Home | Public Area

Comment #00372 - IEEE Comments - rp-19-201x_ODI_draft_for_comments_final.pdf (revision #2)

Comment 372
New (Unresolved)
NISO RP-19-201x, Open Discovery Initiative: Promoting Transparency in Discovery (draft for comments) (Revision 2)
Comment Submitted by
Nancy Blair-DeLeon
2013-11-17 08:41:11

- The committee believes all content providers should participate but no one has addressed what impact this has had or could have on subscriptions. It comes across as a mandate rather than a choice.  

- Mention should be made for discovery services to regularly audit the service to ensure it is working properly (e.g., bugs, missing pieces of content, linking issues) and has resulted in libraries assuming the issues they are discovering is a lack of content provided by publishers/content providers.

- The committee suggests that relevancy rankings are out of scope but that then causes different experiences from different discovery services and could determine whether or not publisher content surfaces...meaning if it does not come up as high, there is risk of cancelled subscriptions. 

- The document suggests that there is a benefit to an A&I provider when that record they contributed leads to the content owners platform. This benefit should be made more clear since the user is not informed that the click through to an A&I provider does not provide much more information than bibliometric data. The user still has to make another click through to see the actual content. It may be in every provider’s best interest if discovery services informed the user of the purpose of each type of record they can chose from in the results, and what they will have access to by clicking on these types of records.


- The document does not appear to clearly address or define ownership and licensing of records provided to discovery service providers from A&I providers where that was first provided by the publisher/content owner. The document further lumps content owner and abstract and indexing services as "contributors." 

- The document does not fully address branding or lack thereof and what requirements should be implemented that ensures discovery services provide a clear path to branded content wherein libraries are mutual subscribers and have a right to optimize their subscriptions.

- The document requires that content owners provide lists of content provided to and for their customers but it fails to require discovery service providers to accurately reflect and report to libraries and or general customers specific collections that are clearly outlined and agreed to in agreements between discovery service providers and content owners. 

- There appears a lack of coverage on OA. What are the rights, obligations of content owner and discovery service provider? 

- Under item number 4.2, there is discussion about standards being developed for access rights through the use of APIs by libraries, universities and the like. Whereas usage rights of the discovery service are addressed, there is no mention of content provider/publisher rights for these same records that should be taken into account, particularly around the abstract portion of the record since this is creative work, for which the publisher holds rights to that intellectual property.

-Librarians indicated they want to compare holdings across packages and/or databases, find duplication and determine how much coverage a discovery service offers based on their current holdings.  In many cases, original content providers and content aggregators are supplying the same content to Discovery Service vendors resulting in duplication of records in discovery service indices. At the present time, different discovery services treat duplicate records differently (e.g., one may leave duplicate records, and point to various sources associated with that same record,  some take pieces of all records received and create a “super record”). Additionally, A&Is are providing records for inclusion in these discoveryservices but there appears no controls or consideration for the ownership of such proprietary records that at least in part, are the result of agreements between publishers/content providers and A&Is wherein metadata from the publisher/content provider are fed directly to the A&I service.

- 80% of discovery service providers noted that the quality and level of metadata delivered by content providers has a significant impact on what they are capable of delivering in the search results/user interface. IEEE supports in theory, section 3.2.1 a practice of clear documentation on mandatory and optional metadata fields along with alternatives for data delivery options.  Furthermore, where alternatives are acceptable, (e.g., dates are not always dd/mm/yyyy but can also be mm/yyyy or “spring, summer, winter, fall/YYYY,” discovery service providers should advise end users and content providers how these may impact search and results.

- Emphasis is placed on end users (libraries) receiving usage reports to measure value and usage but the opinion on this same topic by the committee is that for content providers "this is not useful." Where there appears this emphasis on "transparency" throughout the document, it makes no sense that 1) publishers would not benefit from customer usage and 2) would find this data "not useful." Particularly since we have found usage affected not because customers choose not to search for our content but because bugs, required fixes and the like prevented our content from surfacing across all discovery service providers

- IEEE supports the development of a referrer URL being embedded in links coming from discovery services as mentioned in (number 4) so that outbound referrals from a discovery services search result can be clearly identified as coming from a discovery service by the publisher/content provider. Currently, content providers' analytics systems are challenged with parsing referring URLs from a discovery services search due to poor or inconsistent URL structuring.

Submitter Proposed Solution