Ex Libris Response to the EBSCO Policy for Metadata Sharing & Collaboration

April 21, 2014
Ex Libris has reviewed with great interest the EBSCO Policy for Metadata Sharing & Collaboration, which was released on April 18, 2014. We are very pleased that EBSCO has started to address the growing concern of the library community regarding the discoverability of the EBSCO content that the libraries license. EBSCO’s policy also responds to current industry initiatives, such as the recently published draft LIBLICENSE Model License (clause 5b), which requires that the licensor makes available the licensed materials through the licensee’s discovery service of choice, and the draft NISO Open Discovery Initiative (ODI) report, soon to be published in its final form. The ODI report recommends that “content providers should make available to discovery service providers metadata and underlying full-text/original content for complete offerings, for the purposes of indexing to meet licensed customers’ and authenticated end users’ needs.”
We have already had initial conversations with customers and plan to engage more customers—directly and through the user groups—in the discussions regarding the EBSCO policy. From what we have heard up to now, we believe that our response below represents both the satisfaction and concerns of the entire community.
While we welcome the new EBSCO approach to sharing and collaboration, and look forward to a real change, we are concerned by the fact that EBSCO only selectively complies with the above industry standards and that only some of the EBSCO collections will become discoverable as a result of the new open policy—EBSCO is not applying this policy to many of their collections, and in particular their subject indexes. We do hope that the current policy terms mark the beginning of a longer term policy under which EBSCO will make all relevant content available for discovery by all EBSCO licensees. We also encourage EBSCO to publicly and openly discuss related topics, such as compliance with industry recommendations and the barriers that EBSCO set up to open all their collections.
Ex Libris strives to best serve its customer community. As such, Ex Libris has already developed tight integration of discovery with ILS functionality through the use of open interfaces, and has made these available as part of a mutual exchange with other content providers. In return, all the relevant content of these providers is being made available for indexing in Primo. The current EBSCO policy does not yet address the full breadth of content desired by libraries; nevertheless, we look forward to establishing long-lasting, balanced exchange with EBSCO in a way which is similar to our agreements with other information providers.