Admins: How ebrary decides what goes in subscription collections such as Academic Complete

A team of ProQuest librarians, along with a global advisory board of librarians, work to ensure ebrary’s subscription collections provide content quality with real customer value.
Academic Complete, ebrary’s flagship subscription collection, is comprised of academic, scholarly, cross-disciplinary, and professional titles representing a broad range of publishers and topics, and is geared specifically to students enrolled in 4-year colleges and universities.
To build relevant subscription collections, ebrary draws on:
  • Customer and user-focused needs
  • Usage and sales data
  • Competitive analysis
  • Unique content and workflow value
  • Industry analysis of key trends such as graduation rates and emerging subjects per degree program
The goal of ebrary’s subscription collections is to deliver essential foundational knowledge that facilitates academic research workflow and outcomes.



Admin: Different terminology for your ebrary site identifier

For your ebrary site, there is only one unique identifier:  your ebrary site identifier. It is the part of the URL to your ebrary site that is unique to your institution.

For example, if your URL is:

Then “hometownschool” is your ebrary site identifier.


Discovery systems may ask for your ebrary site identifier by a different label:

  • OCLC asks for “Channel ID” or “Linking ID” or “Provider ID
  • Summon and 360 Link ask for “Custom ebrary database URL

For all of these, it is your ebrary site identifier they are asking for, e.g. “hometownschool”.  In some cases, Summon and 360 Link want the entire URL, e.g.

Admins: An overview of PDA and Loans

PDA stands for Patron Driven Acquisition.  It is sometimes referred to as DDA – Demand Driven Acquistition


  • The key feature of PDA is being able to provide a broader set of titles for your patrons – without having to purchase all those titles up front.
  • No distinction is made to your patrons about whether or not you’ve already purchased a title – they just know it is a title  available to them.
  • You can restrict the set of titles in your PDA collection as narrowly or broadly as you like – the PDA collection you make available should only contains titles you are happy to have purchased/loaned should they encounter sufficient usage.
  • We provide MARC records for all the titles in your active PDA collections so that you can make those titles discoverable.
  • Untriggered PDA discoverable titles will show as “Limited-user Title” until the title is triggered for loan or purchase, regardless of the purchasing model you’ve chosen (multi-user preferred, or single user).
  • Before your PDA account can be activated, you will need to allocate PDA funds via your sales rep or
  • Your PDA account is set to either purchase only single-user licenses, or to purchase the highest-user license available for each book:
    • If you request single-user-purchases, then every PDA-triggered purchase will be purchased as single-user.
    • If you request highest-user license available, then every PDA-triggered purchase will be purchased as the highest-user license available for that book:
      • if available as multi-user, it will purchase as that;
      • if not, but available as 3user, it will purchase as that;
      • if not, it will purchase as single-user.

Loans refer to short-term loans of ebrary titles.  Loans work much like PDA except that “sufficient usage” of a title causes it to be loaned first, not purchased. Features of Loans:

  • A loaned title is available as a single-user title for the duration of the loan period – the title can be used by different patrons during the loan period, but just one patron at a time.
  • A loaned title cannot be full-document downloaded
  • A loaned title can be copied, printed, and page-range downloaded just like a purchased title.
  • Profiles can be set for 1-day or 1-week loans
    • Loan rates vary by publisher
  • PDA+Loan profiles can be set to loan up to 3 times
  • The cost of the loans are not deducted from purchase price if the title is purchased.
  • If the profile is set up as PDA+Loan, then after the max number of loans have been exhaused, additional sufficient use will cause the title to be purchased.
  • If the profile is set up as just Loan, then after the max number of loans, the title will be removed from future loan consideration.
  • The email address(es) listed in the profile AND in the fund code assigned to the profile (if there is one) will be notified by email on a daily basis of all loans initiated (if there are new loans to report).  The admin can at that point choose whether to:

a. Make no changes regarding a loaned title
b. Purchase a title outright (thereby preempting the cost of future loans)
c. Remove it from the profile’s active collection (thereby making it no longer available for loans or PDA purchase)

  • Loans are not available for Corporate or Government sites due to publisher restrictions

Admins: Accessing your ebrary MARC records

ebrary provides MARC records so that you can easily upload info about all your ebrary books into all of your discovery tools.  For example, if you provide your patrons with access to an online catalog of your books from various sources, you can upload your ebrary MARC records into the catalog to make your ebrary books discoverable and accessible via your online catalog.

