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ProQuest Launches the Intota Foundation Release

Smart Libraries Newsletter [August 2014]

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Copyright (c) 2014 ALA TechSource

Abstract: ProQuest has released the initial version of Intota, its library services platform that has been under development since 2011. Fully integrated with the Summon discovery service, this version of Intota builds on Intota Assessment, released in November 2013. It adds to the package management tools for electronic resources; the new ProQuest global knowledgebase of metadata describing the holdings of electronic, digital, and print resources; and specialized functionality to support new models of resource procurement, such as demand driven acquisition of library materials. ProQuest designates the current package as the “foundation” release of Intota, upon which will be layered additional modules and functionality


ProQuest has released the initial version of Intota, its library services platform that has been under development since 2011. Fully integrated with the Summon discovery service, this version of Intota builds on Intota Assessment, released in November 2013. It adds to the package management tools for electronic resources; the new ProQuest global knowledgebase of metadata describing the holdings of electronic, digital, and print resources; and specialized functionality to support new models of resource procurement, such as demand driven acquisition of library materials. ProQuest designates the current package as the “foundation” release of Intota, upon which will be layered additional modules and functionality.

Software as a Service

Intota, like all of the strategic products of ProQuest, is deployed through a multi-tenant software-as-a-service platform. All of its interfaces are web-based, with no need to install local software or plug-ins. Though Summon and Intota are both deployed through SaaS, they reside on separate platforms, with full interoperability through high-performance connectivity and APIs. The default discovery service for Intota, Summon will also continue to be marketed to libraries that use other integrated library systems or library services platforms.

Built for Academic Libraries

ProQuest has designed Intota specifically for academic libraries. These libraries more than other types work with predominantly electronic collections, though a remnant of print resources remain. The functionality of Intota was designed to optimize the management of collections with this balance of materials and not for public libraries that deal with a much different set of automation issues as they continue to acquire large proportions of physical items for their collections and see vigorous levels of circulation of books, supplemented by e-books and electronic resources. The development roadmap of Intota and Summon reflects the priority of first providing tools for electronic resources for academic libraries and to fold print management into that model.

Intota for Electronic Resources

Intota provides complete management of a library's electronic resources. Its handles each step of library involvement with a resource through the complete life cycle, beginning with initial procurement or licensing, to usage tracking, to renewal or deselection. Intota also includes enhanced capabilities to manage library's demand-driven acquisitions programs through APIs in a way that avoids the need for the library to load and unload MARC records. This version of Intota now available does not yet provide management and circulation of print resources. According to Jane Burke in an interview at the ALA Annual Conference in Las Vegas, this functionality is expected to be available in 2015. The additional modules yet to be released include acquisitions, description, and fulfillment. According to Burke, “ProQuest is assessing traditional functionality to find the areas that will benefit from new approaches. Many of the procurement and delivery models for resources have changed since the archetypical ILS functionality was developed decades ago, and ProQuest feels that this is an important opportunity for the industry to re-evaluate how to best provide support for the ways that libraries work today.”

Intota Assessment

Intota Assessment, fully integrated in this release of Intota, relies on a variety of data sources to provide statistics and analytics that will help a library make better decisions regarding the acquisition or deselection of resources of all formats. The library's own usage statistics, initially drawn from its existing ILS, provide one dimension. Once the full Intota package is complete, the assessment capabilities will rely on its native data rather than that exported from the library's ILS. Another important set of data relates to COUNTER statistics available from publishers regarding e-resource use, which ProQuest harvests and loads into Intota Assessment for each library customer. Intota Assessment also draws from qualitative resources that ProQuest owns and maintains such as Books in Print, Resources for College Libraries, Ulrich's, and the new ProQuest Knowledgebase.

One of the key principles of Intota Assessment lies in providing libraries the raw data and analytical tools to help them improve their operational collection decisions. Based on general use levels, cost per use, subject strength analysis, or comparisons with peer institutions, the library will be better informed as it chooses whether to renew or deselect content items, allocate funds across subjects or material types, or make staff assignments relative to collection focus. These tools can also help libraries target areas of their physical collections that could be most appropriate for moving to remote storage if space must be reorganized to support new programs or activities.

