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"Why can't I get to the full text?" Accessing library resources during a pandemic

"Why can't I get to the full text?" Accessing library resources during a pandemic

Presented on August 13th, 2020 as part of Elsevier's Library Connect webinar series: "Librarian best practices ensure uninterrupted access to research and education." (https://libraryconnect.elsevier.com/articles/webinar-librarian-best-practices-ensure-uninterrupted-access-research-and-education) Discusses how federated access permitted students to more readily access library electronic resources during the COVID-19 pandemic, after the library closed and students were working remotely from off-campus. Will be of interest to electronic resources librarians, systems librarians, and those interested in UX, IP access, alternatives to EZProxy, federated authentication, Shibboleth, InCommon, and SeamlessAccess.

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Emily Singley

August 04, 2020
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Transcript

  1. “Why can’t I get to the full text?” accessing library

    resources during a pandemic Emily Singley @emilysingley Boston College, USA August, 2020
  2. Boston College • 14,600 students • 84% reside on campus

  3. Our pandemic • All students and faculty sent home mid-March

    2020 • All courses went fully online
  4. 99% 1% E-resource and print usage E-journals and E-books (BR1,

    JR1) Print circulations Boston College libraries • 8 libraries • 3.2M volumes • 42K subscribed resources
  5. Existing infrastructure • IP access (EZProxy) • VPN • Shibboleth

    • InCommon federation • Federated access not implemented for most library vendors (exception: Elsevier)
  6. User experience pre-pandemic 80% 17% 3% IP direct EZProxy Federated

  7. User experience pre-pandemic: Direct IP access (~80%) On-campus user navigates

    directly to resource, e.g. jstor.org Because IP is recognized, user has immediate full subscription access
  8. User experience pre-pandemic: EZproxy (~10-20%) 1. User finds a resource

    on the library website 3. On-campus user is not prompted to login and has full access 2. Clicks on a proxied link: https://proxy.bc.edu/login?url=jstor.org
  9. User experience pre-pandemic: Federated access (~3%) user navigates directly to

    resource, e.g. sciencedirect.com signs in using institutional credentials (federated access)
  10. User experience during pandemic off-campus user navigates directly to resource,

    e.g. nature.com IP is not recognized; user hits paywall
  11. User experience during pandemic - Elsevier off-campus user navigates directly

    to resource, e.g. sciencedirect.com signs in using institutional credentials; has full access to content
  12. 329327 180858 Overall e-resource use declined by 45% March/April 2019

    March/April 2020 Usage during pandemic
  13. 48963 66279 ELSEVIER USAGE Elsevier usage increased 35% March/April 2019

    March/April 2020
  14. 18698 14998 412 20140 MAR-19 MAR-20 Elsevier federated access increased

    from 3% to 57% IP access Federated access
  15. EBSCO usage during pandemic (not federated) 82775 5912 7974 5743

    PRE-PANDEMIC (FEBRUARY) PANDEMIC (MARCH) IP direct IP EZProxy
  16. How we communicated with users • Website featured instructions for

    remote access • Librarians communicated frequently with faculty • Librarians worked closely with educational technologists to optimize online courses
  17. Challenges for our students • Students are used to being

    able to go straight to a resource • Once off-campus, they did not understand what had changed • Usage stats as well as problem reports showed that many failed to access resources
  18. Lessons learned • Focused too much on improving access to

    physical resources (scanning, curbside pickup, ILL, etc.) • Assumed students knew how to get to online resources using library links • Needed to communicate more and better • Need more vendors accessible through institutional login
  19. What’s next…getting ready for Fall • 33% of our e-resources

    vendors are now both federated and IP access (approx. 200 out of 600 vendors) • Used OpenAthens service through EBSCO to accomplish this quickly • Librarians continue to be embedded in online course creation • More outreach to faculty and students • Teaching librarians about federated access
  20. SeamlessAccess.org • NISO-supported initiative to improve UX for federated access

    • The same “Access through your institution” button appears across participating vendor sites • Users stay logged in across vendors during their browser session
  21. Thank you! emily.singley@bc.edu @emilysingley emilysingley.net