Scholars Portal Updates

April 2013

RefWorks sign-in problems. Students are being asked for group code even when they try to log-on to RW from campus. RefWorks has not changed the URL and it is IP authentication issue which needs to be resolved. Option is to change URL – till the IP issue is resolved. URL has been changed by Tuan.

RefWorks access from other OCUL Universities

More on RefWorks:

  • new version of WNC for Windows out and some improvements
  • some changes to RefWorks interface are confusing users – they should see LibAnswers (re: creating a bibliography)
  • Citation management RFP group continues developing functional requirements

Loaded ~8000 Taylor & Francis titles on SP server. All schools have bought it but only some schools have access through Scholars Portal e-book platform.

An Open Journal System (OJS) webinar is being planned (May 2013). The Public Knowledge Project (PKP) will be hosting a webinar on the Open Monograph Press (date to be determined). A Group comprising of 11 librarians has been formed and they are beginning to work on a series of webinars about the scholarly publishing process. These will be broadcast live for the OCUL community and the Public Knowledge Project recordings will be made publicly available through PKP website.

Webinar on ILL and Copyright was on Thursday April 4, 10 AM. Recording available here:

Scholars Portal Day: Snell Hall at the Cathedral of St. James  at King and Church, 4th Dec 2013

Reference Products Survey: Two PSAG members are working on a draft. The survey will be shared with the Technical Advisory Group (TAG). TAG can further refine the questions. The objective is to run the survey every year so that we have trends data. More details will be discussed by Charlotte and Cameron Metcalf (TAG) at the next SPOD meeting.

March 2013

Public Services Advisory Group (PSAG) Newsletter Issue 4 Winter 2013. New Members: Tamsin Bolton, Dramatic Art & IL Librarian, Leddy Library, University of Windsor and Jennifer Thiessen, Education and Aboriginal Studies Librarian, Brock University

Scholars Portal Updates:

CRL has certified Scholars Portal as a trustworthy digital repository for electronic journals. Between January and July 2012 CRL conducted an audit of Scholars Portal on behalf of the Ontario Council of University Libraries (OCUL), an organization representing 21 Canadian universities.  OCUL, which has been acquiring and managing digital content since 2002, is committed to the long-term preservation of scholarly resources for the benefit of future students and researchers. Audit Report.

Scholars Portal Website is in the process of being redesigned in way that it does not duplicate the OCUL website: May 2013.

Feb 2013

RefWorks Usage Reports updates

Streamlined the information they are providing to Schools on a monthly basis – will now see monthly visits and monthly visitors for a rolling 12 month period (complete with actual numbers along with the graph). Will continue to see YTD by Domain, Return Frequency, Browser and Geography.  Beginning in April, RW will launch comprehensive usage reports (in MS Excel) that will be provided to any requesting admin on a quarterly basis.  If Schools have already signed up for the monthly reports, they will automatically receive the quarterly reports.

The new quarterly reports (beginning mid/end of April covering Q1 2013) will include:

–          Activity by user type and focus area

–          New Account Creation

–          Reference Type Activities

–          Information about User Accounts

–          Source information related to where your users are getting their references from
The 30-day rolling reports currently in the RefWorks Administrator Tool will be removed – only the report sign up option will remain.

Live and in use: a RefWork knowledgebase

New journals underface continues to be under development, lots of work being done on accessibility aspects.

OUR: French interface still being modified but live User libGuide and in-use:

VR ASK: Recently passed 25,000 chats

New Scholars Portal Wiki page:


December 2012

Recordings from Scholars Portal Day (5th Dec 2012) are now posted to the OCUL Webinar Archive: You will need to be logged in to see this section of the site (all staff at OCUL libraries are entitled to an account and can sign up here:

Update on RefWorks: There is a new statistics module just released that is not as functional as the previous module. Jacqueline from SP will be providing an update about changes in the statistical module. PSAG Chair will follow up with SPOD and OCUL contacts regarding the RFP timetable, as the end of our current Reference Management Program contract is approaching soon.

Future plans for PSAG were discussed at the in-person meeting (30th Oct 2012). Probability of repeating the e-book scan (and/or communication surrounding it) would be good activity for PSAG. One way to decrease the turnaround time could be to do away with formal/official recommendations and instead focus on the scan results.

PSAG can play a role in the communication aspect and facilitate conversations about decision-making for the e-Books platform (and others). Other initiatives discussed:

  • Webscale / URM summit day being planned
  • Reference collaboration beyond Ask (e.g., video chat, other?)
  • LMS survey: new Journals interface launch, Books follow-up, ILL platform (eventually), citation managers, accessible text project

November 2012

Write-N-Cite LibGuide:

LibAnswers by SP (RefWorks & RACER):

UOIT, OCAD U and Western are now live on the Ask service. September 2012 traffic was up 57% from last year.

New Data being added in GeoPortal: see the “New Data Layers” list on the GeoPortal main page for details

Scholars Portal E-books Environmental Scan – 2012. Please e-mail Anika Ervin-Ward ( for SPOT-DOCS user name & password.

