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Open Access eBooks/Streaming Media 


Monographs activated OA content access upon requests from C&RS, subject librarians and branch staff. 


For OA ebooks/streaming media, we have catalog records in Sirsi for all OA titles. The URL is not proxied, |y = "View Resource Online”, and Library is ONLINE. MARC records for OA ebooks may be 360 MARC records if they are available in 360KB or OCLC records added to the catalog by catalogers for individual records or vendor provided records via batch load. No gift PO is created to the OA ebook/streaming titles. 


For non-360 MARC records, Call Number Item Record Setting Itemcat2 field should always be set to OPENACCESS. For 360 MARC records, they do not have itemcat2 field set to OPENACCESS. See section Note on Itemcat2 Field for additional information.


In a case where there is a paid resource and an open access 856, the catalog may have multiple item records on the same resource, but this is rare. Our current practice is to catalog open access items separately.


OA ebook packages are tracked on Confluence: https://staff.lib.ncsu.edu/confluence/display/AQD/E-Monographs+Providers#EMonographsProviders-OAEbookCollections

Open Access e-Journals


Note: the Serials unit only activates open access materials upon request from C&RS, subject librarians, and branch staff, or when a subscribed resource moves to open access.


  • If an open access e-resource is tracked in one of the Freely Accessible databases in SerSol, simply activate the resource.  If it is not tracked in a Freely Accessible database, request that SerSol add it to one. We want SerSol to manage all our electronic access as much as possible.  If they do track the resource, (you will usually be notified in response to your request), make sure the access is turned on and the coverage dates are correct.  If SerSol cannot track the resource, then we will need to catalog it manually.
  • In manually cataloging resources, the 856 should begin with 856|y "Open access e-resource" followed by 856|u with the URL. Remember the URL is not proxied for free stuff, we only proxy URLs when we pay for access.
  • The Call Number / Item Record should always state "OPENACCESS" in the Itemcat2.
  • All open access items should have a gift PO since we only activate open access resources upon request. If the open access e-resource has been requested by a Collection Manager, create a dated Gift purchase order, if we don't already have one (See Creating a PO, AND, notify the Collection Manager as soon as the title is cataloged and access has been verified in our catalog). 

Open Access Databases & Websites


We use 856 fields for databases and websites because we don't manage those in Serials Solutions. For open access resources, make sure there is an 856|y that reads "Open access e-resource". 

Itemcat 2 should say OPENACCESS for open access databases and websites.

Open Access Materials in TRLN Discovery

The code for Discovery (aka Blacklight) is written as such- if OA, it must have itemcat2=OPENACCESS and library ONLINE. Nothing added to the $y will change the link display. 

Note on Itemcat2 Field

In some existing records, this field is blank even though the resource is open access.  This could occur due to many factors.  The record could be a 360 MARC record, which does not populate this field.  The record may also predate the policy of adding OPENACCESS to the Itemcat 2 field.  There is also the potential for human error on manual records, but every effort is made to add OPENACCESS to the Itemcat 2 Field on manual records.

As of May 2021, there are efforts looking into making OA contents discoverable in Summon via OA button and/or Unpaywall. The main benefit of the project is that patrons can discover OA contents in Summons and it provides facet browsing for OA contents. The project team is looking into potential end user impact and technical implementation. Unpaywall and OA button include OA e-journals and limited monographs contents. 

As of May 2021, for OA contents with 360 MARC, itemcat2 is not set as OPENACCESS for now. As such, Discovery interprets them as restricted resources and the link text displayed as "View Resource Online (NCSU Only)". This is inaccurate as they are OA contents which are available for the general public as well. Here is an example of a catalog record with a 360 MARC record:

Ebook: https://catalog.lib.ncsu.edu/catalog/NCSU5029848

E-Journal: https://catalog.lib.ncsu.edu/catalog/NCSU3478675

If we decide to populate itemcat 2 for OA contents for 360 marc, we have two options:

Option 1: Preprocess OA 360 marc records to set a different holding code with itemcat2=OPENACCESS

There may be something we could do in terms of catching these on load, and load them separately from other full text restricted records. Right now, we use the 360-MONO holding code to load all 360MARC ebooks. We could pull out OA  records with Marcedit as it looks like these may have a distinct 773. These could then be loaded separately with a different holding code to set itemcat2=OPENACCESS. 

There is a possibility to pull out a report on those with itemcat2 not “OPENACCESS”: library=ONLINE, 856 with second indicator = 0 or 1, with no proxy prefix, and itemcat2 NOT "OPENACCESS", (exclude local hosted resources- "*lib.ncsu.edu/eresources"?

There is another possibility to catch those with itemcat2 not “OPENACCESS” if OA historical marc records have a distinct 773.

Option 2: The other option would be to see if Exlibris could differentiate OA materials and set a different 949 holdings statement. I'm not sure what flexibility they have in their technical specifications. Right now, the 360MARC ebook records come with a holdings statement of 949h=ONLINEBOOK, which is not correct anyway. We ignore the 949 holdings statement with the load report to use 360-MONO holding code instead. If we could set up the specs to change 949h based on record type, we could use the 949 holdings statement to set item information on load. The current load report would just have to be adjusted slightly to use 949 and not a default holding code.  Again, this will not fix anything already loaded- just going forward.

Confluence documentation related to OA cataloging


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