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jake & CUFTS: studies in social frustration
Dan says jake could no longer be updated because of the heavy costs of maintenance.

Todd (or, rather, Mark) says CUFTS can no longer be free because of the heavy costs of maintenance.

They are both (all three of them) right, and it's incredibly sad. Knowledgebases are expensive to maintain.

I use both of these programs in WAG the Dog, despite the fact that I have access to SFX and make heavy use of the SFX API. jake is used in multiple places, and, regardless of the fact that the data has not been updated in years, is invaluable to the project. Before I bog down the SFX API with requests about an object that I know little about, I query jake to see if it is even a journal of some sort. Granted, exact title searches (especially on abbreviated titles) doesn't really exist in jake, and no journal that has been created in the last couple of years would be included (something I definitely need to address), but it filters out a lot of noise... especially from Google Scholar. Today I realized the value of jake for WAGnet, the resource advisement piece of WAG the Dog. jake is able to find a lot of things (albeit fuzzily) that SFX just isn't able to.

CUFTS is a really nice link resolver. Since SFU (or COPPUL, I'm not sure of the dynamics) has decided to charge for the knowledgebase (something I completely sympathize with), I have exported our live target data from SFX and imported it into CUFTS. Since I'm more interested in using CUFTS for an electronic holdings database rather than a link resolver, all of the links are OpenURLS pointing back to SFX. The nice part of CUFTS, is that it gives me a link to the database level as well as the journal and article level. When it comes to resource advisement, this is great. I can query CUFTS for a particular ISSN, find the database it resides in, and present a link saying, "hey, this journal you found appears in XYZ Academic. You might find more related things by searching there".

The sad part about CUFTS moving to a subscription model is that I don't have access to the A&I holdings information of a particular database. Yes, this data is in the SFX kb, but our e-resources team isn't going to activate the "getAbstract" service in SFX. Without that, I am not sure I can export it. This would be a great boon for WAGnet, but at the moment I have no clue how to tap this potential.

So, instead, I have to work with old data from jake and figure out ways to link jake's database names to our own.

Watch the maintenance costs increase.

1 Comments:

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