Open Discovery Initiative

IGeLU and ELUNA endorse ODI

The ELUNA and IGeLU Steering Committees, in partnership with the Primo Product Working Groups, are working jointly, on behalf of all member libraries, to contact publishers voted as high priority for inclusion in discovery services.

The communication to vendors outlines the core of our concerns:

With a membership base of nearly two thousand academic libraries, Ex Libris Users of North America (ELUNA) and the International Group of Ex Libris Users (IGeLU) represent a large number of libraries using the major discovery systems on the market, including EDS, Primo, Summon, and WorldCat Local.   We are dismayed as we are unable to best serve our patrons due to restrictive metadata sharing policies at many key companies that offer subscriptions to critical content and databases.  As heads of these independent user organizations, we are reaching out to vendors directly to advocate for the rights we seek as customers.

As librarians we have an imperative to ensure that your content, in which we invest so heavily, is readily available to all of our institutional users and that access to this content is optimized. Given the reality of budget constraints, we will sooner or later be forced to cancel those licensed resources with lower usage. Including your content – comprehensive metadata and full-text where relevant – in all major discovery systems will increase the visibility of your content to our user community, increase its usage, and ensure continued access for our users.

The letter notes ELUNA and IGeLU support of the NISO Open Discovery Initiative:

We fully endorse the tenets of NISO RP-19-2014, Open Discovery Initiative: Promoting Transparency in Discovery (, including section, which notes that content providers should provide all content to discovery providers, as follows: General Requirements


  1. Content providers should make available to discovery service providers core metadata, and underlying full-text/original content for complete offerings, for the purposes of indexing to meet licensed customers’ and authenticated end users’ needs.


  1. To this aim, all content providers should make available to discovery service providers, at a minimum, the core set of metadata elements (see for each item they submit for indexing.


  1. Content providers should provide the content item (full text, transcript, etc.) and additional descriptive content (abstract/description and controlled and/or uncontrolled keywords) (see, for as much of their content as possible

We want vendors to comply

The ELUNA and IGeLU Steering Committees have requested that vendors both publicly disclose, if not already done, their level of conformance with the Recommended Practice, using the NISO ODI Conformance checklists (, and work to come into full compliance as soon as possible by providing content to discovery providers.  Where  appropriate, we are also reminding vendors that ODI does not make provision for demanding additional goods or services in return for contributing metadata to discovery systems.

It may be the case that some vendors want additional input from specific libraries.   We will be in touch, via our email lists and our websites, to request help in advocating for ODI compliance as needed.


Thank you!

Jiri Kende

Chair of International Group of Ex Libris Users

Habib Tabatabai

Chair of Ex Libris Users of North America