[Eril-l] [Cambridge Core platform

Kearney, Richard KearneyR at wpunj.edu
Tue Oct 4 15:16:19 PDT 2016

I could not agree more with Melissa and Athena. While Cambridge may have "discussed the [check box for 'only search content I have access to'] option at great length with a panel of librarians who tested Cambridge Core at Charleston last year and many other librarians globally," it is inconceivable to me that Cambridge did not hear in those discussions that libraries want not merely a checkbox but also the option through local administrative accounts to make that the default search mode, such that unchecking the box becomes the option. This was the very first inquiry I made the day that platform launched, and it did not surprise me one bit that this option was not available because, like several other publishers, Cambridge fully intends to use its platform as a marketing tool. Cambridge most certainly did not fail to make sure that a "Recommend to librarian" button was placed on the screen of every single item to which subscribing institutions do not have access. And I have no doubt Cambridge will soon be supplying us all with very "helpful" turnaway reports, as I'm sure the reason we aren't buying everything on the platform is not because we've been subject to severe budget austerity but rather because we obstinately refuse to spend the boatloads of money we have in our copious and ever-growing budgets.

For users, this interface makes every search an exercise in frustration and reflects poorly on the institutions that account for most of the revenue the publisher enjoys. Customer service indeed.

The first time something like this happened to my library, thanks to another very prestigious publisher, we received a firestorm of complaints from faculty and students. We inquired about having a default option to search only subscribed content and were flatly refused. Our response was to remove all links to the publisher's platform from our web site. Our subscribed titles remained accessible through our link resolver knowledgebase and could thus be retrieved through any subject index that included their content or through our online periodicals directory. After more such behavior from this very prestigious and highly respected publisher, we finally cancelled our last remaining title from that entity. And the world didn't end.

I have now removed the link to Cambridge Core from our web site as well. There is simply no good reason to keep it on our web site, as it is just an invitation to student and faculty frustration.

Cambridge needs to take what we are saying very, very seriously. Continuing to treat its paying customers this way will not end well for Cambridge.

Richard Kearney
Electronic Resources Librarian
David and Lorraine Cheng Library
William Paterson University
300 Pompton Road
Wayne, NJ 07470
Tel. 973.720.2165
Fax  973.720.2585
kearneyr at wpunj.edu<mailto:kearneyr at wpunj.edu>
Cheng Library Extra Blog Newsfeed [Add FeedBurner Feed] <http://feeds.feedburner.com/ChengLibraryExtra>

From: Eril-l [mailto:eril-l-bounces at lists.eril-l.org] On Behalf Of Athena Hoeppner
Sent: Tuesday, September 20, 2016 11:44 AM
To: mbelvadi at upei.ca; tcollier at cambridge.org
Cc: eril-l at lists.eril-l.org
Subject: Re: [Eril-l] [FORGED] Cambridge adopted the same bad platform as Taylor & Francis?

Agreed on the points about directing users to EDS and other indexes in combo with link resolvers. Publisher sites that fail to default to content currently accessible to the user are problematic.

Athena Hoeppner
UCF Libraries
athena at ucf.edu<mailto:athena at ucf.edu>

-----Original Message-----
From: Melissa Belvadi [mbelvadi at upei.ca]
Received: Tuesday, 20 Sep 2016, 11:16AM
To: Tristan C Collier [tcollier at cambridge.org]
CC: eril-l at lists.eril-l.org<mailto:eril-l at lists.eril-l.org> [eril-l at lists.eril-l.org]
Subject: Re: [Eril-l] [FORGED] Cambridge adopted the same bad platform as Taylor & Francis?
Thanks to Tristan for this response. For me the most important sentence is: "Of course, most readers search in library systems and internet search engines, not on publisher platforms.".

As a librarian at an institution with a robust discovery service (EDS), I strongly discourage users from using the search features of any one publisher site (including JSTOR in that although they aren't really a publisher). There just isn't any publisher who has such an extreme monopoly on any one discipline, not even ACS or APA, to justify the time spent learning a bespoke search engine for just that one publisher's subset of the discipline's scholarly output.

I welcome hearing reasons why I'm wrong.

Melissa Belvadi

On Tue, Sep 20, 2016 at 12:05 PM, Tristan C Collier <tcollier at cambridge.org<mailto:tcollier at cambridge.org>> wrote:
Dear All,

Thanks for your feedback about Cambridge Core. This is very valuable for us in terms of informing platform development going forwards.

