Stock management

The procedures outlined below are suggestions only, and do not define everything that can be done with the Tools. Experimentation may help you to discover better ways of obtaining the data you need.

Assessing stock for withdrawal

'the Tools significantly decreased the amount of time we spend on [weeding and assessment] activity...It's worked especially well for us with more recent material that has an ISBN.'

University of Manchester

By providing data on the scarcity of items and the location of other copies, CCM Tools can help you to make quicker and more informed decisions about stock withdrawal, either as part of your routine weeding process or a specific project.

A suggested workflow might include:

  1. Compiling a list of items for consideration and extracting a file of ISBNs, MARC records or record numbers (if you are a Copac contributor) from your LMS
  2. Using this to run a batch search
  3. Using the 'holding libraries' filter to display only titles held by a particular number of libraries (depending on the criteria you have set for withdrawing or retaining items)
  4. Exporting the results in order to generate a picking list (perhaps by adding bibliographic data, such as shelfmarks, from your LMS), or to identify titles for follow up analysis

Because you are likely to be interested in holdings for specific editions, you could consider setting the deduplication option on your search to 'Records with the same ISBN'. Remember though that the deduplication process is not perfect, and this should be taken into consideration when assessing results.

You can find an example of how the University of Sheffield used the Tools for this purpose here, and read their optimal workflow guide here.

You can see the slides from presentations about how Cardiff Metropolitan University and the University of Manchester did this here and here.

Identifying last copies

'a good way to identify stock in store that can be weeded in order to make space for other collections or withdrawals from open access.'

University of Manchester

The same procedures can help you to identify last (or particularly rare) copies within a collection, or to analyse more broadly the profile of a collection in terms of the scarcity of the items it contains.

If you contribute your records to Copac, your workflow might involve:

  1. Exporting a file of ISBNs or local record numbers for the items in the relevant collection from your LMS
  2. Using the file to run a batch search
  3. Using the 'holding libraries' filter to display only records held by one library, in order to identify which are unique to your collection. You might wish to export your results at this point in order to browse these records more easily in Excel

If you don't contribute your records to Copac, your workflow might involve:

  1. Exporting a file of ISBNs from your LMS and using these to run a batch search
  2. Exporting the full results set and comparing it to your original file, in order to identify which items were not found in the database, and might therefore be unique
  3. Alternatively (if you wish to have your own records deduplicated against those already in the database), exporting a file of MARC records in MARC exchange format (maximum file size: 10 mb) and using these to run a batch search
  4. Using the 'holding libraries' filter to display only records held by one library, in order to identify which are unique to your collection. You might wish to export your results at this point in order to browse these records more easily in Excel

As a control in either case, you might consider doing the same for another collection or set of titles from your holdings, in order to better assess the significance of your results.

It is also worth remembering that, although these steps would give you a quick sense of which titles might be particularly rare, the deduplication procedure in Copac is not perfect, and you might therefore want to carry out further checks before deciding whether to dispose of or retain particular items.

You can find an example of how the University of Sheffield did this here, and read their optimal workflow guide here.



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