Monthly Archives: May 2018

Wrangling Primo Resource Recommender #anzreg2018

Resource wrangling : An implementation of Primo Resource Recommender service at State Library Victoria
Marcus Ferguson, SLV

Principles: find best way to present recommendations; control number of resources recommended; clearly identify subscription vs free. Include: databases, websites, research guides, custom types (collection pages, exhibition pages), ‘more to explore’ (originally things like library hours, now repurposed libguides for subjects) 488 resources – with 10,500+ tags. Maintaining this either through Back Office or spreadsheet upload was going to be difficult.

Built a spreadsheet with columns: list of keywords; database1..database5; website1..website3 etc; with dropdown menus to populate these. But then need to convert this. VLOOKUP wouldn’t work so needed custom function. Found a VBA function via Google. This operates on a new sheet to create a list of databases and all the tags used by it, plus a list of ‘other tags’ added manually for each one. Final sheet pulls it all together into the format Primo expects.

Finally also assigned icons to improve visual effect – found from vendor branding pages; website; or social media. Looks bad if a resource has none, so assign a default logo in that case.

Subscription database use ‘Login to access’ as URL text; free ones have title as URL text.

Added rr_database_icon_check as a keyword so can search for Primo for all of these and check that they’re still valid – mostly they’re pretty stable. If that changes, will grab them and store locally.

Final step is VBA macro to save export version and backup.

Looking forward: – need to assess impact of the May release “tag enrichment”; extend spreadsheet to include research guides; apply additional error checking; investigate ways to allow other librarians to work with the tags while managing change control.

Automating systematic reviews #anzreg2018

Automating systematic reviews with library systems: Are Primo and Alma APIs a pain reliever?
Peta Hopkins, Bond University

Systematic (literature) reviews especially in medical field – one example retrieved 40,000+ abstracts, screened to 1,356 full-text, and included 207 in the final review.

Were asked for process to reduce time involved down to two weeks. Developing toolset of elements to automate processes. Esp find/download full-text from subscriptions, batch-request from interloans.

  • Primo APIs to find/download? Not really (because actually it’s the Alma uResolver and even that can’t pull full-text).
  • Alma APIs to submit interloan requests? This has worked well – 95% success rate.

Old system searched Primo, clicked interloan link, tick copyright boxes, submit
Now upload Endnote file into system, click link to submit requests to Library, tick copyright boxes, submit (in bulk)

Dev wanted better documentation on APIs (eg encoding format); more helpful error messages; and in future want a way to find full-text and download.

Repositories at

Leganto implementations #anzreg2018

eReserve, Alma-D and Leganto: Working together
Anna Clatworthy, RMIT

Project to move all 14,000 Equella e-reserve items to Alma Digital in a format to suit Alma/Leganto copyright and digitisation workflows

All course readings at RMIT are digital; eReserve team in library accepts requests, scans items, uploads, sends a link back to use in CMS. Helps withh copyright compliance. Mostly book extracts, some journal articles, Harvard Business Review

Lots of questions to consider: MARC or DC; multiple representation or single record; how to deal with CAL survey in middle of migration; how do records look in Primo and in Leganto (which they didn’t yet have live); what is copyright workflow and how to manage compliance?

DC records weren’t publishing correctly so migrated to MARC. (This may have been fixed now). Multiple portion representations on a single bib record – migration process quicker, chapter/portion info in 505_2$a. Custom 940 field with copyright info

Extracted parents as spreadsheet, extracted children as spreadsheet, script combined the two — then instead imported records from Libraries Australia with a norm rule for extra fields (505, 542 for extract and copyright info; 9XX for CAL information); trained non-library folk to use MDE and run norm rules.

eReserve in Alma has no custom fields. Creates confusion for non-eReserve staff (thinking they own the book so no need to buy it though in fact only have 11pages of ch.4 – looks like a book in Primo too!)
* DC doesn’t work in Analytics – only see title
* Determined best practices and process for migration; set up Alma-D collections config and display in Primo; created MARC RDA cataloguing template and training; Leganto training and pilot; configure Alma reading lists, copyright, Leganto set up, and more…..
* Would like enhancements:
– automatic fills in copyright workflow – only working for some fields
– search function in reading list view
– MARC deposit form
– digital viewer link – Share link doesn’t work, leads to ‘no permission’ page. (Users need to sign-in first but of course they don’t.)
* With Leganto, show-and-tells seem to be getting interest, as is word of mouth. Not actually live yet though due to IT delays.

