The Evolving   Agent   Sarah Durrant Secretary General   Association of Subscription Agents & Intermediaries (ASA)
Welcome <ul><li>A bit about me </li></ul><ul><li>A bit about the ASA </li></ul><ul><li>Talk  </li></ul><ul><ul><li>The bas...
Logistics <ul><li>Coffee/tea break at 3pm   </li></ul><ul><li>Feel free to participate… </li></ul><ul><li>Ask questions  <...
About me… <ul><li>Secretary General of Association  of Subscription Agents & Intermediaries (ASA) </li></ul><ul><li>Part-t...
About the ASA… <ul><li>Founded in 1934 (not by me…) </li></ul><ul><li>International trade association serving subscription...
About the ASA… <ul><li>Seeks to enhance relations between publishers and libraries   e.g. early pricing, gracing of e-jour...
Before we take off… <ul><li>A  snapshot of the services  provided by subscription agents </li></ul><ul><li>Not a detailed ...
The Basics: What do subscription agents do?
In broad brush terms… <ul><li>Publishers create and disseminate  scholarly research information </li></ul><ul><li>Librarie...
It can be murder in the library… <ul><li>Limited library staff, time, budget and resources </li></ul><ul><li>100’s if not ...
<ul><li>Potentially 100’s of publishers interacting with the library, e ach with: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>different renewal ...
With an agent… <ul><li>Agents are specialists at facilitating one-to-many relationships </li></ul><ul><li>Leaves library s...
Finding a niche … <ul><li>Historically, agents had a very clearly defined role: </li></ul><ul><li>consolidate the library’...
Finding a niche … <ul><li>Services valued by publishers and libraries alike </li></ul><ul><li>Clear benefits to the supply...
An illustration from Darwin…   <ul><li>Pale Peppered moth   ( Biston betularia typica  ) </li></ul><ul><li>Dark Peppered m...
‘ Fittest’ in Darwinian terms does not mean strongest, it means the most apt or well-suited to the (new) environment.
Interesting.  Didn’t we just say that  scholarly information  has undergone its own ‘industrial revolution’?
Over 85% HSS journals and over 95% STM journals now online*...  *Cox J & L:  Scholarly Publishing Practice  (Third Survey ...
Increasing complexity (i) <ul><li>Access vs. ownership </li></ul><ul><li>Complex pricing models </li></ul><ul><li>Publishe...
Increasing complexity (ii) <ul><li>Technology-based service provision  (e.g.  InterScience ,  Science Direct ,  IngentaCon...
Range and complexity of pricing models… Cox J & L:  Scholarly Publishing Practice (Third Survey 2008) , ALPSP 2008
<ul><li>In a changing  environment,  species must either… </li></ul><ul><li>… adapt </li></ul><ul><li>… or perish </li></u...
Would agents adapt  or go the way of the Dodo?
How have agents responded? <ul><li>By creating new tools and  services librarians need </li></ul><ul><li>By providing tang...
New tools and  services for  libraries…
Helping libraries stay informed <ul><li>Electronic information much more dynamic  than print </li></ul><ul><li>Web-based a...
Subscription administration  tools <ul><li>Comprehensive search of library holdings </li></ul><ul><li>View subscription st...
Support with licences <ul><li>Web-based services from agents provide: </li></ul><ul><li>details of each publisher’s standa...
Reporting tools <ul><li>Librarians can tailor reports to answer key  </li></ul><ul><li>questions e.g. : </li></ul><ul><li>...
Technical Expertise <ul><li>Registration tracking </li></ul><ul><li>Licence tracking  </li></ul><ul><li>Package renewal to...
Consortia services <ul><li>Online tools for:   </li></ul><ul><ul><li>assessment of offers  </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>orde...
Collection development tools <ul><li>Cancel or renew subscriptions  – singly on in bulk </li></ul><ul><li>Upgrade to inclu...
Decision support <ul><li>Reports for: </li></ul><ul><li>searches, sessions and turnaways  </li></ul><ul><li>(multi-year) p...
You want more…?
Wider industry  support for  libraries…
EDI <ul><li>Electronic Data Interchange  </li></ul><ul><li>Allows the exchange of  commercial information between computer...
