Sherif EBSCO Enhancement Group

15 July 2020

Zoom Meeting: 2:00 - 3:30


Sarah Thompson (ST), University of York - Chair Helen Buchanan (HB), Imperial College London Susan Craig (SG), University of Sunderland Nadine Edwards (NE), University of Greenwich Elizabeth Gillespie (EG), University of Liverpool Emma Hollinshead (EH), Aston University

Geraldine O’Beirn (GO), Queens University, Belfast - Minutes Tom Vause (TV), Leeds Beckett University

Steve Giannoni (SG), EBSCO Information Services Richard Bramwell (RB), EBSCO Information Services Joe Schulkins (JS), EBSCO Information Services

Steph Moriarty (SM), EBSCO Information Services

  1. Apologies for absence:

    Sarah Robbins (Liverpool John Moores University) Beverley Delaney (Open University)

    Kerry Hadaway, (University of Southampton)

  2. Welcome and Introductions; Membership update

    1. Susan Craig, University of Sunderland, is replacing Clare Miller

    2. University of Birmingham, currently represented by Helen Handley, are stepping down from the group

    3. Sarah Thompson, University of York, is stepping down as Chair. Sarah has notified the Sherif committee and is currently seeking a replacement chair from the group.

  3. Minutes of the last meeting, 21 November 2019

    No specific actions to follow up on. Matters Arising

    3B. 'Accessibility Help' footer can be integrated into EBSCO interfaces by requesting through EBSCO Support.

    Sherif users’ issues

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

      EBSCO will be not be retiring existing databases at present. (RB)

    2. Usage consolidation & implementation of COUNTER 5. Raised by Bedfordshire.

      EBSCO have now fully released COUNTER 5 reporting in Usage Consolidation and it also includes cost information. (SG)

    3. EBSCONET/subscriptions management: improve 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.

    4. EBSCONET/subscriptions management: specify months of usage when running Subscription Usage Report rather than EBSCO prescribing month parameters. Raised by Bedfordshire

      Jenny Weston at EBSCO is currently working on improvements in the journal subscriptions area. (SG)

    5. Relevant JISC Springer Compact filter for selection for ‘Springer Nature in EDS. Raised by Liverpool.

      This is now resolved. (JS)

    6. EDS records from VLeBooks (edsvle) contain gobbledegook in the metadata & fulltext finder link consequently goes to 404 error. SI 377250. Raised by Liverpool.

      EBSCO have contacted Askews and Holts and some of the issues regarding the records have been resolved but other remain. The issue relates to diacritics within the fields. Work between EBSCO and Askews and Holts is ongoing to resolve this. (JS)

    7. “Export reference to RefWorks” link in fulltext finder hasn’t worked for quite a while. SI 135343. Raised by Liverpool

      Resolution of this issue has been deferred, as EBSCO rewrite the Full Text Finder interface (which is part of a general overhaul of all EBSCO interfaces). The rewrite will incorporate a fix on the issue. (JS)


      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.

        EBSCO have had feedback to the contrary from other customers. EBSCO will not make this particular changes unless more customers request this. In Folio there are a number of alternative options. (JS)

      2. 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. Also discussed at previous meeting. This is because consistency has to be applied across the product range and to ensure functionality on all devices including the mobile app. (JS)

  4. Sherif user’s issues

    ST has received a request to share the issues raised by individual institutions with the wider Sherif community prior to today’s meeting with EBSCO. There was limited response to the call for issues this time, which is understandable given the current situation.

    1. When combining search terms using search history, any words left in the search bar are included in the next combination - this skews the results, and users may not notice this has happened.


      SG says it is possible to easily change this setting for the database in EBSCO Admin and will forward details.

    2. Ability to customise the messages to users when EBSCO update their Privacy Policy. When EBSCO make updates to the privacy policy/GDPR, users are requested to accept the terms again to be able to continue using the personalisation elements of the services. But the notifications tell them they can continue to use EDS even if they do not accept the policy. For most institutions this will be true but, due to how we have our single-sign-on set-up, our users have to accept the terms to be able to continue using the service (i.e. the login for personalisation is linked to their login for authentication). If we were able to customise the message that users get, it would help us make it clearer to our users and avoid confusion. ER 440738.

      JS to get an update from EBSCO authentication team to clarify this.

    3. Would like to add all the results to a folder at the same time rather than 50 max.

    NB: This has been raised previously on several occasions; ER 158389.

    JS says there is currently a wider conversation ongoing around search functionality and how EBSCO can best address the different needs of their users. There is beta testing running at present which will give an indication of limits.


    1. ST raised the possibility of being able to view which enhancement requests were the most popular.

      SG says that hopefully this can be addressed when in a call with Product Management.

    2. HB asked if EBSCO invoices could be sent into Alma via API.

      SG said EBSCO are working towards a future where systems would be more consolidated, such as EBSCONET being integrated with database billing.

    3. TV requested if the free additional content on Holdings Management added during Covid-19 crisis, could be automatically deselected and removed when they expire. JS proposed Folio ERM as a possible solution to this but would also investigate this on EBSCO Admin.

  5. EBSCO Update

    Steve Gianonni

    Director of Sales, UK & Ireland

  6. EBSCO ebook platform switching

    Steph Moriarty

    Sales Manager, eBooks at EBSCO Information Services

    Perpetual ebooks on an aggregator platform can be switched to a different aggregator at no additional cost, dependent on publisher participation. To facilitate the switch, the metadata for the title must be submitted in Excel form, with the ISBN being the minimum requirement. If available the access model information previously had with vendor must be included. The switch involves a match for same edition and not an upgrade. The quote should be forwarded to the EBSCO rep and when quote is returned, a signature of a waiver is required indicating that a request will be made by the customer to shut off access for applicable titles on the other vendor’s platform.

    1,200 publishers allow free platform switching and includes major platforms such as Taylor & Francis, Elsevier, Oxford University Press & SpringerNature. EBSCO will continue to target publishers that they do not have current switch rights for.

    If EBSCO does not carry the same license as previous vendor, EBSCO will switch to the next available model. If an upgrade from single to a higher model is required, the institution will be charged for difference in cost between the two models. Ebooks on the EBSCO platform can be made available in 24 hours. MARC record needs can be accommodated. If a customer is a GOBI user, EBSCO would upload to GOBI for deduplication control.

  7. Format and Chair of future meetings

    ST proposed that future EBSCO Sherif meetings should be conducted online and the group concurred with this. It was proposed to change the frequency of the meetings from biannually to quarterly.

    Sarah Thompson, University of York, is stepping down as Chair. Sarah has notified the Sherif committee and is currently seeking a replacement chair from the group. Steve Giannoni commended Sarah for her valued contribution as Chair to EBSCO Sherif group.

  8. Any other business

    None received.

  9. Date and location of next meeting

A WebEx follow up meeting will be held with Product Management, preferably the first week in August. The meeting will include an accessibility compliance update.