EBSCO Announces Support for Open Discovery Initiative Recommendations

EBSCO Information Services (EBSCO) fully supports the final recommendations of the Open Discovery Initiative (ODI) working group for best practices for discovery services. EBSCO participated in the ODI Committee and the resulting recommendations are in line with EBSCO’s open policies around metadata sharing and vendor cooperation.

ODI sets forth several objectives which cover: metadata sharing, fair or unbiased linking from discovery services to publishers’ content, and the provision of usage statistics – all of which EBSCO supports. As it pertains to metadata sharing, ODI calls for content providers to make core metadata available to discovery vendors, including underlying full-text/original content for complete offerings, for the purposes of indexing.

Within the ODI report, A&I resources are noted separately, acknowledging that there is a complex set of issues surrounding the inclusion of A&I service data within discovery services. The report states that “A&I resources must be treated with special consideration.” Additionally, ODI recommendations include reference to the NFAIS document on Recommended Practices: Discovery Services, which considers A&I resources in a similar manner by underscoring the risks associated with the incorrect use of subject indexes in ranking algorithms, issues surrounding the merging of records, etc.

ODI suggests that a possible “next step” is to conduct more detailed research in this area to identify specific concerns and needs of A&I providers to potentially outline how discovery vendors may work to address these concerns. EBSCO supports the need for further investigation into this area as is stated in section III of EBSCO’s metadata sharing policy.

NISO’s Executive Director Todd Carpenter recognizes the significance of EBSCO’s support of the ODI recommendations. “EBSCO has been a long-time supporter of NISO, of consensus standards development, and standards implementation. We are very appreciative of the EBSCO staff’s active contributions and leadership in various NISO initiatives – including ODI. EBSCO’s recently released policy on metadata sharing is consistent with the ODI goals, and is a significant step toward greater vendor collaboration that enhances overall value for libraries and end users.”

EBSCO intends to continue discussions with potential partners to ensure the availability of EBSCO content within third-party discovery solutions, and to encourage similar collaboration where OPAC functionality is seamlessly integrated within a customer’s discovery service of choice.

EBSCO Senior Vice President and ODI participant Scott Bernier says the work done by the ODI Committee will benefit the library community. “We are pleased about these advancements and look forward to greater collaborative partnerships to collectively address the ODI recommendations in the interest of the library community at large. We will communicate updates related to other aspects of the ODI recommendations in the immediate future.”