Why is this important? <ul><li>EDI has revolutionised the  information supply chain: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>millions of tra...
Early pricing information <ul><li>Publishers ‘review’ their pricing  annually </li></ul><ul><li>More pages, more content, ...
Why is this important? <ul><li>Timely pricing information enables  libraries to: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>allocate budget and...
Gracing of e-journals <ul><li>Publishers allowing continued access to  subscribed content into the new subscription year  ...
Why is gracing important? <ul><li>Enables libraries to provide continued  service for valued resources to users </li></ul>...
Claims reduction   <ul><li>Claims are made by libraries when  scheduled journal issues are: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>delayed ...
Claims reduction <ul><li>Agents provide web-based services  populated with publishers’ publication  schedules which:   </l...
VAT on E-Journals <ul><li>Printed books, magazines and journals are zero-rated for VAT in the UK </li></ul><ul><li>However...
Why is VAT important? <ul><li>It adds 15% to journal prices in the  UK </li></ul><ul><li>Not in the interests of: </li></u...
Standards
Standards <ul><li>Athens/Shibboleth </li></ul><ul><li>COUNTER/SUSHI   </li></ul><ul><li>EDI </li></ul><ul><li>ONIX </li></...
Further reading <ul><li>I have provided a handout/support document </li></ul><ul><li>Web addresses for full information ab...
Summary <ul><li>Agents: </li></ul><ul><li>Are committed to enhancing the efficiency of the information supply chain </li><...
Remember, without agents…
… it would be murder in the library
Thank you for your attention. Questions, comments… www.subscription-agents.org
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Loughborough Presentation (In Progress)

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Draft of 1st hour talk to EIM students 27th April 2009

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Loughborough Presentation (In Progress)

  1. 1. The Evolving Agent Sarah Durrant Secretary General Association of Subscription Agents & Intermediaries (ASA)
  2. 2. Welcome <ul><li>A bit about me </li></ul><ul><li>A bit about the ASA </li></ul><ul><li>Talk </li></ul><ul><ul><li>The basics: what do subscription agents do? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>The evolving agent: new tools and services for the information supply chain </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Q&A </li></ul>
  3. 3. Logistics <ul><li>Coffee/tea break at 3pm </li></ul><ul><li>Feel free to participate… </li></ul><ul><li>Ask questions </li></ul><ul><ul><li>at any stage </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>on any topic or issue </li></ul></ul>
  4. 4. About me… <ul><li>Secretary General of Association of Subscription Agents & Intermediaries (ASA) </li></ul><ul><li>Part-time role, started July 2008 </li></ul><ul><li>Red Sage Consulting </li></ul><ul><li>20 years in information industry (Academic Press, Wiley, CatchWord/Ingenta, INASP) </li></ul><ul><li>Publishing background so learning all the time… </li></ul><ul><li>Recently adopted retired racing greyhound </li></ul>
  5. 5. About the ASA… <ul><li>Founded in 1934 (not by me…) </li></ul><ul><li>International trade association serving subscription agents and intermediaries </li></ul><ul><li>40+ members covering over 90% of the world's scholarly/professional subscription business </li></ul><ul><li>Upholds standards of excellence, integrity and service innovation in the information supply chain </li></ul><ul><li>Promotes best practice in the purchase, supply and access of serials </li></ul>
  6. 6. About the ASA… <ul><li>Seeks to enhance relations between publishers and libraries e.g. early pricing, gracing of e-journals, claims reduction, anti-fraud </li></ul><ul><li>Innovates/cooperates on industry standards e.g. ISSN, COUNTER/SUSHI, EDI, ONIX etc. </li></ul><ul><li>Lobbying e.g. no/reduced VAT on e-journals </li></ul>
  7. 7. Before we take off… <ul><li>A snapshot of the services provided by subscription agents </li></ul><ul><li>Not a detailed examination of specific services from any particular agent… </li></ul><ul><li>Not all services are available from all agents </li></ul><ul><li>Agency services are evolving all the time </li></ul>
  8. 8. The Basics: What do subscription agents do?
