I was recently involved in a GoToMeeting teleconference with a medical library that has subscribed to the JournalTOCs *Premium* service, and it struck me how excellent the service actually is. One problem is that it’s difficult to explain some of the features of the service – it is much better to see the service ‘live’ and play with it, then the usefulness of its many features immediately becomes apparent – this is far better than trying to describe it in words. We’re therefore thinking about how to create a ‘virtual JournalTOCs *Premium* playgound’ to let everyone see how it works.
JournalTOCs *Premium* is in addition to the freely available JournalTOCs service, and is a low-cost customisation of the alerting service for research, academic, commercial and institutional library and resource centres worldwide.
All the features available on the freely available JournalTOCs website are included in the customisations, but the *Premium* service also includes numerous facilities that enable any library to create and manage a top quality journal current awareness and alerting service for, and with, their patrons. Within the *Premium* service everything is customised to suit the needs of the library.
For example – the customisation home page welcome message can explain (or be edited as required):
This is your personalised version of JournalTOCs. Alongside the 21346 journals covered by JournalTOCs it includes [xxxx[link]] journals subscribed by [Your Library] for which you have full-text access. Please contact [Interlibrary Loan Service [link]] to request articles from subscription content journals to which we do not subscribe.
Those subscribed journals will appear with full text icons when viewed anywhere within the customisation. e.g.
The number of journal Followers from the institution appears to the right of each title.
The customisations can be personalised in various ways, for example the most recently published Tables of Contents (TOCs) from journals that the library subscribes to can appear in a separate list on the customisation home page.
We’re also working on making the auto-updated ‘Newly Published TOCs’ lists viewable from other pages on the institution’s website or perhaps. This could be the online equivalent of a Current Journals shelf display of new issues. Such physical displays used to be popular in libraries, but nowadays, of course, there are far fewer print journals to display.
Impressive features of the *Premium* service include the following:
1. The library’s patrons can, if they so wish, easily create logins for themselves, manage their own current awareness needs, find and Follow journals including those the library subscribes to or Open Access and non-subscribed titles, create email alerts, create saved search alerts, export citations to bibliographic management software, etc.
2. The library can do all of this on behalf of multiple patrons, via the administrative ‘superuser’ login. So, for busy patrons or those who don’t want to go to the bother of creating their own alerts, the library can do all the work for them.
3. The library can also monitor everything that is happening, again via the superuser account. The superuser can see how many journals are Followed by individual patrons, and whether alerts are on or off, etc. And the library can also act on behalf of the patrons, for example to change the frequency of the alerts.
Above is part of the superuser’s view. The superuser can monitor alerts, saved searches and Followed journals, and edit these, if required.
JournalTOCs *Premium* is therefore a very flexible service. We all know that patrons vary – some like to do everything themselves, and others don’t. The JournalTOCs customisation takes care of all of this.
The above are only some of the features of the JournalTOCs *Premium* service, which also includes additional search options. In addition, search and browse results can include OpenURL, ezProxy and WAM links as well as IP authentication for full-text access, and so on.
For more details, and to apply for a free trial for your library or information service, visit the JournalTOCs customisation page.
I previously wrote about some of the features of the customisation service here and also here.