Leganto at Macquarie University: impressions, adjustments and improvements
Kendall Kousek, Macquarie University

Macquarie had Equella for copyright collection. Teachers email list to library and list made searchable in Primo by unit code (via daily pipe). Move to Leganto to address some issues. Can search library for items or upload your own pdfs, images, etc.

Pilot with faculty of Arts to create reading lists for 9 courses. Next semester another 11; 1 person had done it before and confident enough to try their own. Next semester 3 departments; not many came to session but a few still created own reading list; total of 120 reading lists created.

Feedback – added survey as a citation to reading lists – not many respondents as end of semester. Later survey added to Moodle directly to capture those not using the reading list and finding out why. Teachers liked how they could track how many used links and when (eg hour before class); ability to tag readings (eg literature review, assignment, extra); students like navigability and ability to suggest readings to teacher. Student satisfaction very high: clear layout, saved time chasing readings and can track reading in the week. Library staff liked layout, ease of learning/adding PCI records; Cite It! bookmarket.

Improvements people wanted was better integration with Moodle (lots of clicks to get to article); found it slow to load; students getting confused about whether discussions should be in Moodle or Leganto. Edge broke something so told students to use other browser. Want a ‘collapse all’ button for previous weeks to get straight to today’s: ExLibris are releasing this soon. Library staff want subsections functionality (ExL not going to do this, so using ‘notes’ feature instead.)

Adjustments needed by
* students – easier to find readings in Primo – but not all are there (esp articles, chapter scans), Leganto is source of truth. So have created Resource Recommender record to link to Leganto.
* teachers – want them to create their own reading list instead of submitting it by email (or at least to include layout information in those emails). And get them to use more variety of resources.
* library staff – more collaboration, reading lists are never complete until end of semester so have to be on top of it.

* teacher finding more engagement as students aware they can see usage! Another planning to be more ‘playful’ with reading lists. Appearance of Leganto makes students more aware of resources as resources instead of just a list. Feeling will plan their teaching through Leganto. One teacher saying “These are the questions for the week, what are teh resources you’re using to answer them?”
* students can track which readings they’ve completed, can build own collection, can export in preferred referencing style.
* library staff have communication with teachers in Leganto; inclusion of all resource types (including web links using citation bookmarklet). Using public notes (eg trigger warnings)

4th stage of pilot will involve new departments, more volunteers by word of mouth. Need better communication/training eg presentations at dept meetings.

OER not currently dealt with – functionality maybe to come – can add CC license within a reading list but then depends on how widely you share that reading list!

Resource sharing partner synchronisation #anzreg2018

Managing Resource Sharing Partners in Alma
Nishen Naidoo, Macquarie University

  • Used to use VDX – external system, not transparent to end-user. But good that partners were managed centrally.
  • Alma provided single system, no additional user system integration, user experience via Primo and much richer. But partner management is up to each institution.
  • Connection options: broker (all requests via intermediary which handles billing) vs peer-to-peer
  • managing partners – contact details, and suspension status. Tricky to do this automatically so most people updating manually based on LADD webpage (AU suspension info), ILRS (AU addresses), Te Puna csv (NZ contact details), mailing lists announcements (NZ suspension announcements)
  • part 1 designed harvester to scrape data from these sources and put it into a datastore in json. Also capture and store changes eg of inst name or contact email.
  • part 2 designed sync service (API) to get data from datastore and upload to Alma. Needs your NUC symbol, an API key with read/write to resource sharing, and a configuration in Elasticsearch Index. (There’s a substantial technology stack.) Then pulls partner data from your Alma institution, and sync service creates partner records, compares with existing, updates Alma with changes.
  • future – hope to host in AWS. Wanting to get LADD/Te Puna to release data through proper API. Ideally Ex Libris would get data directly but at the moment can understand they wouldn’t want to touch it with a bargepoll.
  • documentation and download at and

