to collate responses. Group members to contact customer support if want to have the report a broken link function added to their system

This was superseded by other work (i.e. Leeds Beckett linking

Action: ST to check with HH whether this is still an issue

EBSCO adaptor API set up in Primo but article results sourced from the API don’t filter out when you filter to a type such as journal – This was raised by University of Birmingham.  TL said he can arrange for this issue to be investigated further if Birmingham can send a screen capture of what is happening to pinpoint where the issue is.

HH from Birmingham to email TL with a screen capture and relevant screenshots.  Email address

This has been resolved


  1. Sherif users’ issues


  1. Product versions: Concern over the phasing out of Business Source Elite. Raised by University of the Highlands and Islands

There is an issue here of affordability for small institutions who can’t afford the more expensive versions. SG: Very few using BSE as opposed to Complete/Ultimate etc. Ebsco are working with these institutions to move them onto a different version. Ebsco have currently paused this plan and affected sites (4 in UK and Ireland) have been notified.

  1. Usage consolidation – EBSCO have only half-implemented COUNTER 5, I want to be able to load my C5 reports via Sushi, and I want to be able to load TR_J1 if I want to. I also want to see error messages that tell me what’s wrong with the file rather than “contact EBSCO for help”. Raised by Bedfordshire

Ebsco acknowledge that this is important and it should be implemented early 2020. Re: error messages – SG to follow up with Becky

  1. EBSCOnet/subscriptions management: could there be a better way of listing single user subscriptions. They are currently included within Print + Online subscriptions but they are really not the same thing at all, and it is extra work to hide them from Holdings management. Could they either be excluded from Holdings management, or a separate subscription type be introduced? Raised by Bedfordshire

Everyone agreed that single-user (named) is not suitable, so to have this flagged would be very useful. SG will speak to the EbscoNet team. If auto switch on is activated in the ERM, institutions have to remember to go in to turn it off. If these could be flagged separately so that they are not automatically activated. This kind of functionality is there with ebooks, but not journals.

  1. EbscoNet/subscriptions management: when running my Subscription Usage Report I want to be able to specify which months I want to see usage from, instead of EBSCO making that decision in the background. Raised by Bedfordshire


SG requires more clarity on what is required by Bedfordshire. ST to put RB/SG in touch with Bedfordshire

  1. ‘Springer Nature Journals’ was added to EDS as a partner database in June 2019.  The Customlink ‘EDS - Springer Nature Journals’ local collection for filter list doesn’t have any option that represents the UK’s Springer Nature journals agreement (JISC Springer Compact) – other consortia-specific collections are included and an out of date NESLI option.  SI 414820 created for this. Raised by Liverpool

AW queried why Liverpool want to use the custom link and not use full-text finder. MK mismatch of data between systems. The package in EDS isn’t bespoke enough for the UK. AW – either select that package in Holdings management, or have this package created in Holdings Management for the UK user community. It would be possible to load a local collection into EDS if required and it would solve the problem, but this isn’t necessarily the easiest way of dealing with it.

Action: Someone from Ebsco to speak directly to Liverpool about their setup.

  1. EDS records from VLeBooks (database code edsvle) contain gobbledegoop in the metadata (see attached) – fulltext finder link consequently goes to 404 error.  SI 377250. Raised by Liverpool

Waiting for that to come in to be fixed

  1. “Export reference to RefWorks” link in fulltext finder hasn’t worked for quite a while.  SI 135343 exists for fixing this.  Last update I have received was in May this year, when it was considered a high priority issue and the team working on it hoped to have the fix for an upcoming release. Raised by Liverpool

Ebsco are working on this. Should be addressed in the next release.



  1. EBSCOConnect: while it’s good for managing support requests, the EDS email list is still really useful and shouldn’t be replaced by Connect forums. Members are pleased EBSCO no longer intend to retire the EDS email list, feeling that they wouldn’t consistently manage to dip into forums to keep up-to-date.

Welcom news


  1. It would be helpful if there could be some way of obtaining the search strategy in text or MS Word format – this would mean that it could then be easily included in documents, such as appendices where researchers have undertaken a systematic literature review, and need to report on their search strategy.  Several other databases offer this facility, e.g. OVID, via their results management options – you can select to email results to yourself and tick a box for the search strategy to be added to the email.  Proquest allows you to export all searches, in a choice of format (pdf, rtf, html or text only). Raised by Birmingham

UK trainers have fed that back to project management to look at


  1. Holdings management – I wanted to ask if anyone else has EBSCO as subscription agent and order integration turned on for HM.  We’ve had titles/packages activated in HM via order integration that we’ve never had an EbscoNet order for; the EbscoNet order ref that we can see in HM (which is why we know it’s down to order integration) doesn’t exist in EbscoNet!    We have an SI for our specific case but I would be interested to compare experiences with anyone. Raised by Liverpool

Specific to UoL Work to look into this on the UoL account to fix it.


