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Changes to Kanopy and RefWorks

Kanopy: changing to mediated model June 1: focus on titles for academic work

Kanopy is a very popular online streaming service at Mount Holyoke College. We began offering Kanopy in 2014, making a number of high-quality documentaries and feature films from sources like Janus Films (Criterion Collection) and the Media Education Foundation available to the Mount Holyoke community through what is known as a patron-driven acquisition program (PDA). A PDA program allows users to decide what films the library licenses. Four views of a film trigger a one-year lease of the title.  

This model has worked well as it provides our community with access to Kanopy’s extensive collection, but we are now finding the cost of unlimited access is difficult to sustain. In order to continue keeping Kanopy as a resource to support the academic program at Mount Holyoke College, the Library will be moving to Kanopy’s Mediated PDA Program beginning June 1, 2020. Anyone at Mount Holyoke  will continue to have unlimited access to films that are already licensed (until their expiration date).  However, access to any unlicensed films must now be requested via the online Kanopy form. 
Requests for films will be received and quickly reviewed by library staff.  Faculty needs for teaching as well as most other academic uses will be first priority but special situations will also be considered.  Approved requests can take 3-5 business days to be made available by Kanopy so we recommend planning ahead to ensure that the titles are available in time.  Leisure use will most often be redirected to our DVD collection or to the extensive streaming media options available from the public library system.  In summary, Kanopy is not going away, but we are no longer offering it as an unlimited on-demand service so that we can better control our streaming video costs.

If you have any questions, please contact your RIS liaison. 

Citation Management Tools: Mount Holyoke supported tool shifting from Refworks to Zotero by January 1

In order to continue being good stewards of Mt. Holyoke’s resources, LITS staff have examined usage patterns and costs for some of the tools that we support. RefWorks is a citation management tool that has been used less over the years while costs continue to increase. Meanwhile, there are other free or low-cost alternatives to RefWorks. After careful consideration, LITS will stop subscribing to and supporting RefWorks as of December 17, 2020, the end of fall semester and will shift to supporting Zotero as our recommended citation management tool.

During the fall, the LITS’ Research Services Team will be providing guidance and support to help you migrate from RefWorks. If you have a large number of citations within RefWorks or a complex organizational system (e.g., many shared folders, many attached PDFs), Research Services ( can work with you to migrate your citations and attached files to another tool. If you have any questions or need support, please contact Research Services.