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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.

Emily Singley

August 04, 2020
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  1. “Why can’t I get to the full text?”
    accessing library resources during a pandemic
    Emily Singley
    @emilysingley
    Boston College, USA
    August, 2020

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  2. Boston College
    • 14,600 students
    • 84% reside on campus

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  3. Our pandemic
    • All students and faculty sent home mid-March 2020
    • All courses went fully online

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  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

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  5. Existing infrastructure
    • IP access (EZProxy)
    • VPN
    • Shibboleth
    • InCommon federation
    • Federated access not implemented for most library vendors (exception: Elsevier)

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  6. User experience pre-pandemic
    80%
    17%
    3%
    IP direct
    EZProxy
    Federated

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  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

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  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

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  9. User experience pre-pandemic:
    Federated access (~3%)
    user navigates directly to resource, e.g.
    sciencedirect.com
    signs in using institutional credentials (federated access)

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  10. User experience during pandemic
    off-campus user navigates
    directly to resource, e.g.
    nature.com
    IP is not recognized; user hits paywall

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  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

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  12. 329327
    180858
    Overall e-resource use declined by 45%
    March/April 2019 March/April 2020
    Usage during pandemic

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

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  14. 18698
    14998
    412
    20140
    MAR-19 MAR-20
    Elsevier federated access increased from 3% to 57%
    IP access Federated access

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  15. EBSCO usage during pandemic (not federated)
    82775
    5912
    7974 5743
    PRE-PANDEMIC (FEBRUARY) PANDEMIC (MARCH)
    IP direct IP EZProxy

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  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

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  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

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  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

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  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

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  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

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  21. Thank you!
    [email protected]
    @emilysingley
    emilysingley.net

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