EBSCO Open Collaboration Policy for Technical Interoperability and Bibliographic Record Sharing

Updated January 2023

As the library landscape continues to evolve, EBSCO remains committed to supporting library content decisions and enabling technical environments that give libraries flexibility and choice.

EBSCO’s original open sharing and collaboration policy was announced in April 2014 and included the sharing of data from more than 240 full text databases. In the latest revised policy, we have moved beyond a selected list of databases, and into a new approach that will supersede the notion of specific databases. As such, we want to assure customers that any EBSCO full text to which a given library subscribes can be discoverable via discovery services from partner companies that share EBSCO’s desire to support customers through true collaboration. The intent of our expanded policy is to support library choice in three key areas:

  1. Ensure that a library’s choice of discovery service has applicable bibliographic records to enable and optimize linking to 100% of the corresponding full text in their choice of databases
  2. Ensure that a library’s choice of ILS/LSP integrates with their choice of discovery service to create the most seamless possible user experience
  3. Ensure that a library’s choice of ordering/acquisition tools (for books, ebooks & journals) integrates with their choice of ILS/LSP and discovery service to optimize workflows for librarians

While each partnership is likely to differ because each company in our community has different resources, corresponding numerically to the goals above, we would fundamentally expect to:

  1. Exchange basic bibliographic records (and applicable full text for searching) that corresponds to any full text content available from each provider. This would assure libraries that 100% of content that they purchase from either provider is discoverable and accessible (linking) from either company’s discovery service. Further still, the company receiving these records would be free to merge and enhance the records as it deems appropriate.
  2. Enable an open technology approach using APIs and any other applicable means to integrate a given ILS, LSP and other technical environments with a given discovery service.  This means, for example, that customers choosing an ILS or LSP from one vendor can decide to use a discovery service from another vendor and be assured that the library can have real time availability of items display within their discovery experience, allow patrons to seamlessly place holds and check out books within the discovery experience, etc. Partner vendors should be free to help libraries to set up these simple connections and provide ongoing support through technical cooperation among the vendors. In addition, while technical interoperability may be working seamlessly, collaboration would ensure that libraries are not forced into product and service purchases due to price bundling practices that effectively eliminate choice for libraries.
  3. Creating better workflows is another form of supporting library choices. In this way, there are many points to improve process efficiency through automation and technical interoperability using APIs and other means for data exchange and systems interchange. In essence, whatever ordering and content management tools a library uses to purchase books, order, renew and manage journal subscriptions, etc., should optimally interact with their ILS/LSP of choice, and maximize any related interaction with respective discovery services.

We are confident that the motivations and work of projects like FOLIO that call for open systems and modern practices, and the efforts of the many people associated with NISO committees on discovery and interchange have progressed our collective vision around collaboration and continue to push toward the evolution of library services as a result. EBSCO is proud to be part of an open, collaborative movement for the long term success of libraries.