If you have an ebrary subscription collection or if you use ebrary’s PDA model, it is important to load addition records as well as deletion records into your catalog on a regular basis to keep the data in your catalog current.

On about the 20th of every month ebrary automatically initiates “Update MARC Data” for your ebrary MARC records page (unless you’ve manually done it yourself recently). If you would like to be alerted each month when ebrary MARC records pages are auto-updated, you can sign up for an RSS alert. See

What does the “Update MARC Data” button do?

  • It updates your MARC records page with any new info for all your collections (subscription, perpetual, PDA, etc.)
  • If there are MARC record additions and/or deletions for any of your collections since the previous dated/time-stamped line, a new dated/time-stamped line will be created.
  • To find out when the most recent update of your MARC records page was done, note the date of the dated/time-stamped line at the top of the list.
  • Note, it doesn’t do anything to select a collection before clicking “Update MARC Data”, see below to see how to filter by collection.

Incremental changes vs. a complete set:

  • The links in the dated/time-stamped lines ONLY give incremental changes since the previous line.
    • Added MARCs”: the add-MARCs for documents added to your site since the previous line.  See below to filter by collection.
    • Deleted Titles”: the delete-MARCs for documents removed from your ebrary site since the previous line.
    • Deleted Titles (Excel)“: an Excel file listing Title and docID for documents removed from your ebrary site since the previous line.
  • Download complete MARC record file” gives the complete up-to-date set of MARC records, not just the changes.  See below to filter by collection.

To filter by collection:

  • If you have multiple collections on your ebrary site, you can get your MARC records for different collections separately (note, delete-MARCs cannot be filtered by collection)
  • First, select from the list of your collections either a single collection or control-click to select multiple collections.  Note:
    • “SUPO collection for xxxxx” is all titles purchased as SUPO
    • “collection for channel xxxxx” is all titles purchased as MUPO or 3USER
    • “All Perpetual” is all your purchased titles (a combination of both of the above collections)
  • Then, either:
    • Left Click “Download complete MARC Record file” for the complete set of MARC records for the selected collections
    • Or, left click the “Added MARCs” link on a specific line to get the MARC records for the selected collections that have been added since the previous line.
  • The collection filter does not work for “Deleted Titles” links.

Note that clicking on the links (that is, “Download complete MARC record file” or “Added MARCs” or “Deleted Titles”) doesn’t change what’s in those links. So you can use the links multiple times in multiple ways – even months from now – without changing what the links point to.

If you don’t already have a MARC manipulation program, MarcEdit is a free program that allows you to view, translate, and split MARC records.  Click to download MarcEdit.  We recommend using the most recent version.

ebrary subscription change schedule (additions, removals)

ebrary needs to occasionally remove titles from subscription collections and/or from PDA/purchase eligibility because of changes in publishers rights and business models, or because of a publisher’s specific request to remove an older edition and replace it with a newer edition.

We are glad to report that we have been able to renegotiate with most of our publishers to hold removals to a semiannual schedule so that we can give you advance notification.

Semiannual removals schedule:

  • end of June
  • end of December

To be notified of titles to be removed on this semiannual schedule, please check the NEWS tab under your Admin tab.  You can also subscribe to the ebrary “Content News” RSS feed.
For instructions, see

ebrary will add the bulk of new titles on a quarterly schedule:

  • end of March
  • end of June
  • end of September
  • end of December

Note, we have found that there continues to be a handful of removals from large subscription collections most months due to loss of publisher rights.  Loss of rights requires titles to be removed immediately, and so unfortunately must be removed off schedule.  For this reason, if you are using ebrary MARC records to keep your catalog up-to-date, it is important to check your ebrary MARC records page each month for added titles and deleted titles.

If you would like to be alerted each month when ebrary MARC records pages are auto-updated, you can sign up for an RSS alert.  See