Following my presentation Journey to Full Text Finder: A Pilgrim’s Progress at the EDS conference in July, here’s an update on how I got on with the migration from the old EDS to the new Full Text Finder (FTF) version. Thanks again to John Bunyan’s The Pilgrim’s Progress (1678) for the inspiration for the title of this post.
On the whole, everything went smoothly, and I would particularly like to thank Seoud, Abid, and Adam at EBSCO for their help throughout the process. I have written this summary to help other people know what to expect from the process, and in particular the cascade effects on data checking and linking for which it is essential to set time set aside.
Side by side
Our migration to EBSCO Discovery Service Full Text Finder began with a visit from Seoud. He talked me through the steps, and we agreed the timings. We also discussed running the old and new EDS alongside each other, to allow students completing their courses in July and August to continue using the old version, while having the new version available for testing and experimentation before the beginning of the new academic year in September.
I asked a colleague in IT to create a redirect URL for EDS FTF which I then used wherever required, and this saved time later in updating URLs individually.
Data migration and checking
Following the data migration, our Periodicals Librarian spent time checking that our subscriptions in EDS FTF matched the old system, focusing on a few known trouble spots e.g. where we have single title subscriptions rather than a whole package. In some cases, a journal which existed from e.g. 1997-present but for which we only have access from 2015-present had been enabled for the full run, and not the years to which we have access. This was particularly frustrating for titles for which our subscription is administered through EBSCONET, as EBSCO clearly have correct information in their system about our entitlements, but it was not being migrated or applied accurately. Although this happened only for a small number of titles, there did not appear to be any pattern to predict which would be affected, and so all had to be checked.
Our test EDS FTF was up and running in June. The old EDS was controlled through two admin interfaces – EBSCOadmin to control EDS itself, and A-to-Z Admin to control journals and databases A-to-Z lists. The areas of overlap (and not) of the two admin mechanisms were sometimes unclear to me. The new EDS FTF is administered via EBSCOadmin, and it is great to have just one admin interface to drive this system. As we had old and new EDS running simultaneously for a period, any changes would have needed to have been made to each system separately. I decided that from the launch of new EDS FTF, any changes would only be made to the new EDS, and this did not cause any problems.
The new EDS FTF has access to journal titles via the Publications link, but it has no Databases A-Z feature. I have been told by EBSCO that they did not include this feature, because only librarians wanted it, not students (and also perhaps because there is less demand for it in EBSCO’s primary market, the USA). However, there are some essential databases which are not indexed by EDS (such as Westlaw) and our users must have a route to access these. EBSCO have an A-Z solution which can be added to your EDS FTF but you have to request it, and it is basic (just a list of links, like in the old days…). It also has its own admin interface.
Permalinks created in the old EDS are different from permalinks in the new EDS FTF. EBSCO have redirects in place, but “there is no timescale of how long these will be in place”. It is therefore necessary to create new permalinks anywhere these are used, such as reading lists. We also had links to journal titles using a linking template that worked with the old journals A-to-Z, and these had to be re-created based on the new “Publications” journal-finding tool in EDS FTF. This was more urgent, as no redirects would be in place for the old journals A-to-Z. This can add considerably to the workload of staff who maintain reading lists.
If your library is set up for “Library links” to allow your users to use the library’s link resolver with Google Scholar, your settings will need to be updated to reflect the new resolver within EDS FTF. EBSCO told me that this update would be included in the migration. When I contacted EBSCO for confirmation, they confirmed that our resolver in Scholar had been updated to Full Text Finder, but that it could take 1-2 weeks for the changes to take effect, suggesting that my enquiry had prompted a change in the settings rather than this happening without my intervention.