Authorities and identifiers in data sources #anzreg2018

The future of authorities and identifiers in national and international data sources; pros, cons & ROI.
Panel: Lynne Billington SLNSW, Libraries Australia representative, Catherine Amey NLNZ, Jenny Klingler Monash University, Ebe Kartus UNE

Libraries Australia syndicates data to Trove; headings to WorldCat; to VIAF (not clear how much identifiers are being used here but Wikidata grabs it; ISNI sends data to VIAF and ORCID has some relationship with ISNI)… Workflow never fully developed by LA due to lack of demand. Only 3 orgs regularly sending data for ingest to ANBD. Integrated in international identifier ecosystem and investing in staff training. RDA gives opportunity to enrich records – functionality not yet implemented by library systems. Advocates with vendors to ensure data can interoperate with national/international data ecosystem.

National Library of New Zealand – including iwi names under 373. Data goes to OCLC. Follow international standards except for Ngā Upoko Tukutuku. Recognised by LoC. Available as open dataset for download. Last year pilot project to convert to Linked Data format – trying to show reo-ā-iwi as concepts on an equal level.

Used to load ABN authority records to Voyager. Later aligned with LC authority records, automated from Validator – until the program stopped working. Bought and loaded weekly updates with Gary Strawn’s programs. Migrated to Alma where these programs didn’t work so joined NACO program. NACO authorities go to LC linked data and VIAF – LC authorities are in the Alma Community Zone. Can insert this into 024 field to hopefully enable linked data.
Staffing a major issue in metadata area – lack of support in this area with many staff retiring without being replaced. Tension between NACO headings and LA record bib headings. Time intensive, and delay of 2 weeks before get into CZ.

University of New England
frustrated that we’re worried about library data instead of being part of the semantic web. MARC Will Not Die – it’s an albatross around our neck.
Have tried redefining a few things eg $0 for a standard control number of a related authority or standard identifier; $1 for a URI that identifies an entity (which appears to generally include standard identifier).
Libraries need to be part of the web, not just on the web.
Risk of focusing on what authorities we can get in CZ because this will advantage big authorities and disadvantage local authorities that are important to our community.
Can’t put a triple into a relational database. How are we really going to start working toward a linked open data environment?
need to put in identifiers wherever possible and stop fussing about punctuation
return on investment – hard to show one way or another. We don’t have a system to show proof of concept. Need to take leap of faith, hopefully in partnership with a vendor.


Institutional repository in Alma Digital #anzreg2018

Optimising workflows and utilising Alma APIs to manage our Institutional Repository in Alma Digital
Kate Sergeant, University South Australia

Used DigiTool as an interim solution with a long-term plan to move to Alma. For a while used the electronic resource component to manage metadata, with a local filestore. Last year finally moved everything properly into Alma Digital.

In early stage needed to generate handles and manage files. Phase 2 – development of templated emails to enable requesting outputs from researchers. Phase 3 last year – workflow management, data validation, author management, license management….

Get records submitted directly by researchers; harvest from Web of Science and Scopus APIs combined with Alma APIs for adding bib records. Land in Alma as suppressed records – often hundreds. Try to prioritise manually submitted stuff; and easier (eg journal articles) stuff. Make sets of incoming records.

Alma native interface doesn’t always show all data needed so use their own dashboard using the Alma APIs, which pulls out the things they care about (title, pub date, author, resource type, date added). Then have canned searches (eg Google title search, DOI resolver, DOI in Scopus, ISSN in Ulrichs, prepopulated interloan form…) . Look at metadata eg for authors/affiliations (links into Alma metadata editor for actual editing; links through to public profile). License information in Alma’s licence module. Shows archiving rights, version for archiving, embargo period – with links to copyright spreadsheet and to Sherpa/Romeo.

