EBSCO Information Services and Infotrieve this month launched a new partnership that will pair the metadata and search functionality of the EBSCO Discovery Service (EDS) with the e-content access and management features of Infotrieve’s Mobile Library, enabling “mutual customers to combine their search, content access, rights management, and document delivery into one platform,” according to a joint announcement. Essentially, the deal will let researchers purchase immediate access to content that shows up in EDS search results, but to which they don’t already have full text rights.
Infotrieve serves more than 8,500 clients in 113 countries, including corporate research and development departments, pharmaceutical firms, and corporate libraries. Its Mobile Library service is a cloud-based document delivery service offering access to e-content including databases, research literature, and corporate repositories.
Prior to this new arrangement, EDS had always linked to Mobile Library content, but the relationship was a passive one, explained Joe Tragert, EBSCO’s senior director of market development. This new integration will streamline the discovery and downloading of content, whether it is accessible via an existing subscription, or must be purchased in a pay-per-use scenario.
When users conduct a search via EDS, one of their most common objectives is getting access to a full-text resource, Tragert said. EDS automatically queries a library’s rights metadata against a users’ search results to point the user toward any full-text resources to which their institution subscribes. Of course, EDS also discovers and displays citations for relevant content even when institution does not have a subscription to a particular electronic journal or other means of access to the full-text version. Many corporate customers of EDS wanted a simple way for their researchers to buy that content when needed. The integration with Mobile Library facilitates those transactions.
“The main integration benefit is that if you’re a Mobile Library customer already, you can now access 10 times the content with EDS,” Tragert told LJ. By itself, Infotrieve searches about 60 million citations, while EDS searches about 750 million.
“And you can access it through the familiar EDS interface,” he added. “After we’ve done that full-text filtering to decide whether you can get [access to] the full text immediately with money you’ve already paid or subscriptions you already have, the mobile library tool kicks in to assess the digital rights requirement, the price you’d have to pay, and then facilitates the delivery of that document directly.”
This simplified search, discovery, and download process could also help drive more use of Mobile Library, which would in turn enhance data collection by Infotrieve’s content usage analytics, license and subscription administration, and budget management services, noted Christine Wyman McCarty, director of product management for Infotrieve.
“As researchers are asking for documents, behind the scenes [Infotrieve is] gathering detailed usage statistics,” she explained. “So we have information on the site the user is associated with, and the department that the user is associated with. And for organizations that are facing budgetary pressures, these statistics are hugely valuable.”
Departments can leverage these usage statistics in a number of ways. Justifying the maintenance or cancellation of subscriptions to journals and other resources is one of the most straightforward uses. Presumably, simplified access to a much broader pool of content could offer new insights into which resources a company’s researchers would prefer to use.
“The statistics that we provide also help organizations understand what subscriptions might be unnecessary, and what additional subscriptions should be subscribed to by balancing the cost of the subscription against the cost of document delivery and procuring those items on an as-needed basis,” McCarty said.
This new arrangement is the latest of many partnerships that EBSCO has been brokering with EDS, including integration efforts with ILS vendors such as SirsiDynix, OCLC, Innovative Interfaces Inc., and Kuali OLE. Tragert said this partnership with Infotrieve reflects how EBSCO is working to position EDS for use in special libraries and businesses.
“We’re looking at other segments in the same way, where we’re not going to be the core value stream provider, but we’re going to partner with those that are,” Tragert said. “Because EDS has such a vast array of content, it appeals and applies to so many places. With the [application programming interface] that we use, it’s easy to plug it in to somebody else’s application and therefore plug into their workflow.”