- EEBO-TCP Advisory Board Meeting
- October 22, 2003
Board Members: William Gosling (Chair, University of Michigan), Richard Detweiler (CLIR), Mark Dimunation (Library of Congress, for Deanna Marcum), David Ferriero (Duke University), Marianne Gaunt (Rutgers University), Steven Hall (ProQuest Information and Learning), Ronald Milne (Oxford University, for Reginald Carr), William Miller (Florida Atlantic University), David Stam (Syracuse University)
EEBO-TCP Staff and Guests: Stuart Dempster (JISC), Shawn Martin (University of Michigan), Mark Sandler (University of Michigan), Mary Sauer-Games (ProQuest)
- Unable to attend:
Betty Bengston (University of Washington), Sarah Michalak (University of Utah), Carole Moore (University of Toronto), William Walker (University of Miami)
- I. Welcome
William Gosling opened the meeting with a reminder about the roles and responsibilities of the Board and commented on the success that the project has enjoyed to date, especially in the field of undergraduate research. Bill quoted a faculty comment made earlier this year that because of EEBO and similar projects, “my undergraduates are doing work at the level of doctoral students.” Bill also introduced new members of the Board including Marianne Gaunt, William Miller, and representing CLIR, Richard Detweiler.
- II. Project Updates
Bill then proceeded to update the board about the progress of the project stating that EEBOTCP continues to proceed well; there are now 4,313 texts online; ProQuest will be adding texts to the EEBO product site; the JISC Board has approved nationwide purchase which will extend access to many thousands of new users; new institutions continue to join the project, and Michigan has made agreements with Gale and Readex to support conversion of subsets of the Eighteenth Century and Evans Early American materials which will allow us to create a cross-searchable corpus of important historical texts.
- III. Project Demo
Shawn Martin, the Project Outreach librarian for the TCP project was then introduced and proceeded gave a brief demo highlighting the latest developments for the project, including the possibilities of cross searching, the updated project site, and the increased usage EEBO-TCP database.
- IV. Recruitment Update
Mark Sandler and Shawn Martin then updated the board on the latest recruitment efforts for EEBO-TCP. Shawn informed the Board that 14 new institutions have joined since the last meeting in September 2002, and another nine are working toward becoming partners. He also updated the board on the most recent academic and library conferences that EEBO-TCP staff members have attended in 2002-2003, possible conferences and publications for 2004, and provided the board with copies of the most recent (and proposed future) publications that EEBO-TCP will be pursuing. It was suggested that both EEBO and EEBO-TCP look beyond some of the current strategies and outreach to some of the smaller independent colleges and libraries, including such associations as the Council of Independent Colleges and the Great Lakes College Association.
Other recruitment possibilities were mentioned, including the California Digital Library, which, though not currently considering EEBO-TCP, faculty and staff in the University of California have been informed about current progress of the project, and remain optimistic that California will eventually join the partnership.
Other suggestions were made that EEBO-TCP keep the board updated on the overall usage statistics of the project and gather information about how it is being used in education and research. It was suggested that members of the board may wish to contact relevant faculty members and that members of the EEBO-TCP staff who have contact with faculty continue to inquire about how undergraduates and scholars are using the database.
- V. JISC
Stuart Dempster from the JISC then proceeded to update the Board on the activities of the Joint Information Systems Committee (JISC) in the UK. He described the role and structure of the JISC, how it made its decisions, and its future plans for rolling out EEBO and EEBO-TCP in the UK. The JISC also intends to do some significant outreach to institutions in the UK including printing of brochures, usage studies, and cooperation with Michigan and Oxford to develop curriculum reports. This should lead not only to greater worldwide usage of EEBO-TCP, but should also boost EEBO-TCPs outreach efforts with little or no expenditure from EEBO-TCP project funds.
- VI. ProQuest Update
Steven Hall reported to the Board on the most recent sales activity of the EEBO product noting that it had, despite difficult economic times, been a good year and EEBO continued to sell to a large number of libraries.
Mary Sauer-Games then did a brief demo of the new EEBO interface which will be released in November and will include the EEBO-TCP texts. This will allow users to search both catalog records and full text without having to use two different websites (as they do currently). It was generally agreed that the new EEBO interface would “breathe new life” into both the TCP which will undoubtedly see increased usage of the text and to EEBO where functionality of searching will be greatly increased.
