Compendex® Scope and Coverage Committee Blogs to Manage Source Selection Process
Technology Used as Collaborative Tool To Refine Database Coverage
New York, N.Y. 18 October 2005 – Engineering Information announces that the Compendex Scope and Coverage Committee has incorporated blog technology into their workflow for refining the serial sources which make up the Compendex database. Compendex is the leading bibliographic database of engineering literature covering journal sources, conference proceedings, and trade literature. The Compendex Scope and Coverage committee is an independent body of Compendex customers who advise on the editorial direction of the Compendex database.
Established in 1992, the Compendex Scope and Coverage Committee is a standing advisory board comprised of engineering and technology librarians from major research institutions. Currently 17 respected subject experts from around the world serve as committee members. After working together throughout the year, the committee’s efforts culminate each October, in a set of recommendations on publications that should be covered in the Compendex database for the coming calendar year.
The Compendex Scope and Coverage Committee blog was established in August of 2005 to promote communication between committee members. The blog allows committee members to share recommendations, post and review documents, and collaboratively discuss coverage issues. Some members have chosen to receive RSS alerts to notify them when new commentary is posted. The blog environment creates an ongoing conversation between participants while reducing the logistical issues of coordinating schedules of professionally active people situated across multiple time zones.
“Selecting content for Compendex is a critical task at Ei. It’s completely fitting that we work with experts and decision makers from within our customer base to shape the adapt the database to their evolving needs“ said Judy Salk, Ei’s Director of Editorial Operations. ”We wanted to find a way to make it easier for committee members to participate, contribute, and interact. So, having recently added blog support to Engineering Village 2™, it occurred to us that blog technology could help facilitate communication between Scope and Coverage Committee members. The result was the creation of the Compendex Scope and Coverage Committee blog, which has become an effective vehicle for the committee’s interaction. Essentially, we used one of the most popular technologies on the web to enhance the process of source selection for Compendex.”
All committee members were provided with password protected access to the blog. Each member has the ability to create their own posting and comment on the postings from other members. Postings can be added at any time and all of the postings and comments are retained as a record of the committee’s decision making process.
“By utilizing blog technology as a project management tool, the Compendex Scope and Coverage blog provides for greater participation and contributions from Committee members. Members can interact with each other without having to schedule a time convenient to everyone. It also serves a permanent, formal record of the activities and progress of the Committee” said Randy Reichardt, Information Services Librarian (Engineering), Science & Technology Library, University of Alberta, and co-chair of the Scope and Coverage Committee. “Blog technology helps the Compendex Scope and Coverage Committee to be more effective and efficient, which in turn contributes to making the Compendex database a better product.”
While some committee members had extensive experience with blogs prior to participating in the Compendex Scope and Coverage Committee blog, others had previously never used a blog. Most members found getting started relatively straightforward and were pleased with the outcomes.
“I had never communicated via a blog before” explains Donna Swischer, Head, Document Services Department, Linda Hall Library of Science, Engineering, and Technology. “I am delighted to have the opportunity to collaborate in shaping Compendex into the best possible database. It is such an important resource in engineering and my library relies heavily upon it. I find it very convenient to have all the committee postings in one location rather than amassing and keeping track of e-mails. I must have 20 different mailboxes to keep track of various committees and topic threads. With the blog, everything is centralized and labeled. It makes it very easy to track the thread of the discussion and participate.”
After concluding the refinement process for 2006 coverage, the Compendex Scope and Coverage Committee intends to continue using the blog for their ongoing collaboration. Screen views of the Compendex Scope and Coverage Committee blog are available at http://www.ei.org/images/sc.jpg.
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About Engineering Information
Engineering Information is a leading provider of information solutions and discovery tools that meet the needs of the engineering and applied physical science communities. Elsevier Engineering Information publishes six bibliographic databases including Compendex®, Chimica®, Chemical Business NewsBase® and PaperChem®, and provides the online discovery platforms Engineering Village 2 and ChemVillage.
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