NASIG 2009: Moving Mountains of Cost Data

Standards for ILS to ERMS to Vendors and Back

Presenter: Dani Roach

Acronyms you need to know for this presentation: National Information Standards Organization (NISO), Cost of Resource Exchange (CORE), and Draft Standard For Trial Use (DSFTU).

CORE was started by Ed Riding from SirsiDynix, Jeff Aipperspach from Serials Solutions, and Ted Koppel from Ex Libris (and now Auto-Graphics). The saw a need to be able to transfer acquisitions data between systems, so they began working on it. After talking with various related parties, they approached NISO in 2008. Once they realized the scope, it went from being just an ILS to ERMS transfer to also including data from your vendors, agents, consortia, etc, but without duplicating existing standards.

Library input is critical in defining the use cases and the data exchange scenarios. There was also a need for a data dictionary and XML schema in order to make sure everyone involved understood each other. The end result is the NISO CORE DSFTU Z39.95-200x.

CORE could be awesome, but in the mean time, we need a solution. Roach has a few suggestions for what we can do.

Your ILS has a pile of data fields. Your ERMS has a pile of data fields. They don’t exactly overlap. Roach focused on only eight of the elements: title, match point (code), record order number, vendor, fund, what paid for, amount paid, and something else she can’t remember right now.

She developed Access tables with output from her ILS and templates from her ERMS. She then ran a query to match them up and then upload the acquisitions data to her ERMS.

For the database record match, she chose the Serials Solutions three letter database code, which was then put into an unused variable MARC field. For the journals, she used the SSID from the MARC records Serials Solutions supplies to them.

Things that you need to decide in advance: How do you handle multiple payments in a single fiscal year (What are you doing currently? Do you need to continue doing it?)? What about resources that share costs? How will you handle one-time vs. ongoing purchase? How will you maintain the integrity of the match point you’ve chosen?

The main thing to keep in mind is that you need to document your decisions and processes, particularly for when systems change and CORE or some other standard becomes a reality.

2 thoughts on “NASIG 2009: Moving Mountains of Cost Data”

  1. I enjoyed this presentation at NASIG. My thanks to Dani for the clear message. I was wondering if existing EDI invoice technology was sufficient to drive this type of interchange, and if so, why a new standard was necessary? Could not the same EDI invoice from a subscription agent drive the load to both the ILS Acq system (already in place) and the ERMS? Did the EDI invoice infrastructure implode in my six years away from subscription agent work?

  2. I think that EDI could work, but my understanding is that ERMS are not capable of receiving EDI invoices at this time, and possibly that EDI isn’t as flexible as something based on XML. The other factor to consider is that some publishers make it more expensive for libraries to go through their subscription agents in order to be able to have their invoices sent via EDI. At my library, we determined that it was more cost effective for my assistant to enter the invoice from a certain STM publisher than to send the invoice to our subscription agent to be processed and delivered to us via EDI. Also, most of our database subscriptions do not go through our agent. With all of those factors combined, it may in fact be simpler to develop an interchange between the ILS and the ERMS than to use the EDI invoices from agents.

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