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Task Force to Explore Partnerships with Subscription Agents

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Read Final Report, June 2003 [pdf]


Since the beginning of the pattern initiative there has been strong interest in involving subscription agents in the development of the publication pattern database. Jennifer O'Connell of EBSCO has been an active participant; however, EBSCO does not have any experience with nor reason to use the MARC 21 holdings format. Plans with Faxon to add data to CONSER records fell through when various key staff resigned. To date, other vendors, such as Swets, have not been approached.

While it may be unreasonable to expect subscription agents to add pattern data to CONSER records, it is possible that through partnerships, libraries could learn of key changes and add the patterns in a more timely
manner. In preliminary investigations with EBSCO, we've learned that frequency changes could be generated in a report made available to CONSER that would include the OCLC record numbers. The average number of changes bimonthly is 225. If this could be divided among a number of libraries, the burden would not be great.

Looking to the long term, it would be better to find ways that subscription agents could contribute information as easily as possible that could be converted to the data necessary for CONSER.


  1. Conduct an initial study using a sample of one or more EBSCO reports to determine how many of the titles have CONSER records, and of these, how many have patterns.
  2. Determine whether there is enough data to be able to create a pattern from the information provided by EBSCO.
  3. Develop a strategy whereby pattern participants would add/revise this data in CONSER records, characterizing the type of work, average time needed, and suggesting a reasonable workload.
  4. Explore other means by which subscription agents might be able to directly contribute to the pattern initiative without having to use MARC 21 holdings format (e.g., an interactive form).
  5. Recommend short and long-term strategies for CONSER.

Time frame

Read Final Report, June 2003 [pdf]

Task force members:


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  April 12, 2011
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