Electronic claiming of serials is gaining popularity. Several vendors now offer it, with Ameritech the latest to sign an agreement with a major subscription agency. Effective immediately, users of Horizon systems can use the EDI X.12 format to transmit claims to EBSCO via Internet FTP. EBSCO's system will automatically generate an e-mail response acknowledging the receipt of the transmission. The claims are then matched to customer orders and, if there are current subscriptions, forwarded to the publishers. As a prerequisite to use of the service, the EBSCO Subscription Identifiers (unique numbers assigned to the subscriptions) must be present in the "Subscr. No." fields of the Horizon copy records. EBSCO provides barcodes for scanning these in.
While we welcome this development because it keeps claiming current and reduces cost, we remain concerned that automated library system vendors, book jobbers, and subscription agencies continue to develop interfaces using EDI x.12, rather than the international standard which has superseded it (EDIFACT) . We urge libraries to specify that an upgrade to EDIFACT will be provided at no additional cost when it becomes available.
[Ameritech Library Services, 400 Dynix Drive, Provo, UT 84604; (800) 223-5413; fax: (801) 223-5202; www.amlibs.com.]