Would often forget to un-suppress the record – so added that ability at the point of minting the handle. The handle is then put into the record at the same time; and mint a DOI where relevant (eg data for ANDS).

Finally composes email based on templates to research – eg post-print required – built in delay for the email until after the item has actually gone live which often takes 6hrs.

Dashboard also includes exception reports etc; record enhancement facility with eg WoS data; publication/person lookup.

Primo out of the box #anzreg2018

Primo out of the box: Making the box work for you
Stacey Van Groll, UQ

Core philosophy – maintain out-of-the-box unless there’s a strong use case, user feedback, or bug. Focus on core high-use features like basic search (rather than browse) and search refinement (rather than my account). Stable and reliable discovery interface; quick and seamless resource access.

Said yes to:

  • UQ stylesheet – one search scope, oneview, one tab, their own prefilters on library homepage (a drop-down menu – includes some Primo things like newspaper search, some non-Primo things)

Said no to:

  • Journals A-Z
  • Citation linker
  • Purchase requests
  • main menu
  • Featured Results
  • Collection Discovery
  • Tags & Reviews
  • Database search (for now)
  • Newspaper search (for now)
  • Resource recommender (for now)

Dev work for some things – eg tweaked the log out functionality to address an issue; then Primo improved something, which broke their fix; fixed the fix; next release was okay; next release broke it again; so have reviewed and gone back to out-of-the-box. An example of the downsides to making tweaks.

But sometimes really need to make a change – consider the drivers, good use cases, who and how many people experience the problem, how much work it is to make/develop the change and how much work to maintain it? Is there existing functionality in the product or on the Roadmap? How do you measure success?

Does environmental scans – has bookmarks of other Primo NewUI sites to see what else other people do and how.

Data analysis – lots of bugs in My Account but also very low usage. So doesn’t put much work in, just submits a Salesforce case then forgets.

Evaluates new releases – likes to piggyback on these eg adding OA and peer-reviewed tags to institutional repository norm rules.

User feedback – classify by how common the complaint is and try to address most common.


  • first goes to Knowledge Centre Feedback feature and includes email address which forces a response
  • second listserv
  • third Salesforce, and then escalation channels if needed

Lessons learned: A good salesforce case has a single problem, include screenshots, explain what behaviour you desire.

Ex Libris company / product updates #anzreg2018

Ex Libris company update
Bar Veinstein, President Ex Libris

  • in 85 of top 100 unis; 65million api calls/month; percentage of new sales that are in cloud up from 16% in 2009 to 96% in 2017; 92% customer satisfaction
  • Pivot for exploration of funding/collaboration
  • aim to develop solutions sustainably so not a proliferation of systems for developing needs
  • looking at more AI to develop recommendation eg “high patron demand for 8 titles. review and purchase?”, “based on usage patterns, you should move 46 titles from closed stacks to open shelves?”, “your interloans rota needs load balancing, configure now?”, “you’ve got usage from vendors who provide SUSHI accounts you haven’t set up yet, do that now?”, algorithms around SUSHI vs usage.
  • serious about retaining Primo/Summon; shared content and metadata
  • Primo VE – realtime updates. Trying to reduce complexity of Primo Back Office (pipes etc – but unclear what replaces this when pipes are “all gone”)
  • RefWorks not just for end user but also aggregated analytics on cloud platform. Should this be connected/equal to eshelf on Primo?
  • Leganto – ‘wanting to get libraries closer to teaching and learning’ – tracking whether instructors are actually using it and big jumps between semesters.
  • developing app services (ux, workflow, collaboration, analytics, shared data) and infrastructure services (agile, multi-tenancy, open apis, metadata schemas, auth) on top of cloud platform – if you’ve got one thing with them very quick to implement another because they already know how you’re set up.
  • principles of openness: more transactions now via api than staff direct action.
  • Proquest issues – ExL & PQ passing the customer service buck, so to align this. Eg being able to transfer support cases directly across between Salesforce instances.

