NASIG 2011: Leaving the Big Deal – Consequences and Next Steps

Speaker: Jonathan Nabe

His library has left the GWLA Springer/Kluwer and Wiley-Blackwell consortia deals, and a smaller consortia deal for Elsevier. The end result is a loss of access to a little less than 2000 titles, but most of the titles had fewer than 1 download per month in the year prior to departure. So, they feel that ILL is a better price than subscription for them.

Because of the hoops jumped for ILL, he thinks those indicate more of a real need than downloading content available directly to the user. Because they retain archival access, withdrawing from the deals only impacts current volumes, and the time period has been too short to truly determine the impact, as they left the deals in 2009 and 2010. However, his conclusion based on the low ILL requests is that the download stats are not accurate due to incidental use, repeat use, convenience, and linking methods.

The other area of impact is reaction and response, and so far they have had only three complaints. It could be because faculty are sympathetic, or it could be because they haven’t needed the current content, yet. They have used this as an opportunity to educate faculty about the costs. They also opened up cancellations from the big publishers, spreading the pain more than they could in the past.

In the end, they saved the equivalent of half their monograph budget by canceling the big deals and additional serials. Will the collection be based on the contracts they have or by the needs of the community?

Moving forward, they have hit some issues. One is that a certain publisher will impose a 25% content fee to go title by title. Another issue is that title by title purchasing put them back at the list price which is much higher than the capped prices they had under the deal. They were able to alleviate some issues with negotiation and agreeing to multi-year deals that begin with the refreshed lists of titles.

The original GWLA deal with Springer allowed for LOCKSS as a means for archival access. However, they took the stance that they would not work with LOCKSS, so the lawyers got involved with the apparent breech of contract. In the end, Springer agreed to abide by the terms of the contract and make their content available to LOCKSS harvesting.

Make sure you address license issues before the end of the terms.

Speaker: David Fowler

They left the Elsevier and Wiley deals for their consortias. They have done cost savings measures in the past with eliminating duplication of format and high cost & low use titles, but in the end, they had to consider their big deals.

The first thing they eliminated was the pay per use access to Elsevier due to escalating costs and hacking abuse. The second thing they did was talk to OSU and PSU about collaborative collection development, including a shared collection deal with Elsevier. Essentially, they left the Orbis Cascade deal to make their own.

Elsevier tried to negotiate with the individual schools, but they stood together and were able to reduce the cancellations to 14% due to a reduced content fee. So far, the 2 year deal has been good, and they are working on a 4 year deal, and they won’t exceed their 2009 spend until 2014.

They think that ILL increase has more to do with WorldCat Local implementation, and few Elsevier titles were requested. Some faculty are concerned about the loss of low use high cost titles, so they are considering a library mediated pay-per-view option.

The Wiley deal was through GWLA, and when it came to the end, they determined that they needed to cancel titles that were not needed anymore, which meant leaving the deal. They considered going the same route they did with Elsevier, but were too burnt out to move forward. Instead, they have a single-site enhanced license.

We cannot continue to do business as usual. They expect to have to do a round of cancellations in the future.

ER&L 2010: Step Right Up! Planning, Pitfalls, and Performance of an E-Resources Fair

Speakers: Noelle Marie Egan & Nancy G. Eagan

This got started because they had some vendors come in to demonstrate their resources. Elsevier offered to do a demo for students with food. The library saw that several good resources were being under-used, so they decided to try to put together an eresources demo with Elsevier and others. It was also a good opportunity to get usability feedback about the new website.

They decided to have ten tables total, representing the whole fair. They polled the reference librarians to get suggestions for who to invite, and they ended up with resources that crossed most of the major disciplines at the school. The fair was held in a high-traffic location of the library (so that they could get walk-in participation) and publicized in the student paper, posted it in the blog, and the librarians shared it on Facebook with student and faculty friends.

They had a raffle to gather information about the participants, and in the end, they had 64 undergraduates, 19 graduates, 6 faculty, 5 staff, and 2 alumni attend the fair over the four hours. By having the users fill out the raffle information, they were able to interact with library staff in a different way that wasn’t just about them coming for information or help.

After the fair, they looked at the sessions and searches of the resources that were represented at the fair, and compared the monthly stats from the previous year. However, there is no way to determine whether the fair had a direct impact on increases (and the few decreases).

In and of itself, the event created publicity for the library. And, because it was free (minus staff time), they don’t really need to provide solid support for the success (or failure) of the event.

Some of the vendors didn’t take it seriously and showed up late. They thought that it was a waste of their time to talk about only the resources the library already purchases, rather than pushing new sales, and it’s doubtful those vendors will be invited back. It may be better to try to schedule it around the time of your state library conference, if that happens nearby, so the vendors may already be close and not making a special trip.

Dutch Pirates

I guess the Dutch Pirates have earned their nickname for more than just outrageous subscription prices and annual increases. The academic and medical publisher Reed Elsevier is involved in organizing international arms fairs. More information and a petition. [courtesy of LiB]

I guess the Dutch Pirates have earned their nickname for more than just outrageous subscription prices and annual increases. The academic and medical publisher Reed Elsevier is involved in organizing international arms fairs.
More information and a petition. [courtesy of LiB]


My first two professional articles have been published!

My first two professional articles have been published!

Creech, Anna and Linda Sizemore. “GET MORE From Your Electronic Resources.” Kentucky Libraries. 68:2 (2004), 30-32.

Creech, Anna. “An Interview with Four Consultants.” Serials Review. 30:2 (2004), 144-150.

I need to investigate further the author archiving options Elsevier recently announced, as well as any copyright restrictions Kentucky Libraries may have. If possible, I will be posting the text of the articles online for those who do not have subscriptions to these titles and who are interested in reading them.

librarian publication

Can librarians change the publishing model by starting within their own?

I have been working on an article for Serials Review which required me to contact several different consultants who work with libraries, publishers, and vendors. While I was conversing with October Ivins, a thought came to me. We were talking about some of the issues surrounding publishing and pricing, and more specifically about alternative models such as the Budapest Open Access Initiative and the efforts of SPARC. She is of the opinion that alternatives like open access will not happen unless an entire organization or society agrees to follow the new model of publishing.

Her logic makes sense, and it got me thinking about which group should take the initiative and start changing the way they went about scholarly communication. Then it hit me: Why don’t librarians do this first? We’re the ones who are complaining the loudest when publishers like Elsevier dominate the market and dictate pricing. We should be the leaders marching forward to change the way publishing works in the digital age! And then, I realized the irony of my proposal having come from a conversation I had while writing an article for an Elsevier publication.

When I was asked to write this article, I knew who published the journal. It gave me a few twinges, but I couldn’t turn down the offer. Not when this was a chance for a rookie librarian to get published in an internationally recognized journal! However, this is exactly the mentality that perpetuates the problems we are currently facing in scholarly communication. I don’t have a solution, and I don’t know if I ever will. I do know that in the future I will try to be conscientious about where I publish my contributions to the profession, but it won’t be easy.