JISC Collections The Value of Consortia At a recent conference, Derk Haank CEO of Springer and Alexander van Boetselaer from Elsevier, both questioned the value of academic consortia in the e-world and the value that they bring to their members They suggested that modern technology makes it easy for publishers to deal directly with each institution During a period of economic constraint, it is only reasonable that not only publishers, but institutions too, query the value of academic consortia What is the value of JISC Collections as a shared service for its members?
JISC Collections One example The following example is taken from a recent negotiation for a major abstracting and indexing database The figures assume negotiators and licensing specialists at a salary of £40,000 per annum, including pension and national insurance, but excludes full economic costs Only the cost of negotiating with the publisher and licensing are included. Other work such as consulting with member organisations and preparation of web pages for the communication to members and the collection of subscriptions are excluded The price reduction is based on the total price all institutions would have paid if the first offer from the publisher was accepted without negotiation and the actual price following the negotiations
JISC Collections Tasks Number of Days Cost Make initial contact with publisher regarding the renewal and receive and analysis initial offer 1 FTE: 1£200 Preparation and first meeting with publisher to discuss offer 2 FTE: 1.5£300 Preparation and second meeting with publisher to discuss offer 2 FTE: 1.5£300 Preparation and third meeting with publisher to discuss offer 2 FTE: 0.5£200 Final meeting with publisher:0.5£100 Evaluation, communication and decision-making 1 FTE:0.5£100 Legal costs including VAT:£837 Total cost of negotiation and licensing work:£2,437 Cost of negotiation and legal review, if the effort was replicated by the 130 renewing institutions: £316,810 Negotiated reduction in price, across all subscribing institutions over 3 years: £259,115 Total gain (effort and negotiated reduction): £575,925
JISC Collections Sounds good from the institutions point of view, but what about the publishers? Of course consortia organisations like JISC Collections negotiate hard on behalf of their member organisations, that is the job they are trained to do However there are cost-of-sale benefits to publishers too Taking the last example and make the following assumptions: –The publisher had to communicate tailored offers to each institution –75% of those institutions had a query or negotiation point that could be answered in one email –25% of those institutions required a face-to-face meeting to discuss the offer –All of the 130 institutions accepted the publishers licence without any amendments –That the publisher carried the cost of invoicing and collecting payments from 130 individual organisations (instead of one invoice to JISC Collection) for three- years At the most conservative estimate the cost to the publisher of negotiation and licensing with 130 institutions would be 12 times higher than it is in dealing with JISC Collections
JISC Collections Consortia are not homogenous Another criticism Derk Haank made is that consortia members are not homogenous and therefore organisations such as JISC Collections do not always work in the interests of all the members This could be a fair point. JISC Collections could be a blunt instrument Working on behalf of a diverse membership: 160 higher education insititutions,500 further education institutions and the research councils, there is the danger that not all deals will suit all members The current economic situation compounds this problem and we are likely to see greater differentiation in the market place as institution need to tailor their collections in light of diminishing budgets JISC Collections is aware of this, and over the past year, has taken the following steps to ensure that the individual needs of individual institutions and groups of institutions are better understood:
JISC Collections February 2010: Two customer satisfaction surveys, one with higher education institutions and one with further education institutions to better understand priorities and needs (this will be repeated in 2011) March to May: Individual meetings with library directors across the country (these will be continued) Meeting with groups such as SHEDL, WELF, RLUK, SCONUL, etc to better understand their requirements A dedicated licensing manager to liaise with further education institutions Analysis of usage statistics and cost-per-download across a range of institutions to better understand the value of NESLi2 deals for a range of institutions Reorganisation of working groups, resulting in the formation of the Electronic Information Resources working group, providing a wide range of institutional representatives to steer NESLi2 and other negotiations Different types of NESLi2 offers for the same publisher e.g, e-only with two-year agreement and e-book option, or one-year electronic plus print option October: A consultation with all UK HEIs about their requirements for 2011 negotiations
JISC Collections Looking to next year It is clear that institutions, depending on size and focus will have increasingly divergent needs over the next four years JISC Collections aims not to be a blunt instrument, but an organisation that can deliver according to the needs of all the organisations it serves To do this, we need good data – so more surveys and consultation and one-to-one meetings The new Journals Usage Statistics Portal will be a smart tool, not only for individual institutions, but also enabling us to see which Big Deals are providing comparative value, and which titles as a community you are using and which you are not The Licensing Comparison Tool currently in development, will develop into a shared service for the creation and delivery of ONIX-PL format licences to the community – as well as providing at a glance guides to each of JISC Collections licence agrements.
JISC Collections Is content king? Elsevier plans to develop its new platform Scirus to provide new revenues streams from institutions (faculties rather than libraries), by providing applications and personalisation to researchers Is this what institutions and their users want? We would like to hear your views We will be developing our platforms, to deliver long-term access to the archive collections we have purchased with public funding on your behalf: –The UK Journals Archive –The Historic Books and Monographs Archive –Mediahub We would like to test the opposite proposition with you to see if we can deliver that content directly into your own library and virtual learning systems. This will enable your users connect directly with the content, rather than just another platform. Please let us know if you are interested in joining in that experiment