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    Ulrich's XML Data Service: User Guide

    • Product: Ulrichs

    What is the Ulrich's XML Data Service and how do we use it?

    December 16, 2015 Update: Added the Data Dictionary as a document to further understand the structure of the data.

    The Ulrich's XML Data Service is a data-retrieval service that gives libraries the opportunity to use the comprehensive metadata available within the Ulrich's knowledgebase to enhance their local library web services and improve their patrons' experiences. This Data Service is available through an annual subscription. Subscribers will be provided with a secure server location from which to access the data in an XML format via the SOAP protocol at any time.
    The Ulrich's XML Data Service is not part of Ulrichsweb. It is a completely different service and subscription.
    More details about the Data Service and answers to many other questions are found in the Frequently Asked Questions below. If you have a question that isn't answered here, feel free to use the Support Portal option or contact your account executive.
    If you'd like to subscribe to the Data Service, your technical staff will need to look at several documents:
    • User Documentation -- a technical explanation of exactly how the Data Service works and the programming that needs to be done by your library to access the Ulrich's dataset;
    • Field List Supplement -- the actual field lists returned from Data Service calls;
    • Sample Client -- Although your technical staff will probably want to write your own software client to retrieve the Ulrich's dataset, this sample client will get them started and can be used in its entirety if desired;
    • Sample Records -- examples of records returned by the Data Service.
    • Data Dictionary -- a spreadsheet including all the available fields in the Ulrich's raw data format, by Field Group.

    We do not anticipate updating the Data Service protocol very often. However, if you'd like to be notified whenever we do, click Follow Me (currently not available).

    Frequently Asked Questions

    These are some common questions clients have about the Ulrich's XML Data Service. They are grouped into four sections. Click a link here to jump to the section you are interested in:

    General FAQs

    What is the Ulrich's XML Data Service?
    The Ulrich's XML Data Service is a data retrieval service that provides a comprehensive set of Ulrich's metadata to enhance the library's local web services.
    Is the Service an API for Ulrichsweb?
    No. The Ulrich's XML Data Service is a separate data retrieval service that is not connected to Ulrichsweb or Ulrich's Serials Analysis System. (See Ulrichsweb API for details about that feature.)
    Why did we develop this new service?
    Librarians have requested that we build a delivery mechanism that allows the capture of large Ulrich's data sets for use in their libraries' web services. We chose XML format for the data because it is a standards-based format that can be imported into many of the open-source tools libraries are implementing.
    What types of library web services can Ulrich's data enhance?
    Ulrich's data can enhance a variety of library services including home-grown research tools, journal-awareness services, faculty web pages and course lists, and other patron-facing applications. We offer several Ulrich's XML Data Service subscription options to let libraries choose the data sets that meet their individual needs.
    How do we sign up for the service?
    The Ulrich's XML Data Service is an annual subscription service. Please contact your account executive, or use the Support Portal option to submit your information and question.

    Content FAQs

    What types of Ulrich's records are included?
    The Ulrich's XML Data Service is designed to provide metadata for all of the serials in the Ulrich's knowledgebase, which includes all publication types, formats, and frequencies. Active, ceased, and suspended records are included to provide comprehensive coverage.
    Which of the data fields in Ulrich's are included?
    The bibliographic and publisher fields in Ulrich's records are included, as are the names of online providers. The full-text reviews from Magazines for Libraries and other sources are not included. However, journal content descriptions are included.
    How current is the data that is available?
    The Ulrich's knowledgebase is updated continuously. The metadata provided through the Ulrich's XML Data Service is designed to be pulled each week.

    Technical FAQs

    What types of queries can we make?
    The Ulrich's XML Data Service is intended to deliver a large, customized data set. It is not intended as a way to request and receive metadata for individual Ulrich's records one at a time or data for batch-loaded ISSN or titles. The size of the data set that gets returned depends on the slices of the Ulrich's knowledgebase you have licensed.
    How does a subscriber retrieve the Ulrich's XML data from the service?
    Data retrieval is accomplished by simple calls sent via the SOAP protocol over HTTP. More details can be found in the User Documentation PDF (at the beginning of this Answer).
    Who provides the software to send queries to the Ulrich's XML Data Service?
    Subscribers use their own software clients to send queries and work with the data. However, along with the documentation package, we distribute source code for a simple example of a working client in the form of a C#.NET project. (See the Sample Client at the beginning of this Answer.) Subscribers can use the client as-is, adapt it for their own storage needs, or use it as a template for implementing a client in their language of choice.
    Are cookies required for the client to send queries to the Ulrich's XML Data Service?
    Yes, any software client you create needs to have cookies enabled. An example is available in the User Documentation PDF (at the beginning of this Answer).
    Can we store the retrieved data locally?
    Yes. Ulrich's XML data is designed to be pulled weekly and stored locally.
    Where can we get documentation?
    Documentation to be used by a library's technical staff (to set up your systems to use the Data Service) can be found in the links near the beginning of this Answer.
    Who do we contact for technical support?
    Please contact our Support team using the Support Portal option.

    Sales FAQs

    How much does a subscription cost?
    The cost of a subscription is based on the amount of data you license. You may license all available data groups, or a standard set of basic data groups, or the standard set of basic data groups plus other groups you select. Whatever amount of data you license, you may retrieve that data as often as you like.
    Are trials of the service available?
    Trials of the data retrieval service are not available, but sample records are available from the link near the top of this page.
    How can we get the Ulrich's XML Data Service?
    Please contact your account executive for pricing information or use the Support Portal option.


    • Date Created: 9-Feb-2014
    • Last Edited Date: 18-Dec-2015
    • Old Article Number: 8891
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