Add an alternative resource
Was used frequently in TL2 both by academic and library staff to provide information on alternative formats and editions.
There are no plans to address this idea in the near future due to other planned themes.
Wendy Jones commented
Is there any news on this idea please? Is it still under review?
Adminchrisc (Admin, Talis) commented
I'll be posting our plans to firstname.lastname@example.org shortly, please ensure you're signed up to the mailing list. They'll be the opportunity to feedback before we commit development time to the feature.
Linda Jones commented
The added value of identifying all possible sources is one we have been committed to in the past and certainly students handicapped by limited access or on courses with large cohorts have expressed great appreciation of this.
jennifer mcginley commented
Seeing alternative formats immediately is important for isolated/overseas distance learners (some with underdeveloped computing skills) - asking them to do another search for alternative formats or editions may introduce opportunities for confusion, error, and abandonment of the search due to frustration.
Veronica Manton commented
Alternative Resource would be useful for number of reasons:
1) Keeping/ linking together both print and electronic versions of a book within a list.
2) When a publisher provides a webpage or other online material that complements a book.
3) When a journal article can be accessed via 2 or more databases - its useful to link to all instances in case there is a temporary problem with one.
4) Occasionally it's useful to link to Handout (.pdf) with guidance on using a particular resource
In other words it would be a useful way to keep entries together that should not be seperated and which we would like users to see as one entity
Linda Jones commented
Alternative formats are crucial for both distance learners who may not be able to wait for print sources and for o campus students who may be at the end of a long reservation list.
AdminIan Corns (Talis) (Admin, Talis) commented
Alternatives are a complex issue, but I'll try to summarise my thoughts.
The goal of alternatives is to direct the student, as stated in the description for this idea, to alternative editions or formats - and it is a goal largely driven by the library it getting more effective use of their stock and meeting student demand - which, in itself, is a very valid student goal!
The question to ask is "is the manual adding of alternatives the most effective way of meeting this goal"?
One approach we have seen (by Manchester in fact) is to link to the brief hits page rather than the full record using an author/title search. This brings back (bar poor cataloguing which is rare) all editions and formats and allows the student to make a choice which one they want. So, would the ability for the student to initiate such a search in Aspire with a "Search the catalogue for other editions and formats" be a more effective way of achieving this?
We should also consider academic adoption - if academics are using the system to build lists, will they be inclined to bookmark and add all the various formats and editions? From feedback, probably not. Instead, the academic goal with alternatives is more related to learning goals - directing the students to resources which provide the same knowledge in a different way (or a different format a students learn differently, such as a audio/visual resource like podcast or lecture). They may also want to direct the student to resources which provide context to the knowledge the resource provides (a "starter for 10"), or provide something that goes to another level of depth for those engaged students.
We should also consider things like FRBR and xISBN, which offer far more difficult technical challenges but seek to also address the problem. We should ask what impact RDA will have? We should also consider some of the Labs work Chris shared on the user group day, which showed some of the very early research in using the semantic links between resources to make recommendations (which, even at this early stage, shows some propensity to also identify other formats and editions.
Returning to the start of my comment - this is not a simple issue, but it is one that we welcome more discussion on.
Lydia Fairfield-Read commented
Here at the University of Derby we are due to get Aspire quite soon and this is one topic I was going to post a request for once we had Aspire. I didn't want to comment until we got the product but Olivia has pre-empted me.
In particular I wanted to know if it was possible to add an alternative when a title is available as a print book / e-book or print journal / e-journal. As far as I am aware this is not yet possible in Aspire.
To me this is an important issue if we are to offer the best service to students and make the best use of our resources.