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Time for a Change? Reflections on the sustainability of the Big Deal in the current economic climate Jill Taylor-Roe Head of Liaison & Academic Services.

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Presentation on theme: "Time for a Change? Reflections on the sustainability of the Big Deal in the current economic climate Jill Taylor-Roe Head of Liaison & Academic Services."— Presentation transcript:

1 Time for a Change? Reflections on the sustainability of the Big Deal in the current economic climate Jill Taylor-Roe Head of Liaison & Academic Services Newcastle University

2 Practical Impact of the Big Newcastle

3 How we acquire new journals

4 Recommendations Vs Purchases

5 Major source of concern for UK HE Library budgets Decline of sterling against the Euro Decline of sterling against the dollar Source:

6 So are Librarians still in love with the Big Deal?

7 JISC Banding The sample shows an acceptable representation of JISC banding

8 Big Deal stats for all Bands Overall in this survey there are still some institutions who do not take any Big Deals but this is reducing. (Min=0) The most likely # of Big Deal subscriptions (in this survey) for 2009 is 15, cf. to 5 in 2007 (Mode) In this sample the max # of Big Deals being taken in 2009 has increased by 11.8 % since 2007 The average # of Big Deals has not dramatically increased.

9 NESLI Big Deals are still the dominant model

10 How much of the serials budget goes on Big Deals?

11 What do librarians like about Big Deals? 'Critical mass' of titles through single interface Model licence Stable platforms Value for money

12 What do librarians dislike about Big Deals? Admin, late deals, restricted years, lack of uniformity and standards in nesli deals. Print spend model is arbitrary, pricing according to usage might well increase rather than decrease costs... Lack of transparency in pricing. Complex. Multiyear nature in uncertain financial climate. Nothing - except the psychological aspect of tying up funds with a few suppliers Price caps too high. Deals where new and transfer titles are not included. Deals where post- cancellation access is unclear and/or restricted to 'subscribed' titles Pricing models are becoming more complicated each year. Whilst we retain print too the complication of checking print subscription renewals!

13 Are Librarians still happy with the Big Deal? complexity and unhelpful policies. Other concern is the length of deal if they don't have 'annual' opt out clause.

14 Have you ever cancelled a Big Deal?

15 How are you coping with a budget shortfall? Range of shortfall 2009 Min£5,000 Max£450,000 Ave£143, Median£120, Large scale cancellation exercise in 2009/2010 An overspend has been agreed. By shifting money around within the resources budget By using a reserve fund set up for this very purpose We cannot get additional funding this financial year so will have to monitor carefully ….

16 Planning for 2010 Looking more critically at usage stats Review all serials spend to identify cuts in titles across the board, not just BDs We might need to look at cancelling Big Deals but are unsure of what viable alternatives there are – publishers are offering nothing and seem confused as to why we are asking!

17 Looking ahead – the next 3 years Likely to have to cut back, and this will be done looking at usage primarily. Will depend entirely on the University's decisions about our recurrent budget. Cancellation of big deals could be a possibility! We will probably do one or other of these options depending on the available budget.

18 What is driving you to reduce Big Deal expenditure?

19 How could the Big Deal be improved? Lower price caps One year deals Opt out clauses We should be able to remove content/reduce fees for subject areas of no interest to an institution

20 Additional Comments (1) “ As a rapidily growing University, starting new departments, and expanding into new areas of research and teaching in existing departments, BDs have enabled us to provide far more content that would have been possible with individual subscriptions” “For us they have been good, despite all the problems because we are relatively small. Hence the bang we get for our buck is quite good” “Can’t really imagine life without them!”

21 Additional Comments (2) “One absolutely critical factor will be how far the publishers are prepared to reduce price increases. Many present price caps are too high for the changed circumstances. If publishers do not alter tack radically I suspect they will see significant withdrawal from big deal arrangements. “ “There is a lot that Publishers can do to make Big Deals more attractive to Libraries, the challenge is getting them to recognise that this is something they need to do. However the honeymoon is over. We can see the flaws as well as the benefits of the current Big Deal structure. The financial challenges we all face should provide the necessary impetus or catalyst for change. “

22 Additional Comments (3) “Publishers seem absolutely wedded to them and have not yet engaged with the issues facing Universities. I was actually told by one account manager that we had probably benefited from the exchange rate changes in other areas of the University where funding was received in dollars!!! Get real!”

23 Conclusions Survey suggests that whilst there are still reasonable levels of satisfaction with BDs there is a growing agenda for CHANGE Whilst Big Deals may have held up well in 2009, they are not immune from the economic factors that are forcing us to make further savings from 2010 There is a perception amongst libraries that publishers are not attuned to their customers’ feelings of discontent and are not making much effort to address them It is high time that the BD model was revisited – it cannot continue as it is but perhaps it will take a major round of cancellations to make publishers it up and take notice Would be much better to take the initiative and respond NOW!

24 “Adapt and Survive!”

25 Thank you for your attention Jill Taylor-Roe Newcastle University With thanks to my colleagues, Cliff Spencer and Mark Gavillet for their input to my slides


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