The CC-PLUS Advisory Board met on November 5th. Ten institutions representing consortia and individual libraries participated in the Phase 1 pilot. The goal of this first pilot was to put the software into practice and identify any bugs; it was not meant to be a production-level pilot. One member pursued gathering data from 130 providers, and this was a good test of the system and process. Only around 36 of these providers had COUNTER endpoints, some of which were not R5, and it was further evidence that tracking down valid credentials is time consuming and will continue to be a major hurdle to working with any usage statistics gathering systems. Over the past month, the team went through the pilot feedback and compiled the key issues.
The requested grant extension was accepted, and the new end period is June 2021. This allows time for additional prioritized development and improvements as well as a Phase 2 pilot in Spring 2021. A small group of active participants who will meet weekly would be ideal for this second pilot, as the goal is to put the system into regular operation. CC-PLUS has applied for a third round of IMLS National Leadership Grant funding for this project, led by SCELC. If invited to submit a full proposal, there will be a March 31st deadline.
The webinar for ICOLC to be held on Friday, November 20th, 11am EDT currently has 42 registrants. It will include an overview of the project, demo, and discussion about what will come next for the project. Registration is available here: https://vivalib.libcal.com/calendar/events/ccplus2020.
The Board reviewed a stakeholder mapping with an eye toward being inclusive in the development of this software, building community, and ensuring its long-term sustainability.
The CC-PLUS Advisory Board met in September. CC-PLUS has applied to the LYRASIS It Takes a Village initiative, which would help the program in planning and managing sustainability.
The software pilot will be wrapping up on October 9th. The second phase included changes to make the downloads closer to the standard COUNTER csv format, adding bulk upload of settings, and introducing multi-select functionality in the harvest logs and report generation. There is a focus now on documentation and packaging the software for its first broad release. CC-PLUS will apply for a third round of IMLS National Leadership Grant funding for this project, led by SCELC this time, with work prioritized by the Product Management Group and Steering Committee.
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.