  9. 9. In broad brush terms… <ul><li>Publishers create and disseminate scholarly research information </li></ul><ul><li>Libraries subscribe/purchase access to that information </li></ul><ul><li>Agents work between the two to: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>enhance the efficiency of the information supply chain </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>save their customers (libraries and publishers) time and money </li></ul></ul>
  10. 10. It can be murder in the library… <ul><li>Limited library staff, time, budget and resources </li></ul><ul><li>100’s if not 1000’s of publishers </li></ul><ul><li>1000’s of journals </li></ul><ul><li>Archives and back issues </li></ul><ul><li>Plus, the need to keep on top of: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>shelf-ready printed journals </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>publisher web platforms </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>registrations & access </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>usernames and passwords </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>publisher licences </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>claims </li></ul></ul>
  11. 11. <ul><li>Potentially 100’s of publishers interacting with the library, e ach with: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>different renewal and payment terms </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>currencies </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>claiming terms </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>different access procedures </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>different licences </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>time-consuming and expensive for libraries and publishers </li></ul></ul>Without an agent… Image courtesy of Paul Williams, Swets Library
  12. 12. With an agent… <ul><li>Agents are specialists at facilitating one-to-many relationships </li></ul><ul><li>Leaves library staff free to concentrate on core needs of library and users </li></ul>Agent Library Image courtesy of Paul Williams, Swets
  13. 13. Finding a niche … <ul><li>Historically, agents had a very clearly defined role: </li></ul><ul><li>consolidate the library’s print orders </li></ul><ul><li>place those orders and manage payments… </li></ul><ul><li>… to multiple publishers in multiple currencies </li></ul><ul><li>deliver print copies to the library </li></ul><ul><li>chase claims on behalf of the library </li></ul>
  14. 14. Finding a niche … <ul><li>Services valued by publishers and libraries alike </li></ul><ul><li>Clear benefits to the supply chain </li></ul><ul><li>However, in the last 10-15 years, technology has bought major change to the scholarly information environment: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>creation </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>dissemination </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>‘ consumption’ </li></ul></ul>
  15. 15. An illustration from Darwin… <ul><li>Pale Peppered moth ( Biston betularia typica ) </li></ul><ul><li>Dark Peppered moth ( Biston betularia carbonaria ) </li></ul><ul><li>Environment favoured pale moths </li></ul><ul><li>Industrial revolution…soot </li></ul><ul><li>Environment favours dark moth </li></ul><ul><li>Improved environmental standards </li></ul><ul><li>Environment favours pale moth again </li></ul>
  16. 16. ‘ Fittest’ in Darwinian terms does not mean strongest, it means the most apt or well-suited to the (new) environment.
  17. 17. Interesting. Didn’t we just say that scholarly information has undergone its own ‘industrial revolution’?
  18. 18. Over 85% HSS journals and over 95% STM journals now online*... *Cox J & L: Scholarly Publishing Practice (Third Survey 2008) , ALPSP 2008 … the scholarly information environment has become increasingly complex.
  19. 19. Increasing complexity (i) <ul><li>Access vs. ownership </li></ul><ul><li>Complex pricing models </li></ul><ul><li>Publishers dealing direct with libraries </li></ul><ul><li>Evolution of consortia </li></ul><ul><li>Publisher licences </li></ul><ul><li>Agreements open to negotiation e.g. pricing and terms </li></ul><ul><li>Big deals, collections & packages, backfiles, databases, eBooks, individual articles </li></ul><ul><li>Issues over perpetual access rights </li></ul>
  20. 20. Increasing complexity (ii) <ul><li>Technology-based service provision (e.g. InterScience , Science Direct , IngentaConnect , High Wire Press etc. ) </li></ul><ul><li>Continuous evolution of media for delivery/access ( e.g. microfiche > disc > CDs > laptops> PDAs > mobile phones > eBook readers etc.) [oh, and print] </li></ul><ul><li>Alternative models of scholarly communication </li></ul><ul><ul><li>open access/institutional repositories </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>informal exchange/peer networks </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>other web-based content e.g. blogs </li></ul></ul>
  21. 21. Range and complexity of pricing models… Cox J & L: Scholarly Publishing Practice (Third Survey 2008) , ALPSP 2008
  22. 22. <ul><li>In a changing environment, species must either… </li></ul><ul><li>… adapt </li></ul><ul><li>… or perish </li></ul>Another lesson from Darwin
  23. 23. Would agents adapt or go the way of the Dodo?