Ex Libris prodct presentation
Oren Beit-Arie, Ex Libris Chief Strategy Officer

  • 1980s acquisitions not part of library systems -> integrated library systems
  • 2000s e-resource mgmt not part of ILS -> library services platform (‘unified resource mgmt system’)
  • now teaching/learning/research not part of LSPs -> … Ex Libris’s view of a cloud ‘higher education platform’
  • Leganto
    – course reading lists; copyright compliance; integration with Alma/Primo/learning management system
    – improve teaching and learning experience; student engagement; library efficiency; compliance; maximise use of library collections
    – Alma workflows, creation of OpenURLs…
  • Esploro
    – in dev
    – RIMs
    – planning – discovery and analysis – writing – publication – outreach – assessment
    – researchers (publish, publish, publish); librarians (provide research services); research office (increase research funding/impact)
    – [venn diagram] research admin systems [research master]; research data mgmt systems [figshare]; institutional repositories [dspace]; current research information systems [elements]
    – pain points for rseearchers: too may systems, overhead, lack of incentive, hard to keep public profile up to date
    – for research office – research output of the uni, lack of metrics, hard to track output and impact, risk of noncompliance
    – next gen research repository: all assets; automated capture (don’t expect all content to be in repository); enrichment of metadata
    – showcase research via discovery/portals; automated researcher profiles; research benchmarks/metrics
    – different assets including creative works, research data, activities
    – metadata curation and enrichment (whether direct deposit, mediated deposit, automatic capture) through partnerships with other parties (data then flows both ways, with consent)
    – guiding principles: not to change researchers’ habits; not to create more work for librarians; not to be another ‘point solution’ (interoperable)
    – parses pdf from upload for metadata (also checks against Primo etc). Keywords suggested based on researcher profile
    – deposit management, apc requests, dmp management etc in “Research” tab on Alma
    – allows analytics of eg journals in library containing articles published by faculty
    – tries to track relationships with datasets
    – public view essentially a discovery layer (it’s very Primo NewUI with bonus document viewer – possibly just an extra view) for research assets – colocates article with related dataset
    – however have essentially ruled research administration systems out of scope as starting where their strength is. Do have Pivot however.

EZproxy log monitoring with Splunk for security management #anzreg2018

Ingesting EZproxy logs into Splunk. Proactive security breach management and generating rich eResource metrics
Linda Farrall, Monash University

Use Alma analytics for usage, but also using EZproxy logs.

EZProxy is locally hosted and administered by library/IT. On- and off-campus access is through EZproxy where possible, and Monash has always used EZproxy logs to report on access statistics. (For some vendors it’s the only stats available.) Used a Python script to generate html and CSV files.

Maintenance hard, logs bigger so execution took longer, python libraries no longer supported, skewed statistics due to EZproxy misuse/compromised accounts. So moved to Splunk (already had enterprise version at university) to ingest logs; can then enrich with faculty data, and improve detection of compromised accounts.

EZproxy misuse – mostly excessive downloads, eg using script or browser plugin – related to study but the amount triggers vendor Concerns (ie block all university access) – in this case check in with user to make sure it was them and sort out the issue. Or compromised accounts due to phishing. Have created a process to identify issues and block the account until ITS educates the user (because phishing emails will get sent to the same person who fell for it last time).

Pre-Splunk, it was time-consuming to monitor logs and investigate. Python script monitoring downloads no longer worked due to change of file size/number involved in typical download.

Most compromised accounts from Canada, US, Europe – in Splunk can look at reports where a user has bounced between a few countries within one week. Can look at total download size (file numbers, file size) – and can then join these two reports to look for accounts downloading a lot from a lot of countries.

To investigate have to go into identity management accounts – but can then see all their private data. Once they integrate faculty information into Splunk they don’t have to look them up so can actually enhance privacy – can see downloading lots of engineering data but are actually in engineering faculty so probably okay.