  1. Please remove the select/deselect function from title selection on HLM. This is an unpopular function, which has too much of a risk of large scale accidental change. If selection/deselection of whole packages is desired, this is generally preferred to be done at the package/vendor menu level anyway, so it would be desirable to remove this extra step/high error risk function from HLM. Raised by Liverpool


A concern that there is a risk that whole collections could be turned on/off or accidentally. Feeling that this depends on the institution. Could this be tailored so each institution could decide whether to have it visible or not. Ebsco – feedback from community on this is mixed. There is a pop up to alert users if select all/deselect all had been selected. SG to check if there is an SI in for this.


  1. Ebooks in ebscohost databases - in database publication lists they look like they’re being made to fit into a template designed for journals; it isn’t obvious how to open them or what they are.  This is the page supplied as the 856 URL in EBSCO MARC updates service, so it is seen a lot by students – poor UX. ER 167618, Raised by Liverpool. NB: this was discussed at our last meeting (point 3E in the minutes); could we please have a reminder of when the platform changes which address this will be happening?


  1. EBSCO Update

Ashleigh Faith

Courtney Peckham

Mike Napoleone

Sara Earley

Kimberley Clarkson

Update on Business Source: This is not definitive. It was talked about as part of a wider discussion about product lines. There is no timeline for Elite to be removed from the Ebsco portfolio. Ebsco acknowledge that budget is a big driver for institutions who currently have Elite. ST fed back the thoughts of the University of the Highlands and Islands who are very unhappy that they’ve been advised that they will have to migrate to a bigger package with a higher cost. KC stated that this was communicated to them poorly, and this is not currently the case. Ebsco are keen to provide value to the collections and KC will speak to the rep for this institution is happy to talk directly with Highlands and Islands.

E.    Feedback re: ebooks. In the next 6 months First/second quarter 2020. MK asked is this specific to Ebsco ebooks, or all those in Ebscohost. SG clarified it is the ebooks in Ebscohost.

Older ebooks – do institutions expect older ebooks are converted? This would be a mammoth job for Ebsco to consider, in relation to the usage these books see. What are the thoughts of the group. MK wants all content to be available. Poor quality PDF is better than losing content. Tom – better quality metadata is preferable to changing and updating formats.



Publications Browse on EBSCOhost – Courtney

Accessed via the toolbar on Ebscohost interface, alphabetical list of publications, search, see more info etc.

Qu: is this used in the libraries? MK this is the page they point users to. Newcastle refer academics to it to check what is in each resource. Leeds Beckett don’t use it as they would point users to the Ebsco Ejournals A-Z

Survey to be sent after the meeting for everyone in the group to return

Ebooks in publication browse – this is still problematic. What value is the publication browse in each database?



Next phase of Ebscohost/landing page

An entry point to Ebsco databases and a place to orient the researcher

Working with the architecture team to improve search experience – moving search bars, clickable content, navigation improvements etc.

Much cleaner design. Single search bar, with all options on left.

Click through to Academic Disciplines – to provide a level of granularity and narrow down searches before they start.

More formal landing pages for some databases – may be more relevant to public libraries, still has the single search for that particular database

Feedback: usage tends to come through a discovery system, or Google! Rather than users starting at a database level. Leeds Beckett – as more reading lists are made available, the less browsing that’s done – users are going directly to the material that is recommended. We would expect Y1 would use reading lists almost exclusively, but by Y3 would expect more browsing and searching for additional material. Have a franchise profile to comply with licensing and find this a really useful tool. Subject profiles are similarly useful.

Follow up via email with questions for feedback.


Ashleigh Director of Content Enrichment

Visual search

Enhance Subject Provision (ESP) subject vocabularies mapped together and overlaid with natural language to be more helpful to the end user.

Trying to help users make connections between subjects. There is an option for Explore linked topics. Example Java – programming language, island or coffee. User given power to select what they meant. Select the one they want, then given a 3D or 2D model of spin off topics. Lots of nodes of more granular subjects, get an overview of what each one is about. Jump off to each one and see relationships etc. Select them to build a search in EDS without having knowledge of Boolean logic. Visual search construction. Relationships (is a, part of, related, other) Working on getting search results displaying on this screen.

Leeds Beckett – question about accessibility and screenreaders. Answer: This is in phase 2, looking at having a table as well as the visual search which will be screenreader friendly.

Can be customised by colour so this can be tailored to suit users with visual impairment

This only covers anything in an institutional profile, rather than linking out to anything external.

Beckett – can these image maps be shared or exported. Answer: yes it is possible to share the knowledge graph.

ST asked – is Ebsco looking for trial institutions using EDS. Answer yes. Contact SG to liaise with Ashleigh if an institution has an interest in trialling this.


Mike part of SASS project group

Mobile app. Real time demo

Geolocation based to show local subscribers via Find my Library, or login via Personal user account – existing accounts would work for seamless integration. Sign in via google or OA also possible. Personal account not required, but will give personalised functionality not otherwise available.

Shows previous searches, perform a search and get a drop down of suggested terms. List of results. Fulltext and peer reviewed filters at the top.

Biggest difference between the legacy app and this one is the ease of authentication. Possible now to read articles offline. SG: is there a need for beta partners to test this. Feb 2020 launch of initial pilot phase.


  1. Any other business

None received

  1. Date and location of next meeting

May 2020 tbc, possibly via WebEx