October 2012

No PSAG meetings in September or October – Member changes, busy year. Scheduled in-person meeting 29th Oct 2012 at UfT.

New members in PSAG: Jennifer Thiessen, Education & Women’s Studies, Brock University

E-book usage

October 2012

No PSAG meetings in September or October – Member changes, busy year. Scheduled in-person meeting 29th Oct 2012 at UfT.

New member in PSAG: Jennifer Thiessen, Education & Women’s Studies, Brock University

E-book usage for APA, Duke, Emerald, Springer posted on Scholars Portal site but more details to be discussed on the 29th October. APA & Springer have high usage at York. We do not subscribe to Duke & Emerald e-books.

OCUL Webinar Tablets in the Library posted:

Ask us anywhere: roving reference with an iPad – Maryse Laflamme, University of Ottawa

Lending IPads – The Good, the Bad & the Ugly – Joan Cavanagh, University of Ottawa

Bridging the physical & digital worlds with QR Codes – Anna Szot-Sacawa, University of Toronto

Not Just for YouTube – Making tablets work for YOU! – Sarah Forbes, University of Toronto, Scaborough

July/August 2012

Scholars Portal Citation Management Task Force & Environmental Scan for E-books – Nothing to report at this time because OCUL Directors’ decision is not yet public. The details on Citation Management programs and Environmental Scan for e-books shared in July 2012 were internal / library communications.

Write N Cite 4 for PCs is now live:

UOIT and OCAD will join Ask a Librarian in July and Western will be joining before the fall. A summary of the first year of the Ask/Chat service is available here:

Scholars GeoPortal was updated on May 31, 2012. Release notes are available here:

May/June 2012

Scholars Portal E-Book collection – Environmental Scan of SP e-books and usage. Anthony Petryk (U.Ottawa) from PSAG was on this group along with Heather Fraser (York) and another member from OCUL-IR. Feedback gathered from different schools and report prepared in May 2012. Their report analyzes the responses into three basic schemes: What’s working? – What’s not working? Challenges that need to be addressed.

Citation Management

Citation Management Investigation Task Force was established to:

  • determine the importance of a hosted-in-Canada citation management solution
  • recommend a clear direction for the future of citation managers within OCUL
  • develop a communications strategy for the proposed

York Librarians gave their feedback on Citation Management /RefWorks renewal options in April 2012. This was submitted  to the Citation Management Investigation Task Force. All 21 OCUL members went through the same process. After broad consultation, the CM Task Force prepared a report with recommendations for the Spring 2012 Directors meeting. Broad communications about next steps will be forthcoming shortly.

Scholars Portal Day: Hart House, Dec 5th 2012

Webinars by Scholars Portal Team: New webinars planned for this year.

Localized Video Production webinar: This two-part webinar will take place on June 6 and June 13, and will showcase the different ways OCUL members are developing, producing, and sharing video content. Eight presenters from across OCUL will be showcasing what they’ve been working on, discussing their creative process, and highlighting some of the challenges of the format. All past OCUL webinars are accessible from this link: Details to register for an OCUL account:

March 2012

  • Mendeley Institutional Launch at Western Libraries Held on 8th March 2012. View slides here:
  • The librarian from Western noted that there will be a Mendeley launch at their libraries on 8th March. This is a promotional event and does not reflect a purchase. She noted that there are several Mendeley users at Western’s Ivey School of Business.
  • Scholars Portal members will be meeting with a representative from Mendeley on March 7th
  • The launch of the Scholars Geoportal was noted during the March 2012 PSAG meeting. Digital images which can be used by schools to promote the Geoportal can be obtained from Leanne Hindmarch, the Data and Geospatial Librarian at Scholars Portal.
  • The Citation Management Task Force at Scholars Portal provided preliminary data regarding the use of Refworks at each site, including usage by user types. Subsequent to a further review of this data on March 6th, the Task Force will be looking at assembling an information package for each school, highlighting local usage, costs, etc.
  • Scholars Portal E-books: Charlotte (Nipissing University) and the Chair of the OCUL IR Strategic Planning group recently discussed the relatively low use of the Scholars Portal e-books collection and the need to determine what can be done to address this situation. Anecdotal evidence suggests that the low use of the collection in part reflects the degree to which schools have (or have not) integrated the MARC records for the e-books into their catalogues.
    Alan noted that the collection experiences only 1,500 or so hits per day – versus the 40,000 plus hits experienced by the journal collection. He speculated that if this trend continues it would be difficult to justify continuing the investment in the collection.  PSAG may assist with developing an environmental scan to determine the issues/barriers associated with making the collection available at each school.

