The SFX Product Working Group has been busy at work this year. Our biggest achievement has been co-managing the ongoing CKB enhancement request process with ELUNA. To date, we have initiated 5 voting cycles and over 30 resources have been submitted to Ex Libris for consideration. 11, including 3 regional resource, have been implemented in SFX, and while that is less than half of the resources, the others are in various stages of implementation – from needing more information to waiting on vendor participation. To date, 7 resources have been rejected from consideration – 1 because it was a duplicate target, 2 because the vendors were unresponsive, and 4 because Ex Libris determined the resources weren’t appropriate for the CKB. A list of the resources that have been elected and their statuses are available in ELCommons.
The experience from managing the enhancement process shows that not all information resources fit into SFX naturally and consequently not all submissions will make it to the SFX KB. However, the in-depth evaluation of user requests still helps the member organizations and Ex Libris to extend the SFX KB in a transparent manner. As we move the process forward, we continue to evaluate its effectiveness in close collaboration with Ex Libris.
The SFX Product Working Group met in late March in Siena, Italy. At our meeting we spent a good deal of time talking over the enhancements process for both the CKB and SFX software. We discussed how things were going and where we could make improvements in both the process and the NERS software. As a result of this conversation, we are discussing some potential changes to our planned process which we will communicate to the member base soon. At the meeting we also focused some time on ways Ex Libris support could improve in the areas of installer releases and communication. This has initiated some conversations with Ex Libris support. Finally, we also talked about how the member base can help Ex Libris, particularly in situations where vendors are being uncooperative. We are in the process of drafting some customer support letters that can be sent to vendors both as member organizations and as individual institutions in situtations where customers would like to indicate the need for cooperation with Ex Libris. In the coming months, you should see the fruits of this initiative.
We are also pleased to report that we have a full slate of SFX presentations for the IGeLU conference in Haifa – 7 total customer presentations, and with the SFX PWG business meeting and the SFX Product update, that is a total of 300 minutes of SFX related content. There is still time to get in proposals for posters though, so if you are doing something interesting with SFX, please consider submitting a poster proposal.
The next major event for the SFX Product Working Group is to begin initiating a software enhancement voting process for SFX. The goal is to have the selected enhancements considered for implementation into the 4.2, 4.3 minor releases or even possibly a software update depending on the scale of the enhancement. The process for entering enhancements into NERS will begin within the next month with voting occuring over the month of August.
Mark Dehmlow, SFX Product Working Group Coordinator