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Simon Fraser University Ends Development of CUFTS

Smart Libraries Newsletter [November 2016]


Simon Fraser University Library is well known for its creation of open source tools and knowledge bases for the management of electronic resources. The library began the creation of these tools in the mid-1990s. Collectively known as reSearcher, this set of tools includes several related modules, including:

  • CUFTS, an electronic resource module, released as open source software
  • GODOT, an OpenURL-based link resolver
  • cufts2marc, a utility to create basic MARC records from the knowledge base
  • Open Knowledgebase, an open access knowledgebase of e-resource holdings, which has been primarily populated by the staff of the SFU library and supplemented by contributions from other organizations that have adopted reSearcher
  • CUFTS Resource Comparison Tool, a hosted service to compare coverage of electronic resources
  • CUFTS Journal Search, a tool for searching the journals covered within the Open Knowledgebase

The suite previously included a federated search tool, dbWiz, which was discontinued in 2011 when the library adopted the Summon index-based discovery service. The reSearcher suite has been used not only by the Simon Fraser University Library, but has also been adopted by other library organizations, such as the PALS consortium in Minnesota. The SFU Library offers hosted access to these services for an annual fee. A small consulting firm, TrueSerials, also provides commercial support for the reSearcher suite. Over 40 libraries were using reSearcher in 2011, though that number has diminished in recent years.

In September 2016 the library announced its selection of Ex Libris Alma and Primo as its comprehensive resource management and discovery environment. The adoption of Alma, a comprehensive library services platform, will displace the need to maintain separate electronic resource management tools and e-resource knowledgebases. The library will therefore no longer continue to maintain these resources. In August of 2016, just prior to the public announcement of its selection of Alma, the library notified the community of those involved with reSearcher of its intent to decommission this project. According to the project website, software development will cease on May 1, 2017. After that date, the software will continue to be available for download. Since the software is released as open source, other organizations may choose to continue its development and to update the knowledgebases. On August 31, 2017 all services related to reSearcher will end. Those relying on the services will have had a full year to find alternatives.

The reSearcher suite will not necessarily cease to exist following the withdrawal of development and services by Simon Fraser University. TrueSerials reports that it will continue supporting the reSearcher suite for its customers. The company will assume maintenance of the knowledgebase, continue its partnership integrating CUFTS with libraries using the Polaris ILS, and continue working with WiLS (formerly Wisconsin Library System) as a marketing partner.

View Citation
Publication Year:2016
Type of Material:Article
Language English
Published in: Smart Libraries Newsletter
Publication Info:Volume 36 Number 11
Issue:November 2016
Publisher:ALA TechSource
Place of Publication:Chicago, IL
Products: CUFTS
Record Number:22264
Last Update:2022-12-05 15:07:50
Date Created:2017-02-17 08:58:37