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.

social & scholarly communications, mixing it up

Scientific publisher Springer has been doing several things lately that make me sit up and pay attention. Providing DRM-free PDF files of their ebooks is one, and now I see they are providing rather useful bits of scholarly information in a rather social media format.

Springer Realtime gives currently trending topics and downloads for content they are serving out to subscribers around the world. The only thing that’s missing is a way to embed these nifty widgets elsewhere, like on subject guide pages.

NASIG 2008: When Did eBooks Become Serials?

Presenters: Kim Armstrong, Bob Nardini, Peter McCracken, and Rick Lugg

Because this is a serials conference, Lugg provided us with a title change and enumeration to differentiate this presentation from the repeat in the afternoon. Serialists (& librarians in general) love corny inside jokes.

eBook users want to use the work; to browse, to search, and to have the institution subscribe to it for them. Much of this is due to the success and model of ejournals.

eJournals have brought about many changes in information provision. More content is now available to users, and they are increasingly using it more. However, archive and access issues have not been fully addressed, nor have possible solutions thoroughly tested. In addition, ejournals (and other subscription items) have taken over more and more of the materials budget, which has necessitated greater selection. And, in many ways, ejournals are more labor-intensive than print.

Subscription has become one of the most successful models for ebook providers. There are some emerging models in addition to subscription or purchase. EBL, for example, offers short-term rental options.

There are many more titles and decisions involved in purchasing ebooks as opposed to journals. The content isn’t as well advertised through abstracting and indexing sources, since it’s one large thing rather than millions of little things aggregated together under one title.

Acquisition of ebooks provides its own unique challenges, ranging from the variety of sources to the mechanisms of selection. Is the content static or dynamic? One-time purchases or ongoing commitments? What libraries say verses what they do — we say we can’t buy more subscriptions, yet we continue to do so.


Library/Consortial View

Librarians have been trying to figure out what to do with ebooks, whether to purchase them, and how we should go about doing so for at least ten years.

The Committee on Institutional Cooperation coordinated a deal with Springer and MyiLibrary to purchase Springer’s entire ebook collection from 2005-2010. Access went live in January 2008, and over the first five months of 2008, ebook use on the Springer platform was nearly half that of the ejournal use, even without catalog records or promoting it. On the other hand, the MyiLibrary use was a quarter or less, partially due to MyiLibrary’s lack of OpenURL support.

We need to make sure that we stay relevant to our users needs and not become just a place to store their archival literature.


eBookseller View

Back in the day, the hot topic in the monographic world was approval plans. Eventually they figured that out, and book acquisition became routine. Now we have serials-like problems for both booksellers and book buyers.

Approval plans had a seriality to them, but we haven’t come up with something similar for ebooks. Billing and inventory systems for booksellers are set up for individual book sales, not subscriptions.

The vendor/aggregator is challenged with incorporating content from a variety of publisher sources, each with their own unique quirks. Bibliographic control can take the route of treating ebooks like print books, but we’re in a time of change that may necessitate a different solution.

Maybe the panel should have been called, “When will ebooks and serials become one big database?”

eResource Access & Management View

The differences between ebooks and ejournals on the management side really isn’t all that different. The metadata, however, is exponentially larger when dealing with ebooks verses ejournals. The bibliographic standards (or those accepted) are higher for books than for journals.

How do we handle various editions? Do we go with the LibraryThing model of collecting all editions under one work record?