Feb 2012

  • OCUL’s geospatial data platform Scholars GeoPortal was awarded this year’s Ontario Library and Information Technology Association (OLITA) Award for Technical Innovation. Rosa Orlandini’s picture in the centre of the picture tile! Prof. Costas Armenakis from York University (last picture in the tile) was also part of the GeoPortal team. The service will launch officially on March 1, 2012.
  • Citation Management Programs LibGuide: comparing output bibliographies (APA 6th Ed.) created using different citation management programs is almost complete. Google Doc highlighting the differences in output style (APA).
  • Mendeley Institutional Edition Powered by Swets (12th Jan 2012):
    • Mendeley Institutional Edition powered by Swets connects the library and its collection directly to researchers. It provides a platform for to easily monitor, guide and facilitate the research undertaken across the organization. This multi-device solution enables you to support researchers.
    • Swets introducing Mendeley Institutional Edition @ OLA 2012
    • Within their institutional profile, librarians can assist their users in a number of ways:
      • Upload their A-Z list of titles
      • Have teachers set up course packs to direct students to important content
      • Utilize link resolvers to facilitate speedy access paths to information
      • Increase the reach of researchers by helping them share their content
      • Discover peers in similar research fields
      • Create the library’s own citation style, or adopt a standard

Jan 2012

Dec. 2011

LF Slides

Nov. 2011

Oct. 2011

  • ODESI seminar on 20th Oct 2 pm. Contact Walter Giesbrecht ( if you are interested in attending.
  • ODESI LibGuide by Scholars Portal (work-in-progress)
  • Ontario Population Health Indexes of Databases: OPHID offers Ontario’s population health researchers, students and decision makers information on a wide variety of quantitative information sources for and about Ontario, that reflect both the state of the health of its populations and possible explanatory variables. It is not a data-access platform; the objective of OPHID is to improve population health research by informing researchers about the existing data sources, the types of data they contain, and contact information for the data providers regarding potential data access.
  • OCUL Quarterly Updates (Fall 2011).
  • RefWorks – UfT suggestions/comments – e-mail survey response conducted in September 2011.


Sept. 2011

  • List of all LibGuides prepared by Scholars Portal. Some new additions include Odesi, Dataverse, RefWorks (updated).
  • RefWorks 2.0 sign in page is now the default at York. Once you sign in and if you had your account set at Classic, it will remain that way. You can switch to the new version at any time. Anyone signing up for a RefWorks account will automatically get a 2.0 account, but has the option to toggle back to Classic.
  • ProQuest has devised a workaround for the RefWorks Direct Export problem from the new platform. ProQuest’s long-term fix for the problem should be available in October. ProQuest is recommending that you encourage users to create “My Research” accounts in the new platform. When a new MR account is created it can be linked to Refworks, meaning that all resources added to the account are also automatically added to the user’s RefWorks account. This eliminates the need for a direct export to Refworks. ProQuest’s document explaining the Refworks workaround and the MR accounts is available. Libraries can edit or add local library branding.
  • OCUL announced the beta release of Scholars GeoPortal: This new geospatial data discovery tool offers search, preview, and download functionality for a growing selection of geospatial datasets licensed by Ontario university libraries, covering such topics as land use, transportation networks, census boundaries, points of interest (such as schools, airports, and golf courses), orthophotography, and more.


More information

Aug 2011

  • OCUL – ProQuest Migration Listserv : Subscribe to this listserv to keep track of latest happenings (including trouble shooting) about the ProQuest search platform.
  • Webinar on Digital Preservation: 10th Aug 2011 at 12 pm. If you plan to attend, please send an e-mail to Kerry Kelly (
  • Public Services Advisory Group (PSAG) 2011 Newsletter
  • E-books LibGuides:
  • Scholars Portal Usage Data ( SPUD) is now Counter Compliant: JR1 & JR5 and Book Reports (BR6). Compliance standards available here.
  • Scholars Portal Day: 9th Dec 2011 (Friday)

July 2011

  • Past webinars
    Access to some webinars may require Spot Docs log-in. Please send e-mail to Kerry Kelly ( for a new user name and password (in case the webinar is not open access).
  • Notes from Library Forum

RefWorks LibGuide

WizFolio LibGuide

Feedback for LibGuides
Jacqueline Whyte Appleby, Client Services Librarian
Scholars Portal, Ontario Council of University Libraries

Virtual Reference Service being launched in Fall 2011

  • This fall OCUL will launch a new online reference service for Ontario university students and researchers. The “Ask a Librarian” service will allow students at participating OCUL institutions to access chat-based reference support from OCUL librarians, as well as interns from Ontario’s library schools, and will be implemented and managed by Scholars Portal. The Virtual Reference Group will work with the Scholars Portal team, including Virtual Reference Librarian, Klara Maidenberg, to establish governance and policy guidelines and workflow procedures.
  • E-journals packages loaded on Scholars Portal.

Scholars Portal Update in July 2011

  • Alan Darnell (SP, Manager) will be visiting York on July 20 to update librarians and staff about what is happening this summer and what to expect for the fall term. Other updates on Geospatial Portal, the new VR initiative, the Discovery Layer Selection process, ebooks, and Trusted Digital Repository (TDR). (Slides from July 2011)

June 2011

  • ProQuest offers several webinars on the new interface that may be of interest to library staff who aren’t directly involved with the migration but want to know about the new features. More information about the new platform (including a link to the list of supported databases) can be found from this link
  • Notes from Library Forum

OCUL updates

May 2011

April 2011

Feb 2011