Electronic resource management

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Electronic resource management (ERM) is the practices and software systems used by libraries to keep track of important information about electronic information resources, especially internet-based resources such as electronic journals, databases, and electronic books. The development of ERM became necessary in the early 2000s as it became clear that traditional library catalogs and integrated library systems were not designed to handle metadata for resources as mutable as many online products are.


The idea of developing electronic resource management systems emerged in 2001-2002, growing out of research by Tim Jewell at the University of Washington. The Digital Library Federation and NISO began work in May 2002 to develop standards for ERM data.[1] These standards were published in the 2004 as Electronic Resource Management: Report of the DLF ERM Initiative.[2] Since the publication of the report, several vendors of integrated library systems have released ERM products.

Features of systems

Features of some ERM systems include:[3]

  • Supporting acquisition and management of licensed e-resources
  • May be integrated into other library system modules or may be a standalone system
  • May have a public interface, either separate or integrated into the OPAC
  • Providing descriptions of resources at the package (database) level and relate package contents (e.g. e-journals) to the package record
  • Encoding and perhaps publicly displaying licensed rights such as e-reserves, coursepacks, and interlibrary loan
  • Tracking electronic resources from point of order through licensing and final access
  • Providing information about the data providers, consortial arrangements, access platform
  • Providing contact information for all content providers
  • Logging problems with resources and providers
  • Providing customizable e-mail alerting systems (e.g. notices to managers when actions are expected or required)
  • Linking license documents to resource records
  • Supports retrieval of SUSHI usage statistics

Examples of products

Several library automation companies have developed ERM products, including several with generic-sounding names for specific commercial products. Some open-source ERM systems also exist.

AMSL Linked Data approach by Leipzig University Library, open source


See also


  1. "DLF Electronic Resource Management Initiative". Digital Library Federation. 2004. Retrieved 2008-11-11.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  2. Jewell,, Tim; et al. (2004). "Electronic Resource Management: Report of the DLF ERM Initiative". Digital Library Federation. Retrieved 2008-11-11.CS1 maint: extra punctuation (link)<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  3. Feather, Celeste (2007-03-22). ERM Systems: What Are They and What Do They Do?. Columbus Metropolitan Library, Columbus, OH: OhioNET.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>

Further reading