- VII. Budget
Members of the Board then reviewed the EEBO-TCP budget. EEBO has consistently been producing higher than expected numbers of accurately encoded texts over the past year, and hopes to continue doing so over the next few years. The amount of money spent last year was somewhat lower than predicted because of the vacancy of the Project Outreach Librarian position and the delayed hire of an additional Oxford reviewer. It is expected that expenditures this year will be closer to meeting the projections. It was also noted that the JISC’s marketing efforts will produce savings to the TCP for printing and supplies with the JISC also marketing to its universities, there will be some savings in that area. It was reported that revenues and commitments in 2003 amount to $3,266,119 . Spending last year for all categories was $849,547. Projected expenditures for 03-04 are $1,369,921. The Board was pleased to note that the project is well funded through July of 2006, and attention was given to plans for identifying funding opportunities that would take us beyond that time
It was recommended that EEBO-TCP do some modeling of amounts of money that may come in and what would be needed to reach 25,000 texts. This could then be used to create a broader marketing plan, including annual recruitment targets, to assure that the project has adequate funding to meet it’s production goals.
- VIII. Board Action Requests
- • EEBO-TCP Revised Pricing
It was proposed that the Board consider raising the price of EEBO-TCP because of inflation and other concerns pressing the project. Members of the Board agreed that it would be fair to increase pricing for the TCP, but thought that institutions would be more likely to come in if the pricing schedule were introduced during fiscal rather than calendar years. Additionally, it was suggested that rather than a set dollar increase, an annual percentage increase should be applied, which might need to be combined with a reduced number of years in which to pay as the project nears completion. A 10% price increase was approved for July 1, 2004, and it was suggested that project staff do some further modeling of proposed price strategies to be reviewed by the Board at its next meeting.
- • ProQuest International Sales
ProQuest proposed to the Board that they consider permitting ProQuest to sell subscriptions to the TCP to non-English speaking countries. Since it is unlikely that TCP will be able to sell these institutions on their own, it is hoped that ProQuest may be able to build a revenue stream for the TCP. It was suggested that a 3 to 6 month test of this might be possible and that ProQuest get back to the Board with their findings.
- • Academic Advisory Group
Members of the academic community have frequently asked EEBO-TCP about its contact with scholars, and though there has been much ad hoc work in communicating with the primary users of the database, to date, there has been nothing formal. Therefore, the Board considered the possibility of creating an academic advisory group which would provide formal communication between the project and the scholarly community. It was suggested that this be tried for one year and see how progress went, and would be continued if needed after that.
- • Rights and Use of Content
Since many scholars have approached EEBO-TCP for use of the content in their projects, it was proposed that the board put forth guidelines on how content could be used. Since there are such a diversity of projects, it was agreed that they need to be handled on a case by case basis. However, it was also suggested that because of current agreements and commitments, the project cannot distribute large amounts of content to individual projects for free distribution on scholarly websites.
- IX. Other TCP Initiatives
Mark Sandler then updated the Board on future directions for other TCP type projects. Readex and Gale have produced large historic corpora for the early American imprints and for eighteenth century English books. The University of Michigan has reached agreements to create a subset of accurately keyed and encoded texts in conjunction with these projects, and aims to produce 6,000 early American and 10,000 18th century texts. In the near term, this will not affect production of EEBO texts because there is adequate capacity to expand beyond existing levels of production. In the long term, this will produce a large number of culturally significant texts, produced to a single standard, that are owned by the library community and complement the EEBO texts for these early historical periods.
- XI. Summary and Conclusions
Overall, it was agreed that the project has progressed well, and considering where it was even two years ago, it is stunning to think that EEBO-TCP now produces texts comparable to any commercial product in a very cost-effective way. It was agreed that the TCP concept is on the cusp of revolutionary changes in research and teaching and that it will continue to grow and extend the foundation which the project has built.
The Board suggested that we have additional meetings over 2004 (at least two) and that staff should propose dates (possibly ones that correspond to already established meetings or conferences). Finally, in light of the JISC’s recent entry into the project, it was proposed that another Board member be added from the UK. It was agreed that representatives from the JISC and from Oxford University would be asked to propose a member to be appointed to the Board.