The first round of testing with ten institutions has been completed, and there was positive feedback both generally and about specific features. There is a list of priorities for a next release that will be tested next month, and many of these have been completed. Improvements include a multi-select feature in drop-downs, changes to the harvest log to improve usability, the option to eliminate records with zero use from reports upon export, and more. A number of bugs were also identified and fixed during the pilot. The next release should be available to pilot participants next week, and there is a plan to develop a short demo video for the website. One more round of testing with an additional release is planned for September. The Product Management Team will be meeting next month to evaluate and prioritize future development directions.
The Steering Committee continued the discussion about the future framing of CC-PLUS governance models and approach, including the possible roles of ICOLC, COUNTER, and commercial partners. The committee briefly reviewed the Community Charter & Governance document approved in 2019, draft Community Framework, and a draft proposed Memorandum of Understanding between CC-PLUS and COUNTER, and a discussion about these three documents is planned for the next meeting. Following this discussion, a small group will develop draft documentation for what CC-PLUS should look like following the grant stage.
The ICOLC Futures presentation and conversation held at the recent ICOLC virtual meeting, and the variety of opinions present, were discussed. The challenge of relying too heavily on volunteers was noted for both ICOLC and CC-PLUS, and a stakeholder mapping was proposed as a way to identify those with a vested interest in a sustainable future for CC-PLUS. A virtual presentation about CC-PLUS for the ICOLC community is being planned.
Almost all of the development for the core functionality of the software (harvesting, validation, etc.) is complete. Remaining items include bulk uploads and queue management. Code developed by Bernd Oberknapp for the COUNTER validation tool has been useful for this project, and future collaboration is expected to continue to prevent duplication of effort. The interface is still in a wire framing status, but coding of the interface will begin soon, and a minimum viable product in expected by late April. Biweekly meetings with COUNTER, Jisc, and ConsortiaManager have been critical to advancing this project in terms of developing sustainable software code as well as a sustainable community.
A pilot with around six participants, both consortia and individual libraries, is scheduled to take place from May to September. CC-PLUS will host the software for the pilot centrally, making this a useful test of the capacity needs for hosting this as a service. At a later stage of the pilot, one or two of the pilot participants may be asked to install the software locally. There will be monthly check-ins with piloting entities as well as more formal feedback surveys. Potential pilot participants have been identified, and an email will go out in February. CC-PLUS will request a one-year extension from IMLS (with the existing financial resources) to allow for challenges with publishers implementing COUNTER Release 5, ensure an effective pilot, and build in refinements.
A draft website has been developed, and a contractor will be used to finalize the logo and look and feel of the site. The website is expected to be live around May. How the program will be included in the ICOLC meeting in Columbia is still unknown.
The Advisory Board viewed a presentation by Jiri Jirat (CzechELib, https://www.czechelib.cz/) about CzechELib’s impressive new statistics portal. CC-PLUS is committed to finding opportunities to share information and approaches.
Regarding development of the CC-PLUS project, the team has finished the first work on harvesting, validating, and storing report data as well as constructing wireframe interfaces for data reports. They are now moving on to building out user interfaces and working on code that allows for the scheduling and queuing of harvests. A poster about the CC-PLUS project, proposed by Gretchen Gueguen, was accepted to the Code4Lib conference.