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Alexander Street Press sponsoring enhancements in Evergreen

Alexander Street Press, publisher of award-winning online collections and videos for scholarly research, teaching and learning, has partnered with Equinox Software to sponsor the following enhancements in Evergreen Open Source ILS.  There are two parts to this development project:  1)  new functionality related to the export of bibliographic records and 2)  new functionality related to the overlay of existing records via Z39.50.

1)  New functionality related to the export of bibliographic records:

For the first part, new functionality related to the export of bibliographic records, this development has two sub-parts:  1)  development of record-temporal bibliographic search enhancements and 2)  MARC21 feed output.

You may be asking yourself right now, “And just what are record-temporal bibliographic search enhancements?”  Good question.  So, currently in Evergreen one can sort bibliographic records by creation and edit date, but temporal search is not possible on any field other than the MARC Date1 and Date2 fields.  In order to support time-sensitive record discovery, enhancements to QueryParser are needed.  (QueryParser is a powerful infrastructure for building search dialects.)  The QueryParser enhancements will include new filter options to support filtering on create and edit dates and a new modifier will be defined to allow the search of deleted records, instead of live and active records.  The QueryParser enhancements will not affect the underlying database structure.

Regarding the second part, MARC21 feed output, Evergreen currently supports a wide variety of plain text, JSON and XML feed formats, all available via the OpenSearch interface.  Evergreen also supports the export of records as MARC21 through Vandelay and other interfaces.  However, there is no way to retrieve search results as a MARC21 record set.  This development will rectify that by creating a feed output module to convert search results to MARC21.

2)  New functionality related to the overlay of existing records via Z39.50:

The development of new functionality related to the overlay of existing records via Z39.50 is also comprised of 2 sub-parts:  1)  federated Z39.50 search from record set and 2)  federated Z39.50 match and overlay.

For the first part, federated Z39.50 search from record set, to locate bibliographic records that are of a higher quality than existing catalog records, Evergreen currently supports manual searching of remote Z39.50 servers.  Though any search may span multiple Z39 servers, only one search may be performed at a time.  Any records found via a Z39 search then must be manually imported into the catalog or overlayed over an existing catalog record at the discretion of the staff.  All aspects of locating and importing records via Z39 require staff intervention to complete.  This development includes several enhancements to improve and automate the process of locating bibliographic records via Z39 that match existing catalog records.  Specifically, each staff-accessible record bucket interface (bucket, bookbags) will get a new action called “Locate Remote Matches via Z39.50″.  When clicked, the user will be presented with a dialog which contains several choices, including which Z39 servers to include in the search and which match points to use (the union of all configured match point for all selected Z servers).  When the search is submitted, a series of parallel Z39 searches is fired off.  The user will be able to see the progress of the search as it proceeds.

For the second part of the development, federated Z39.50 match and overlay, when the Federated Z39.50 search from record set process completes, an interface showing the newly created Vandelay queue is opened in a new staff client tab instead of showing the existing Z39.50 result list.  In the Vandelay queue interface, records are grouped by which existing record they match against and will overlay.  From here, the user can perform all of the standard pre-record and batch overlay actions.  Before any overlay occurs, the user may wish to perform updates on the queued records.  Manual updates are already supported.  To support automated updates, there will be development to provide a Vandelay queue export action which exports a Vandelay queue as a MARC21 (.mrc) file.  The user can then update the file via some external mechanism and re-load the records into Vandelay for final merging.  This approach would require the addition of a match-bucket selector in the upload interface, to ensure the re-imported records only match against the original source records.

It is anticipated that the coding for this project will be completed by the end of March 2013 and submitted to launchpad for Evergreen Community review and approval.  Once the code has been reviewed and approved, it will be eligible for inclusion in the next major release of Evergreen.  Thank you to Alexander Street Press for sponsoring this development.