15. Allow personal use of data for Reference Management

The supply of bibliographic data under an open license to be used by library members (and other users) in reference management software.

Description

Activity - The supply of bibliographic data to be used by library members (and other users) in reference management software (e.g. using Zotero or EndNote).
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Actors - Libraries; Suppliers of bibliographic data to libraries; Library members/users.
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Data involved - Bibliographic records.
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Data flow - Bibliographic data are made available either through standard interfaces or as downloadable files of selected records in appropriate formats.
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Does this require Open Data - Data made available by the library for these purposes needs to be open to the extent that a third-party can take, store and reuse the data.
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Current Examples - The vast majority of University and Research Library catalogues already offer this functionality (e.g. COPAC http://copac.ac.uk/faq/#import) though not typically under an open license.
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Consequences of doing it as Open Data

What will happen? - Members of the library, and other users of the library catalogue, will be able to download records into personal reference management software, and other software that can make use of structured bibliographic data.
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Potential Risks - (1) Loss of control over institutional data; (2) The originator of elements of the bibliographic records challenges release as open data [see also UC1, UC2, UC3, UC4, UC5, UC6, UC7, UC16, UC17]
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Rights and Licensing Issues

Rights and licensing issues - The JISC Legal resource “Transfer and Use of Bibliographic Records” (http://www.jisclegal.ac.uk/Projects/ TransferandUseofBibliographicRecords.aspx) differentiates between ‘Make available’ and ‘Use’. If records are provided to users who are not library members, this is seen as a ‘Make available’ activity, with associated issues outlined by the guide. Agreements with suppliers of bibliographic data to the library should be checked to ensure they allow this use, and under what restrictions. For the library associating rights and licenses with the records being downloaded by individuals, clearly any licenses should allow reuse in a wide variety of contexts, which must include some level of re-publication of the information contained in the records to allow use of the resulting references and citations in published work.
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Practicalities

Data exchange formatting - Reference management software is generally capable of importing bibliographic data in a variety of formats, including both open and proprietary standards. Common formats for downloading records and importing into Reference management software include MARC, RIS (http://www.refman.com/support/risformat_intro.asp) and BiBTeX (http://www.bibtex.org/). Some Reference Management software packages also support searching catalogues using the Z39.50 protocol and saving records directly.
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Lifecycle implications - None
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Hosting requirements - None
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Existing systems impact - In the unlikely event of the existing system not supporting appropriate download formats for end users, this would need to be added. However, it may be that formats need amending to work with specific packages, or new formats may need adding to support specific packages. Again Z39.50 is widely supported in Library management systems, although some configuration may be required.
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Skills demands - Configuration of the library system to offer appropriate download and/or Z39.50 access should fall within the capabilities of a systems librarian.
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