Notes from a presentation given by Mary Page, Rutgers University Libraries at the Ingenta US Publisher Forum in 2006.

Issues to Discuss:

  • Money

  • Management

  • Barriers to access

  • Pricing models

  • Editorial boards (some potential common ground?)


Online publications cost more, in every way. Require higher level of staff, not just clerks any more. Many more staff involved.

Subs normally set up by subject specialist, that work closely with faculty. Make initial selection, then e-resource librarian, cataloguer, and collection librarian.

Budget crisis for many libraries. Flat funding means budget decrease. Adding titles means cancelling titles.

Currently hoarding supplies of paper clips and paper!

Increasingly difficult to identify titles to cancel because of packaging. Please don't bundle any more! Example of having to purchase a bundle of 20+ titles when they only really want one of them -- no other way to get that title.

Likely to cancel some packages, don't have a choice. Also want to "make a statement" about packages. Wary about "Big Deal".

Pricing information essential get that as early as possible. Essential for planning.


Serial agents made life easier for librarians in the print environment. Order print subscription, then forget it. Publisher changes didn't really affect print access.

Ejournals: every change disrupts access.

Serial agents were slow to adapt to online publishing. Climate has stabilized, less haggling over contracts.

It's time to make e-journal management routine.

Libraries use agents to outsource much of the work.

Libraries are slow to pay and slow to act: agents will pay/act on their behalf quicker.

Agents provide one invoice, one renewal process, one point of contact.

Financial incentives allow libraries to buy more titles

Barriers to Access:

Titles must be OpenURL compliant. Easy access increases use. Format makes a difference, even though they had print titles, their usage at Rutgers via JSTOR is much higher.

Moving platforms and changing publishers impedes access. Requires lot of updating of URLs in online catalogues, etc.

Communicate! (Less print, more listservs) Print is no longer an information tool for them. Turn to website for information.

Pricing Models:

Does anyone understand them?!

FTE pricing can be exorbitant for large institutions. Will pay for quality titles, especialy if the pricing is fair. We need important scholarly titles, we want to support scholarly publishing, but meet us in the middle somewhere.

We're ready to go online only. Urged publishers to move away from print, as its expensive to manage: shelving, binding, moving around. Don't make us take print if you can avoid it, and don't penalize us for that.

Use Your Editors:

Educate them about pricing models; explain them. They will give you good feedback

If your pricing is fair, demonstrate that to them. Show them your costs.

Provide them with information to share with their colleagues. Professors listen to each other

Ask your editors to vet new titles.


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