  24. 24. How have agents responded? <ul><li>By creating new tools and services librarians need </li></ul><ul><li>By providing tangible support to libraries on industry-wide issues </li></ul><ul><li>By continuing to play a leading role in standards </li></ul>
  25. 25. New tools and services for libraries…
  26. 26. Helping libraries stay informed <ul><li>Electronic information much more dynamic than print </li></ul><ul><li>Web-based agency services keep libraries informed: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>publication schedules </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>web platforms </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>changes to URLs </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>username/password management </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>titles included in particular collections </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>licensing terms </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>etc. </li></ul></ul>
  27. 27. Subscription administration tools <ul><li>Comprehensive search of library holdings </li></ul><ul><li>View subscription status (active, due for renewal, inactive) </li></ul><ul><li>3-year financial history of each subscription </li></ul><ul><li>Rapid ordering/renewal/cancellation </li></ul><ul><li>Invoice consolidation </li></ul><ul><li>Fast, efficient registration and activation of purchased resources </li></ul><ul><li>Full claims history including outstanding claims </li></ul>
  28. 28. Support with licences <ul><li>Web-based services from agents provide: </li></ul><ul><li>details of each publisher’s standard license clauses </li></ul><ul><li>status of each license – signed, not signed, under discussion </li></ul><ul><li>overview of all licences, viewable by title or by publisher </li></ul><ul><li>associated ordering and access information </li></ul>
  29. 29. Reporting tools <ul><li>Librarians can tailor reports to answer key </li></ul><ul><li>questions e.g. : </li></ul><ul><li>What do we currently subscribe to? </li></ul><ul><li>Which issues are unavailable to patrons and need to be claimed? </li></ul><ul><li>Which print subscriptions have cancellation restrictions (due to e-deals)? </li></ul><ul><li>What’s the pricing history of this title/collection/publisher? </li></ul><ul><li>What new publications are available in my subject area? </li></ul><ul><li>How do our current holdings compare against e-options? </li></ul>
  30. 30. Technical Expertise <ul><li>Registration tracking </li></ul><ul><li>Licence tracking </li></ul><ul><li>Package renewal tools </li></ul><ul><li>Link resolvers </li></ul><ul><li>EDI transactions </li></ul><ul><li>Aggregated collections </li></ul><ul><li>Shelf-ready print journals </li></ul><ul><li>simplifies e-content registration </li></ul><ul><li>easy access to current licence terms </li></ul><ul><li>efficient renewal of large collections </li></ul><ul><li>appropriate copy </li></ul><ul><li>fast, error-free transfer of orders, claims etc. </li></ul><ul><li>Economies of scale </li></ul><ul><li>Save time and money </li></ul>
  31. 31. Consortia services <ul><li>Online tools for: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>assessment of offers </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>order placement and subscription activation </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>ensuring e-package deals are accurately invoiced and charged </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>administration including tracking membership, invoicing, who has paid what etc. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>efficient renewals </li></ul></ul>
  32. 32. Collection development tools <ul><li>Cancel or renew subscriptions – singly on in bulk </li></ul><ul><li>Upgrade to include e-version or move to e-only </li></ul><ul><li>Integrate usage statistics with subscription details and pricing information </li></ul><ul><ul><li>allows cost-per-use analysis </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>helps library establish value for money of a title or collection </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>informs renewal decisions </li></ul></ul>
  33. 33. Decision support <ul><li>Reports for: </li></ul><ul><li>searches, sessions and turnaways </li></ul><ul><li>(multi-year) price comparisons </li></ul><ul><li>price-per-use data </li></ul><ul><li>vendor- and/or collection specific queries </li></ul><ul><li>Supporting: </li></ul><ul><li>collection development decisions </li></ul><ul><li>migration from print to electronic </li></ul><ul><li>analysis of cost per budgetary code </li></ul>
  34. 34. You want more…?
