Ending a Relationship with an E-Resource
Speakers: Dani Roach & Carolyn DeLuca, University of Saint Thomas
We’re all very familiar with print serials cancellation projects, but now we’re starting to see this in the electronic world, particularly as more libraries are walking away from big deals. There are lots of documents talking about the life-cycle of an eresource, but cancellation hasn’t really been addressed until recently, with the TERMS section covering it along with others.
As much work as it is to get into a relationship with a vendor/resource, it’s just has hard to leave it.
Eresource breakups are often caused by the renewal time, low use, high cost, etc. The heart-breaker could be internal players like the liaison or ERMS staff acting as the divorce lawyer once the decision was made, or external players like the publisher/provider/broker/consortium/vendor.
The three types of breakups are cancelled, ceased, or migrated. In each case, you need to assess the status, the holdings, the platform, and the provider. There are some things we have control over, but there are many more things outside of our control, due to the marketplace around information. Don’t take it personally, libraries. It’s not about you.
There are tools where you make the change (catalog, ERM, course management system, and paper files, proxy config, local tools, customized holdings, archives/Portico/local), and then there are tools where you announce the change (LibGuides, RefWorks, site-wide search metadata, blogs & other social media).
UKSG created a cancellation form, which looks lovely. And sadly, our ERMS can’t track everything.
Vendors can play the role of best friend. They want to help, and make sure we’re making the right decision so we don’t come back crying on their shoulder later. Some tips: Know who signed the license, confirm post-cancellation rights, do not count on a refund, plan cancellations and migrations well in advance of renewal, and know what you want (if replacing a product, do your research).
Considerations from the publisher/provider: ownership transfers, licensing, grace periods, overlap periods, and personal relationships.
When does it end? In general, the library gets to decide when to shut it down. It could be immediate, or you could wait until the end of the semester or the end of the subscription term. Sometimes resources are put on probation and given some time to demonstrate value to the community.
What’s left? Post-cancellation access? Deleting or weeding — did you ask the provider to remove the old edition? When a product has migrated, you’ll need to change the tutorials, screenshots, videos, etc.