Thursday, May 17, 2007

IUG 2007 – Implementing e-claiming of serials issues via email

Shirley Lincicum of Western Oregon University Libraries made this presentation.

III’s e-claims product enables libraries to send claims directly to a subscription agent’s system via email using the Millennium Serials claim function. Shirley’s presentation was exceptionally well organized. She covered the pre-requisites required in order to implement e-claiming followed by the initial set up requirements with both III and your serials vendor (they use Ebsco almost exclusively), then pointed out limitations and considerations and finally walked us through the process they use at WOU.

The only really work intensive part of set up is including information required by the serials vendor in check-in records. Ebsco can help with this in two ways; (1) by sending the required data with the annual renewal invoice (if you receive it electronically) and (2) by sending a list called Ebscan of barcodes that the library can scan in to each check-in record.

An interesting feature of the e-claims process in Millennium Serials is that it creates a “hidden” review file of claims to be sent which can be printed out or saved to a file and then used in some pre-claim processes including shelf-reading to be sure than an issue has not arrived and simply not been checked in and verification that the issue has actually been published (with Ebsco the simple way to do this is checking the JETS service within Ebsconet to see if the issue has been received).

The obvious benefit to sending e-claims via email is the time savings that accrues from simply creating the claims list in Millennium and routing the data to the subscription agent via email as opposed to entering it into the subscription agent’s system one title at a time. Other benefits include the one I mentioned above; the ability to output a list of potential claims for further processing before sending it on to the subscription agent. Shirley also pointed out that it cuts down on the mundane communication between the library and the subscription agent which frees up both the librarian and the customer service rep to focus on issues that actually require human intervention.

Some interesting by-product information from this system was (1) that another option for communicating claims information between library and subscription agent is FTP (although this does not allow for two way communication, e.g. acknowledgment that the claims have been received by the subscription agent) and (2) that a potential use for fixed fields in the check-in record is coding claims restrictions which allows the library to select a subset of all subscriptions to send through the Millennium claims process.

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