ProQuest announced the libraries that have implemented Intota Assessment as of early 2014. which include: Charles Darwin University in Australia, Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, Florida Institute of Technology, Grand Valley State University, Middlebury College, Sabanci University in Turkey, University of Borås in Sweden, University of British Columbia in Canada, and the University of Denver.

Summon for Discovery

Intota is designed to use Summon, the discovery service launched in 2009, as its patron interface. Since the architecture of Intota includes a comprehensive set of APIs, libraries may choose to use other discovery interfaces, but would not be able to take advantage of some of the inherent synergies designed for use with Summon.

ProQuest is in the midst of a transition to Summon 2.0, announced in March 2013, described in more detail in the May 2013 issue of Smart Libraries Newsletter. According to Burke, about half of the libraries have shifted to the new version. ProQuest has softened its original schedule of dates by which libraries must complete the transition, allowing them flexibility to switch according to their own timetables.

The completion of Intota will also involve new features for Summon as it acquires elements of functionality otherwise performed by the online catalog of an ILS. As Intota addresses the fulfillment of print resources, Summon will gain the capability to manage a patron account and the ability to place requests for holds, make renewals, and related tasks.

Intota Development Partners

ProQuest has worked closely with a group of development partner libraries in the design and testing of Intota. These libraries include Johnson County Community College, Ball State University, Marist College, Oklahoma State University, The State University of New York (SUNY) at Geneseo, and SUNY at Buffalo. Specific information on the implementation schedules for Intota at these libraries varies, with some already in production with this foundation release.

Early Adopting Consortium

ProQuest reports that 10 libraries have signed contracts for Intota to date. An early adopter, the Cooperating Libraries in Consortium (CLIC) is a group of seven private colleges and universities in the Minneapolis and St. Paul area in Minnesota, including Augsburg College, Bethel University, Concordia University, Hamline University, St. Catherine University, University of Northwestern-St. Paul, and University of St. Thomas. CLIC has begun a multi-phase implementation that includes the implementation of Summon 2.0, Intota Assessment, and Intota-E. Six of CLIC member institutions previously used OCLC WorldCat Local for discovery, with the seventh upgrading from the initial version of Summon.

Background of Intota

Intota and Summon reside within the Workflow Solutions division of ProQuest, which is led by Kevin Sayar, Senior Vice President for Workflow Solutions and Ebooks. The product portfolio of Workflow Solutions also includes ProQuest Flow, the company's e-book products (ebrary and EBL), ProQuest Pivot, as well as the 360 Suite of products for the management and access of electronic resources. Jane Burke, Vice President, Market Development for ProQuest, has helped shape the vision for Intota and plays a prominent role in its roll-out in the library community. Roger Retke recently joined ProQuest as Vice President, Strategic Projects and will be responsible for the strategic and operational issues for Intota and Summon. Kathryn Harnish joined ProQuest in June as the Director of Product Management for Intota. Harnish has a extensive background in library automation and has worked at OCLC, Ex Libris, and Endeavor Information Systems.

Intota was initially conceived and developed by Serials Solutions, a business unit of ProQuest that was recently fully integrated into ProQuest. The product was originally announced at the ALA Annual Conference in June 2011 in New Orleans as the Web-scale Management Solution, taking on the Intota product name in January 2012. The announcement of the product was covered in the August 2011 issue of Smart Libraries Newsletter, when the initial version focused on electronic resources was anticipated for an ambitious delivery by the end of 2012, with complete functionality in 2013. The current product development roadmap runs a couple of years behind the original optimistic projections. Though entering the market later than expected presents challenges for ProQuest, only a relatively small portion of academic libraries have made commitments regarding replacement of their legacy automation products. ProQuest has a strong base of libraries using Summon, 360 Resource Manager, and 360 Link, which may be ready to take the next step in this product line, and sees potential growth in other libraries for which the vision and principles of resource management embodied by Intota resonate.

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Publication Year:2014
Type of Material:Article
Language English
Published in: Smart Libraries Newsletter
Publication Info:Volume 34 Number 08
Issue:August 2014
Page(s):3-5
Publisher:ALA TechSource
Place of Publication:Chicago, IL
Company: ProQuest
Products: Intota
Subject: Library Services Platforms
ISSN:1541-8820
Record Number:19961
Last Update:2015-03-18 08:28:51
Date Created:2014-10-29 10:01:24