Slow or No Performance in the E-Journal Portal

Yesterday, we saw the return of a recurring problem with the e-journal portal. Searches took forever or sometimes failed to go through at all. This morning, the system seems to be fine again. The vendor (Serials Solutions) emailed customers yesterday to let us know that they were aware of the intermittent problems over the past 9 months and are still working to permanently fix them.

In case this problem crops up again, we can use a newly developed e-journal tool from SFX that works the same way. This tool is something that the SFX Committee at CUNY is going to be looking at and exploring (is the knowledgebase behind it as accurate and user friendly as the one from Serials Solutions? can the interface be customized as much as the Serials Solutions one? etc.). It is not a replacement, just a back up tool we can use when the Serials Solutions e-journal portal is acting up.

Library Catalog and SFX Down for Maintenance on August 2 [SEE UPDATE}

The library catalog and the SFX service (which powers the “Find it @ CUNY” button in our databases and the “View Now” button in OneSearch) will be down from 8 am to 12:30 pm on Wednesday, August 2. Here are some workarounds:

To find books and other items we have listed in the catalog

  • Use OneSearch (select “Books + Articles + Videos” in the yellow search box) but be aware that real time availability of items won’t be working

To find the full text of an article found in OneSearch

  • Use  the “Journals” section option in the yellow search box

To find the full text of an ebook found in OneSearch

  • Look at the details of the record in OneSearch to see what platform the book is on, then go to the databases page to get a direct link to that ebook platform

UPDATE 31 July 2017: CUNY has cancelled this maintenance work. All systems will be working.

Selected Library Systems Down on April 10

On Monday, April 10, between 9 am and 2 pm, CUNY CIS will be doing maintenance on servers that will directly impact a number of key library systems.

Systems that will be affected

SFX: The Find It! button in our databases and the View Now button in OneSearch will not be able to connect you to full text.

Library catalog: You won’t be able to connect to the catalog at all.

OneSearch: The “View Now” button will not be able to connect to full text. Although you will be able to use OneSearch as as a replacement for the library catalog to find records, you will not be able to get real-time information on availability (i.e., you won’t be able to know if an item is checked out), to renew loans, or to request items.

These systems, which are locally hosted or hosted on vendor servers, will not be affected: Remote access to databases, interlibrary loan, LibGuides, study room reservations.

Workarounds

Books: Run your search in OneSearch (select “Books + Articles + Videos” in the search bar) but remember that real-time availability info will not be working.

Articles: Use a specific library database for subject searches or use the Journals search system for known-item searches.

As soon as the system is back up, look for an email on CULIBS and a blog post here.

Find It Buttons from SFX and View Online Button in OneSearch Working Again

All issues reported in the last few days with the “Find it” buttons from SFX and the “View Online” button in OneSearch have now been resolved. This includes:

If you run into problems with any of these services and resources, please report them ASAP to Mike Waldman or me.

Problem Linking to EBSCO Content via SFX

See UPDATE below

If you are in OneSearch about to click a “View Online” button or if you are in some database and have clicked a “Find it!” button (both “View Online” in OneSearch and “Find it!” buttons are powered  by our SFX service) and get a link to full text that goes to an EBSCOhost database, odds are that link will fail. You’ll get an error message from “EBSCO Publishing” that says “A System Problem has Occurred” and looks like this:

EBSCO--error page

Ex Libris, the company that provides the SFX service, says that EBSCO changed some settings unexpectedly. Once Ex Libris can update their systems to work with EBSCO, SFX should be working again with EBSCO content. It’s not clear how long this will take (hours? a day?)

In the meanwhile, as a workaround, use the “Journals” search option on the yellow search bar to track down the database that has that periodical you need. Links from there into EBSCO and other databases are fine (the “Journals” system is from Serials Solutions and is unaffected by this problem).

UPDATE (9 March 2016, 10:15 am)

Ex Libris and EBSCOhost have fixed this problem.

Planned Maintenance on January 25 Will Affect OneSearch, Catalog, and SFX

Between 8:30 am and 11:30 am on Monday, January 25, a number of key library systems will be down or have limited functionality as planned maintenance work is done on local servers:

  • the library catalog will be completely down
  • SFX, which powers the “Find it @ CUNY” button in databases, will be completely down
  • OneSearch will still be searchable, but you won’t be able to:
    • get live availability data for books we own
    • place holds or requests for books we own
    • check your library account
    • link to the full text of articles (because this functionality is powered by SFX, which will be down entirely)

 

SFX and OneSearch Problems at the CUNY SPS Computer Lab

If you are in chat or email reference, you may run across students from the CUNY School of Professional Studies who are reporting problems accessing full text of articles (you can easily spot students in chat and email from CUNY SPS, as their email addresses end with @spsmail.cuny.edu). If you get one of these questions, ask if the student is in the SPS computer lab (which is not on the Baruch campus but over on West 31st Street). If they are, the problem is probably related to an issue with the way the computer network is configured there. At the moment, the lab’s network blocks SFX from working properly (SFX is what’s makes the Find It button in databases work and is the system that also is behind the scenes in OneSearch whenever you click the “Full text online” link in search results).

Please note that this problem is not affecting anyone here on the Baruch campus or who is off campus (except that one SPS computer lab on W. 31st St.)

Workarounds:

  • If it’s a specific article or ebook that the student is trying to access, help them figure out what database has full text access (use the A-Z journals page for articles or the library catalog for ebooks) and tell them to use that path to do an end run around SFX and OneSearch.
  • If they’re just searching generally, point them to a specific database or the library catalog.

The CUNY Office of Library Services is working with CUNY SPS to make sure that SFX works properly in that lab and should have this solved soon.

Problem with “Articles” Search Is Now Fixed

The issue reported here last week that identified an occasional problem connecting to full text from search results pages in “Articles” search (AKA Summon and Bearcat Search) has been resolved. It turned out to be a problem with settings in SFX, our system overseen by CUNY OLS that powers the “Find it! @ CUNY” service.

As always, please share any instances with Mike Waldman where you get a “Find it! @ CUNY” menu that fails to connect to the right article or other resource. Details to include in your communication with Mike are:

  • what database you were in when you clicked on the “Find it! @ CUNY” button
  • what article you were trying to track down
  • the URL for the “Find it! @ CUNY” menu (every one that gets generated has a unique URL that provides key info for troubleshooting)