In 2016 had 10 incidents with resources blocked by vendors for 26 days. In 2017 16 incidents (all before August when started using Splunk). In 2018, 0 incidents of blocking – because they’re staying on top of compromised accounts (identifying an average of 4 a week) and taking pre-emptive action (see an issue, block the account, notify the vendor). Also now have a very good relationship with IEEE! (Notes that when IEEE alerts you to an issue it’s always a compromised account, there’s never any other explanation.)

Typically account compromised; tested quietly over several days; then sold on and used heavily. If a university hasn’t been targeted yet, it will be. By detecting accounts downloading data, are also protecting the university from other damage they can cause to university systems.

Notes that each university will have different patterns of normal use: you get to know your own data.

Lots of vendors moving to SSO. Plan to do SSO through EZproxy – haven’t done it yet so not sure it’ll work or not but testing it within a couple of months. ITS will implement SSO logging for the university, so hopefully they’ll pick up issues before it gets to EZproxy. Actively asking vendors to do it through IP recognition/EZproxy.

E-resource usage analytics in Alma #anzreg2018

“Pillars in the Mist: Supporting Effective Decision-making with Statistical Analysis of SUSHI and COUNTER Usage Reports
Aleksandra Petrovic, University of Auckland

Increasing call for evidence-based decision making in combination with rising importance of e-resources (from 60% -> 87% of collection in last ten years), in context of decreasing budget and changes in user behaviour.

Options: EBSCO usage consolidations, Alma analytics or Journal Usage Statistics Portal (JUSP). Pros of Alma: no additional fees; part of existing system; no restrictions for historical records; could modify/enhance reports; could have input in future development. But does involve more work than other systems.

Workflow: harvest data by manual methods; automatic receipt of reports, mostly COUNTER; receipt by email. All go into Alma Analytics, then create reports, analyse, make subscription decisions.

Use the Pareto Principle eg 20% of vendors responsible for 80% of usage. Similarly 80% of project time spent in data gathering creates 20% of business value; 20% of time spent in analysis for 80% of value.

Some vendors slow to respond (asking at renewal time increased their motivation….) Harvesting bugs eg issue with JR1. There were reporting failures (especially in move from http to https) and issues tracking the harvesting. Important to monitor what data is being harvested before basing decisions on it! Alma provides a “Missing data” view but can’t export into Excel to filter so created a similar report on Alma Analytics (which they’re willing to share).

So far have 106 SUSHI, 45 manual COUNTER vendors and 17 non-COUNTER vendors. Got stats from 85% of vendors.

Can see trends in open access usage. Can compare whether users are using recent vs older material – drives decisions around backfiles vs rolling embargos. Can look at usage for titles in package – eg one where only three titles had high usage so just bought those and cancelled package.

All reports in one place. Can be imported into Tableau for display/visualisation: a nice cherry on the top.

Cancelling low-use items / reducing duplication has saved money. Hope more vendors will use SUSHI to increase data available. If doing it again would:

  • use a generic contact email for gathering data
  • use the dashboard earlier in the project

Cost per use trickier to get out – especially with exchange rate issues but also sounds like reports don’t quite match up in Alma.

Alma plus JUSP
Julie Wright, University of Adelaide

Moved from using Alma Analytics to JUSP – to both. Timeline:

  • Manual analysis of COUNTER: very time intensive: 2-3 weeks each time and wanted to do it monthly…
  • UStat better but only SUSHI, specific reports, and no integration with Alma Analytics
  • Alma Analytics better still but still needs monitoring (see above-mentioned https issues)
  • JUSP – only COUNTER/SUSHI, reports easy and good, but can’t make your own
much work easy
complex analyses available only simple reports
only has 12 months data data back to 2014
benchmarking works with vendors on issues
quality control of data

JUSP also has its own SUSHI server – so can harvest from here into Alma. This causes issues with duplicate data when the publishers don’t match exactly. Eg JUSP shows “BioOne” when there are actually various publishers; or “Wiley” when Alma has “John Wiley and Sons”. Might need to delete all Alma data and use only JUSP data.