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Decommissioning the SFU Library's reSearcher software suite including CUFTS/ERM, GODOT, and the CUFTS knowledgebase

The SFU Library will completely cease the ongoing development and support of the reSearcher software suite including CUFTS/ERM, GODOT, and the CUFTS knowledgebase on August 31, 2017. The decommissioning process will commence in the coming months:

August 31, 2016: announcement issued on plans to cease the ongoing development and support of the reSearcher software suite.

May 1, 2017: all reSearcher software will be frozen and ongoing updates to the CUFTS knowledge base will cease. The software and related services will continue to be available on an “as is, where is” basis for the following 4 months.

August 31, 2017: All services, including the CUFTS Resource Comparison Tool and the CUFTS Journal Search, plus reSearcher hosting, provided by the the SFU Library will cease operation.

All reSearcher software has always been made available under the open source GPL software license and will continue to be available for downloading from our lib-code.lib.sfu.ca software respository. Similarly, copies of the CUFTS knowledge base have also been available for downloading from the CUFTS server. A final snapshot of the CUFTS knowledgebase will be checked into the code repository and will continue to be available indefinitely as part of the final development. Current and prospective users of the software on local installations are welcome to continue to use the software and knowledge base, but they will be entirely responsible for all ongoing operation and support of the software and updates to the knowledge base. Please note that all software and the knowledge base will reflect their state on May 1, 2017, with no further updates.

Clients of the current reSearcher hosting services provided by the SFU Library will have a full year’s notice to find an alternative service provider before August 31, 2017. Invoice renewals will be pro-rated up to May 1, 2017 with no charge for the final four months leading up to August 31, 2017. The SFU Library will work with all clients to assist in the migration process to a new service provider.

The reSearcher software suite had a long and productive run -- the earliest components such as GODOT first appeared in the mid-1990s. The introduction of new features and additional functionality often occurred in advance of other comparable systems and services. And as open source software, reSearcher was always a very cost-effective alternative. However, the ongoing maintenance and support of the software and especially maintenance of the CUFTS knowledgebase was a very major undertaking on the part of the SFU Library. This work was heavily dependent on the dedicated efforts of a very small number of Library staff. At the same time, a steady erosion of the active user base of the software was becoming more apparent during the past few years. In 2015, the SFU Library also commenced a comprehensive review of its Integrated Library System (ILS) options and by extension the continued operation of the reSearcher software. When everything was taken into consideration, the SFU Library reluctantly concluded it was time to decommission reSearcher.

The SFU Library appreciates the support from the very committed and enthusiastic user community that coalesced around the reSearcher software during the past 20 years. There is a life cycle associated with all software, whether it is open source or proprietary, and the appropriate point has been reached where it is time to commence the final phase for reSearcher.

If you have any questions or comments on the decommissioning of reSearcher, please direct them to researcher-support@sfu.ca.