[Eril-l] Free access to publisher databases and a question

Megan Ruenz megan.ruenz at wheaton.edu
Wed Mar 25 11:41:41 PDT 2020


I think you ask a great question.  The offers coming in from our publishers are so kind and we are thankful for them, but it can be overwhelming if they aren’t kept track of in one place.  This is what we are doing:

How are you dealing with these free resources that will be yanked off after things are normal?

  1.  I have created a LibGuide that I’ve shared with our Librarians and users where all of the publishing offers are being tracked.  They are added to the guide whether or not we add them into our collection.  I have shared this LibGuide (https://guides.library.wheaton.edu/COVID19Offers) with the LibGuide Community and you are more than welcome to use it as a template if you think it would be helpful to your library and setting.
  2.  For offers that we are making available to our users, I am adding them ONLY to our databases A-Z list (https://library.wheaton.edu/databases/subjects?tid=118).  I’ve created an additional subject tag for these items so that I know to take them out at the end of the semester.
  3.  In very few of the offers we’ve activated I have turned on access through our link resolver (SFX) and through WorldCat Discovery (WMS) but only in the select cases.  And those I am keeping a separate list of to turn access back off at the end of the semester.
  4.  At no point are we adding any MARC records for any of these resources.  Users will have to find them through the means mentioned above.

Are you setting up access for them just like you would for a subscribed product?
Kind of – as mentioned above, for a few of the eBook collections that we’ve activated, I have turned on access through our link resolver (SFX) and through our discovery layer (WMS).  In these very few instances it was thought to be better to integrate that further for our users instead of asking them to enter through the Databases A-Z list.

If yes, what is your reasoning behind that and what is your workflow?
Hopefully I have answered this in the above.  But essentially the work is done by me and I follow these steps:

  1.  I add the offer to my LibGuide and then decide if it would be beneficial to our users
  2.  If it’s a resource that we want to offer, then it will get added to our databases A-Z list and tagged with the COVID-19 subject tag.
  3.  If it’s a resource that would benefit the greater campus (an academic eBook collection for example) then I activate those collections in SFX and WMS.  This resource is also recorded in a note so that I can turn off access in SFX and WMS at the end of the semester.
  4.  Finally, I send out an email to our librarian letting them know we have access to this resource.  They can choose to forward it along to their faculty if the choose.

I hope this helps gives you sense of what we are doing.  Please let me know if you have any questions or if I can be of further help.

Kind Regards,


Megan Ruenz
Assistant Professor & E-Resources Management Librarian
Buswell Memorial Library
Wheaton College (IL)
megan.ruenz at wheaton.edu

From: Eril-l <eril-l-bounces at lists.eril-l.org> on behalf of "Bhatt, Anjana" <abhatt at fgcu.edu>
Date: Friday, March 20, 2020 at 10:46 AM
To: eril-l <eril-l at lists.eril-l.org>
Subject: [Eril-l] Free access to publisher databases and a question

Hello everyone.. although it is amazing to see the collections publishers are willing to or have opened to the subscribers, I am just wondering what is the best way for making them available to students and faculty.  So far, I have seen more than 40 to 60 new collections opened up.

As of now, we are sharing the information with our research and subject librarians and they in turn are adding them to their subject LIBGuides and the COVID 2019 guide and letting their faculty know about them.  So far, we have not added/enabled them to our holding profiles in discovery layer or set up online access via our Database locator (proxy, authentication) etc.  or downloaded MARC records etc.

The reasoning behind this decision is that all this content is free for a limited time and it is not to wise to add them and maintain them and set up reminders in place to remove them when they are gone.  In this time of uncertainty, there may not be enough people available for troubleshooting, plus, in my opinion it creates so much work for the staff members as well.

My question to you are:

How are you dealing with these free resources that will be yanked off after things are normal?

Are you setting up access for them just like you would for a subscribed product?

If yes, what is your reasoning behind that and what is your workflow?

Thanks everyone.


Thanks & Regards.

Anjana  H. Bhatt
MSIRM, MLIS, MA (English)
University Librarian (Electronic Resources)
William G. Bradshaw Library. Office Location: Library West 225L
Florida Gulf Coast University
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