TexShare Technical Specifications and Requirements for E-Resource Vendors


In order to best fulfill the needs of TexShare Consortium member institutions, TexShare seeks to obtain and provide vendor content that will match the specifications outlined below. In many cases, these specifications are requirements; however, TexShare recognizes that there may be situations where some of the specifications outlined may not apply. TexShare works closely with e-resource vendors to ensure the best access and delivery of e-resources to TexShare member institutions and their patrons.

Providing Service to Libraries: Consortium and Library- Level Accounts

As a consortium, TexShare seeks to provide added value to libraries by offering efficient and effective services. One of the ways TexShare does this is by managing libraries' vendor accounts at the consortium-level, and the individual library-level. In the sections that follow, this document refers to TexShare's need for library-level profile customization and account settings, including access, usage statistics-related services and customer support. For this reason, TexShare's resource selection process is informed by a vendor's ability to provide both consortium-level and library-level administrative settings to the consortium. During initial set-up, vendor partners should expect to provide individual accounts for each TexShare library that will be managed under the TexShare consortium.

Technical Infrastructure

TexShare provides uniform access to online library content and services for authorized users across the state and visitors to TexShare member institutions. Any resource provided by TexShare must be available to any and all users physically on site at a participating library, as well as to authorized users at any other remote location.


TexShare requires that all resources provide 24/7/365 access with greater than 98% uptime over a 12-month period.


Current authentication practices include the following:

  • IP authentication based on a patron's physical location within a library, or on-campus. TexShare currently provides vendors with regular, as-needed updates of IP ranges for each library. Vendors need not coordinate IP updates with each individual library location. TexShare maintains IP tables representing all member facilities, when available, in order to ensure that vendors have the most up-to-date information regarding onsite access points. Library IP changes are submitted to TexShare, then a change report is sent to vendors via email. Vendors are asked to implement the changes within 24 hours.

  • Authentication based on a library-specific password (authentication occurs through the TexShare menu at http://www.libraryoftexas.org/texshare). For libraries using the TexShare menu to provide access, a single username and password combination is assigned to each library. Libraries distribute their password to their patrons as they see fit, however, we require that they not post the password on the open web, or in locations available to non-library users. The process ensures that libraries and end-users are able to access the entire suite of TexShare resources with a single password.

  • Use of the library's local method of authentication. Approximately two-thirds of TexShare member institutions provide their own local authentication method, often in conjunction with IP authentication. In such cases, TexShare provides vendor-provided location identifiers, URLs for individual e-resources, EZproxy stanzas, and links to vendor-created FAQs and guides explaining how libraries may configure local authentication.

Library Profiles & Statistics

In order for TexShare to manage accounts and collect statistics, it is necessary for vendors to provide individual library profiles (or accounts), which reside under a single TexShare umbrella. This helps the TexShare staff to manage accounts in two ways:

  • It allows TexShare staff to manage hundreds of profiles from a single user account, enabling the ability to customize interface functionality on a library- by-library basis, manage individual statistical reporting, and administer access rights; and

  • It allows TexShare staff to collect statistics for the consortia, as well as for individual library locations.

TexShare staff collect usage reports from all of our vendors by the 10th of every month for the previous month. TexShare currently tracks four COUNTER 4 measures of use:

  • Record Views
  • Result Clicks
  • Full Text Retrievals
  • Regular Searches

Reports in .CSV or .XLSX format, broken out by individual library profile and emailed once per month to TexShare, are preferred. These reports currently correspond to the COUNTER 4 Database Report 1 and Journal Report 1 in content, with consortium details as specified in the COUNTER Consortium Report. A sample report is available upon request.

TexShare staff will work with any vendor to select equivalent measures to include in the monthly reports in the event that COUNTER 4 reports are not available. Other usage data may be requested or used, depending on applicability to the resource. When revisions to the COUNTER protocol are adopted, TexShare staff may consider changes to the required reports, but TexShare does not consider it obligatory to accept the latest COUNTER-defined measures and reports.


TexShare requires prefers well-designed platform interfaces that allow patrons to easily search and browse by subject, keyword, author, title, publisher/producer or other data points where applicable.

TexShare staff will generally request MARC records for distribution, if appropriate for the resource and included in the contract. Vendors are generally responsible for providing MARC records or other applicable metadata. The ability to link patrons directly into item-level content is preferred.

TexShare also requires that most resources be fully integrated into major discovery/federated search platforms and prefers resources that conform to the Open Discovery Initiative's Recommended Practice. This may not apply to resources with interactive interfaces such as learning materials. E-resource vendors are responsible for assisting member libraries with any necessary configuration information, including information concerning collection names in discovery service knowledge bases wherever possible.

System Requirements

TexShare strives to make resources as widely accessible as possible. TexShare requires all licensed content to be supported and made available via web browsers, including: Google Chrome, Internet Explorer, Firefox and Safari. Both the current version and two prior major versions of each browser must be supported.

