Many UC librarians have wondered about the timing of CDL announcements for new resources such as e-journal publishers or databases.  In particular, they wonder why there is sometimes a lag between the time new resources are announced and the availability of cataloging records produced by the Shared Cataloging Program (SCP) for campus library catalogs, CDL Directory records, and links between citations and full-text items.

CDL has been working internally to coordinate better the processes contributing to the timing of when a newly licensed resource is announced.  We have done this both to understand the current situation and to plan how we can improve these processes.  A working draft of a document capturing the processes that reflect the various and complex dependencies is available at available at http://www.cdlib.org/libstaff/announce-flow.pdf.

The ideal sequence is when CDL confirms that all the appropriate campuses can access a newly-licensed resource, the cataloging should be complete (and available from SCP and in the CDL Directory) and linking should be complete or available within a very short time period.  The resource should be announced in the next CDLINFO and posted on the “What’s New” portion of the CDL site.  In reality, this is usually easier said than done, and a balance sometimes must be struck between taking immediate advantage of the availability of a resource and creating the records and access paths to the resource.

There was a time last fall, when a particularly large number of new e-journals became available, and cataloging lagged behind some of the announcements.  Cataloging by SCP and for the CDL Directory are now caught up.  We are exploring some additional steps to speed this process up, including the following possibilities:
–Giving the SCP catalogers access to a new resource before access for everyone is turned on, so they can catalog resources in advance of the wider announcement
–Allowing campuses to get SCP records directly from UCSD on a weekly basis (rather than getting the SCP records from CDL on a monthly basis).

In a nutshell, the agreed-upon policy is as follows: SCP records for new packages will be cataloged as quickly as possible given the number of titles involved.  Ordinarily this happens within a few weeks after access is turned on, though some special cases (many titles, foreign language content, etc.) may take much longer.

If you have questions or comments about this process or suggestions for additional improvement, please contact Steve Toub, CDL Web Design Manager at (510) 987-0078 or Steve.Toub@ucop.edu .