We're sorry that Diane doesn't like the design of the platform. Bob Pearson is correct in saying that the T&F platform is built on Atypon technology, whereas Cambridge Core is entirely bespoke and built in-house. So there is no common technology or shared design between the two platforms.  In response to Steve Oberg, yes Cambridge Core is entirely created by CUP, though we did work with two or three partners on areas like usage reporting and web analytics. Apologies if this wasn't clear enough in my response to LibLicense-L.

Cambridge Core was developed after exhaustive user research, especially amongst academic researchers, but also librarians, authors and society publishers, so there may have been similar requests made by researchers when T&F designed their platform.  Of course, not everyone is going to agree, even within these groups, on their preferred solutions, but we have tried to please as many people as possible.

Yes Cambridge Core is 'responsive', or designed to work on all devices.  As several have commented, this is imperative due to the proliferation of non-desktop technology and the need to provide a good experience on handheld devices.

A-Z journals listing
This is available here: https://www.cambridge.org/core/what-we-publish/journals We are currently consulting on whether we can improve on the signposting to get people to this.

Content I have access to
Thanks Leslie for your approval for our check box for "only search content I have access to".  We discussed this option at great length with a panel of librarians who tested Cambridge Core at Charleston last year and many other librarians globally.  We are looking to improve the display of what users have access to - we are considering how to show access symbols on the all issues page as well as at the article/journal page/chapter/book levels.

Advanced Search
Diane you also mentioned that Advanced Search does not feature. In some ways, we feel that Cambridge Core is an example of less is more in this regard.  The search function on Cambridge Core is far more powerful than the search on our previous platforms and the faceting options on the left hand side enable accurate pinpointing of content in a way that was never possible across the previous 6 platforms. So in fact the Cambridge Core search is far smarter than the Advanced Search on the old systems. We have tried to provide a solution that is of maximum benefit to our readers and libraries globally, but of course we are always hoping to improve this if we receive feedback and we will continue to review our search solution.

Of course, most readers search in library systems and internet search engines, not on publisher platforms.

Future development
The good news is that Cambridge Core has been built on new, flexible technology, which will enable us to make improvements more quickly than was possible with our previous platforms.

I hope this goes some way towards explaining the development work behind Cambridge Core.  Once again, thanks for all your input and please let us know if you have further questions or comments.

Best wishes


Tristan Collier
Senior Library Marketing Manager,
Institutional Marketing

Cambridge University Press
University Printing House
Shaftesbury Road
Cambridge, CB2 8BS
England, UK

From: Bob Pearson <b.pearson at auckland.ac.nz<mailto:b.pearson at auckland.ac.nz>>
Date: September 19, 2016 at 7:50:42 PM EDT
To: "'eril-l at lists.eril-l.org<mailto:eril-l at lists.eril-l.org>'" <eril-l at lists.eril-l.org<mailto:eril-l at lists.eril-l.org>>
Subject: Re: [Eril-l] [FORGED] Cambridge adopted the same bad platform as Taylor & Francis?
On a technical point - I believe T&F Online is on the Atypon Literatum platform. I don't know whether Cambridge Core is, or whether CUP developed their own platform.

Bob Pearson
Digital Access Librarian
Digital Services
The University of Auckland Library
New Zealand

From: Eril-l [mailto:eril-l-bounces at lists.eril-l.org] On Behalf Of Diane Westerfield
Sent: Tuesday, 20 September 2016 6:16 a.m.
To: 'eril-l at lists.eril-l.org<mailto:eril-l at lists.eril-l.org>' <eril-l at lists.eril-l.org<mailto:eril-l at lists.eril-l.org>>
Subject: [FORGED] [Eril-l] Cambridge adopted the same bad platform as Taylor & Francis?

Hey everybody,

I was trying to log into Cambridge today and noticed the new "Cambridge Core" seems to have adopted the same bad platform as Taylor & Francis, just with different branding. Dumbed down, no Advanced Search, no Journal Titles A-Z, generic Bootstrap look, hard to see what you have access to until you drill down to the article level.


I'm unable to articulate in a polite way my displeasure so I'll just leave those links for others to browse, unhappily.

Diane Westerfield, Electronic Resources & Serials Librarian
Tutt Library, Colorado College
diane.westerfield at coloradocollege.edu<mailto:diane.westerfield at coloradocollege.edu>
(719) 389-6661<tel:%28719%29%20389-6661>

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Cambridge University Press is the publishing business of the University of Cambridge with VAT registered number GB 823 8476 09.  Our principal office is at University Printing House, Shaftesbury Road, Cambridge, CB2 8BS, United Kingdom.

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Melissa Belvadi
Collections Librarian
University of Prince Edward Island
mbelvadi at upei.ca<mailto:mbelvadi at upei.ca> 902-566-0581

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