Users must not be required to use a separate app to access resources. Interfaces that require the use of Flash or other add-ons or plug-ins to access content are discouraged. TexShare member libraries prefer vendor interfaces and user experiences that offer either responsive (preferred) or mobile web interfaces.


TexShare prefers content provided in the following formats:

  • Full-text. Full-text content refers to articles from general content periodicals and current newspapers with major national and international coverage as well as to content from trade, professional, and scholarly (peer-reviewed) journals and monographs.
    • XHTML or HTML, with DOCTYPE declaration and presentation stylesheet(s), is preferred.
    • EPUB3 is required for downloadable monographs and preferred for downloadable articles.
    • PDF (web optimized) for both downloadable monographs and articles is allowed must at a minimum include embedded ASCII or Unicode full-text equivalents. Full-text obtained through OCR must be validated and corrected.

    • Streaming media, including educational, documentary, fine art, and leisure films, music, and narrated audio. Content available using responsive web design (e.g., HTML5) with adaptive bitrate streaming is preferred. The use of Flash, Silverlight, Java, and other plug-ins or adds-ons is discouraged.

    • Downloadable multimedia, including images, charts, graphs, maps, and similar content with or without video or audio. TexShare prefers multimedia that conforms to the Library of Congress's Recommended Formats Statement at https://www.loc.gov/preservation/resources/rfs/TOC.html.

    • Interactive content, including tutorials, tests, and other learning modules. Content available using responsive web design (e.g., HTML5) is preferred. The use of Flash, Silverlight, Java, and other plug-ins or adds-ons is discouraged.

    Content exclusively in the form of abstracts, citations or indexes will not be added.


    All content must be accessible to users including those with a wide range of disabilities, including blindness and low vision, deafness and hearing loss, learning disabilities, and cognitive limitations.

    TSLAC is required to follow Texas Administrative Code, Title 1, Part 10, Chapter 206, Accessibility and Usability of State Web Sites, Texas Administrative Code, Title 1, Part 10, Chapter 213, and the Federal Section 508, Accessibility Standards.

    Vendor must submit a Voluntary Product Accessibility Template (VPAT) showing WCAG 2.0 compliance at the AA level. VPATs may be requested annually and must be updated any major resource interface is updated.


    The TexShare Databases Program Electronic Resource Collection Development Policy is available at https://www.tsl.texas.gov/texshare/collpolicy.html. It is reviewed annually by a working group of librarians representing TexShare member institutions.

    Customer and Technical Support

    TexShare is staffed during regular business hours, Monday-Friday. Member libraries contact TexShare staff, who in turn will contact vendor customer support as needed. In order to facilitate communication and mediation of support requests, TexShare requests a single point of contact for customer support and technical issues. Additionally, TexShare expects vendors to communicate all changes to content and interfaces, updates, issues, outages, and other issues to TexShare staff immediately to ensure the highest level of statewide customer service.

    TexShare requires the following:

    • Resource(s) platform will be available 24/7/365 with greater than 98% uptime over a 12-month period in order to minimize lack of access to TexShare electronic resources statewide.

    • An issue tracking system will be maintained by the Selected Vendor to enter tickets, track issues, and document activities.

    • General technical email support will be available 24/7/365 to TexShare staff and staff at TexShare member libraries with greater than 99% availability over a 12-month period.

    • A help desk will be available by telephone and/or email during business hours for authorized agency staff to report and/or discuss Severity Level 2 issues.

    • A technical contact will be available by telephone and/or email as needed for authorized agency staff to report and/or discuss Severity Level 1 issues.

    • Vendor will implement needed upgrades only with a minimum of 7 days' advance notice to TexShare staff; 30 days' notice is preferred.

    • The Vendor will provide 24 hours's notice to TexShare staff when any critical security updates are to be implemented.

    TexShare encourages vendors to provide training and/or support for library staff, especially as vendor interfaces change or are updated. TexShare staff will partner with vendors to coordinate training opportunities and make this information available to staff at TexShare libraries.

    Quick Functionality and Uses Checklist

    This checklist briefly describes the information covered above, and provides guidance to vendors on the type of functionality TexShare seeks in all its licensed products. Depending on the product offered, additional requirements may be needed and will be discussed with vendors.

    Licensed resources must be in compliance with the TexShare Technical Specifications, as outlined above. In addition, vendors must:

    • Offer library-level accounts, usage data, and customization capability
    • Offer 24/7 support for all resources
    • Provide MARC records, where appropriate
    • Provide online and in-person training for library staff

    Resources must:

    • Be accessible via IP authentication, the TexShare menu page, and local authentication methods
    • Offer search and browse capability by subject, keyword, author, title, publisher/producer
    • Allow direct links into item-level content
    • Support email, print, download, copy & paste for specific full text and media files
    • Meet WCAG 2.0 AA accessibility requirements
    • Allow integration with major existing discovery tools, such as EDS, Summon, Primo, and OCLC Discovery




Page last modified: October 25, 2017