Ex Librian newsletter

Dear Colleagues,

Welcome to the sixteenth issue of the Ex Librian newsletter. The theme of this issue is open data and the gradual shift toward scholarly publications and metadata that are available to all with few or no restrictions. As a vendor of software and data services and a stakeholder in the library arena, Ex Libris is positioned at the crossroads of publishers, research institutions, authors, and readers. With our support for new practices and our introduction of new initiatives, we are addressing the changes that stem from the now-emerging business models and methods of dissemination.

Although open data has been a topic of discussion for many years, recent reports, initiatives, and technological advances have taken this topic center stage. As the gold and green models of open-access publishing gain momentum, the community requires new tools and practices to implement these models in a feasible and financially sustainable manner.

In recent years, our technologies have matured enough to not only support more efficient and cost-effective workflows for librarians and end users but also facilitate new forms of collaboration among libraries and generate new knowledge. Such knowledge derives from the vast amounts of metadata and data that Ex Libris now enables users to search, and, no less important, the usage data that we have been accumulating from researchers around the world. Now is the time to create innovative services based on data mining and analytics—such as the various bX usage-based services that we have developed over the last few years—with the goal of increasing scholars’ understanding and spawning more insights.

The impact of open data can be seen in the various Ex Libris offerings. For example, the Primo Central Index increases the discoverability of materials that originate from open-access repositories and open-access journals. Furthermore, through Ex Libris technologies, researchers can discover and view open-access articles in journals that require a subscription (so-called hybrid journals). Ex Libris is also engaged in several projects related to publishing practices, such as an article evaluation service.

In recent months, as the Alma unified resource management solution was rolled out to the first live customers, the vision of its collaborative potential became a reality. The Alma community catalog, designed to contain participating libraries’ metadata records, makes these records available to the community for use and reuse under an open-access license. This collaborative effort at metadata collection is at the core of the major shift that libraries are embracing; universities, national libraries, and multinational organizations around the world are opening up their metadata catalogs through open-access licenses. The changing reality helps libraries share resources, save on costs, and offer their users an information landscape that stretches beyond the materials that their library holds or licenses.

I believe that constant metamorphosis—in the library and in the world at large—is inherent to our era. Ex Libris is in continuous motion to leverage technology, data, and the innovations of both community members and Ex Libris staff to create new services that will enable our customers to address the needs of their users in the coming years.

Sincerely yours,

Matti Shem Tov
President and CEO, Ex Libris Group