29 Jun 2012

Open source ERM through ERMes

ERMes is a no-nonsense ERM tool offering effective electronic resource management capabilities for libraries of all sizes. It’s free, built with simplicity-of-use in mind and up and running in an instant without requiring assistance from the IT department.

ERMes builds around a standalone Access 2007 database with an intuitive data-input interface. It covers all the basic facets required in effectively managing a library’s pool of e-resource subscriptions. ERMes' functionality includes the following features:
  1. Capture vendor names/contacts including all necessary contact information
  2. Identify e-resource authentication methods, user limits, subscription status, subject/department affiliations
  3. Specify rights statements for ILL, document delivery and e-reserves (this is particularly useful when providing services to non-standard library users)
  4. Include URL links to journal lists, licence agreements
  5. Track database down-time incidents and causation
  6. Pull a range of standard reports, including count by database type (e-book, FT for all content, FT reference, music, index-abstract+FT etc.); payment history; database spread by subject; list by subscription status; renewals; year to year price comparison
  7. Hyperlinked A-Z list of databases for posting on a library webpage
  8. Collect usage statisics (Counter and non-Counter compliant) (see also previous post on Counter stats)
A crucial selling point for ERMes is that it can be easily tweaked and comprehensibly customised to your local needs. For sure, bigger operations might require a more sophisticated set-up (see for example Coral (free) or Cufts (hosting not free)). However, ERMes offers an effective solution to sustainable e-resource management. For example, it's easy to track a database's cost history over time and record licence requirements and user allowances. You can keep relevant URLs and vendor contact details in one central place and access usage statistics in a simple and straightforward manner. Basically, ERMes pulls information you hold on electronic resources subscriptions into one, easily managed space.

ERMes (all in one)

Below is a location map of institutions that utilise ERMes

View ERMes Users in a larger map

For the purpose of informing your decision making process, it's also worth your while to check out the excellent Open Source ERMS Presentation below (ALA Conference, June 2011). It discusses why the University of Wisconsin - La Crosse (ERMes) and the University of Notre Dame (CORAL) developed their respective in-house ERM solutions, as well as covering perceived benefits and inherent challenges.


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