  35. 35. Wider industry support for libraries…
  36. 36. EDI <ul><li>Electronic Data Interchange </li></ul><ul><li>Allows the exchange of commercial information between computers… </li></ul><ul><li>… irrespective of processing system </li></ul><ul><li>Uses standard formats agreed between trading partners </li></ul><ul><li>In our industry, facilitates payments, claims and other information between publishers, agents and libraries </li></ul>
  37. 37. Why is this important? <ul><li>EDI has revolutionised the information supply chain: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>millions of transactions efficiently processed </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>radically reduces delivery times </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>replaces paper with electronic documents </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>reduces errors </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>automates multiple repetitive tasks </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>saves staff time and cost – throughout supply chain </li></ul></ul>
  38. 38. Early pricing information <ul><li>Publishers ‘review’ their pricing annually </li></ul><ul><li>More pages, more content, access to backfiles etc. (but sometimes for no marketable reason) </li></ul><ul><li>Commercial publishers often more bullish than not-for-profit and society publishers </li></ul><ul><li>Prices increases are sometimes in line with inflation but 5-10% not uncommon </li></ul><ul><li>Agents lobby publishers to issue pricing information in a timely way </li></ul>
  39. 39. Why is this important? <ul><li>Timely pricing information enables libraries to: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>allocate budget and plan spending </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>engage with faculty and other users about new resources </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>assess value for money of offers and, if needbe, negotiate </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Ensures continued access to valued resources </li></ul>
  40. 40. Gracing of e-journals <ul><li>Publishers allowing continued access to subscribed content into the new subscription year </li></ul><ul><li>Print and electronic </li></ul><ul><li>Typically to Jan/Feb., sometimes beyond </li></ul><ul><li>Often whilst licence agreements/negotiations are finalised </li></ul><ul><li>Or whilst consortia/libraries finalise purchase decisions </li></ul><ul><li>Agents actively talking to publishers to help them universally understand the value of gracing </li></ul>
  41. 41. Why is gracing important? <ul><li>Enables libraries to provide continued service for valued resources to users </li></ul><ul><li>Gives librarians time to assess value for money of offers… </li></ul><ul><li>… and, if needbe, negotiate </li></ul><ul><li>Makes allowance for discussion and delay in the purchasing process </li></ul><ul><li>Helps publishers by keeping their journals in use and their customers happy </li></ul>
  42. 42. Claims reduction <ul><li>Claims are made by libraries when scheduled journal issues are: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>delayed </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>go missing </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>cannot be accessed online </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Claimed issues can be print or electronic </li></ul><ul><li>The claiming process is time-consuming, repetitive and very tedious… </li></ul><ul><li>..and is different for each publisher </li></ul>
  43. 43. Claims reduction <ul><li>Agents provide web-based services populated with publishers’ publication schedules which: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>automatically update library when issues are published </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>alert library to issues which are overdue </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>enable library to log claims with each publisher in an appropriate way </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>save librarians time, money…and sanity </li></ul></ul>
  44. 44. VAT on E-Journals <ul><li>Printed books, magazines and journals are zero-rated for VAT in the UK </li></ul><ul><li>However HM Customs & Excise classify electronic journals as a service… </li></ul><ul><li>… making them liable to (at present) 15% VAT </li></ul><ul><li>Publishers have held out by making e-versions &quot;free&quot; with print subscriptions </li></ul><ul><li>But increasingly the e-journal is the main product </li></ul><ul><li>Many journals are born digital with no print counterpart </li></ul>
  45. 45. Why is VAT important? <ul><li>It adds 15% to journal prices in the UK </li></ul><ul><li>Not in the interests of: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Research: scholarly information is expensive enough </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Libraries: higher prices, claim-back procedure can be tortuous </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Publishers: additional administration, higher prices </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Agents are actively lobbying the European Commission through The Frankfurt group (of which ASA is a member) to demand that e-resources be zero- or low-rated for VAT </li></ul>
  46. 46. Standards
  47. 47. Standards <ul><li>Athens/Shibboleth </li></ul><ul><li>COUNTER/SUSHI </li></ul><ul><li>EDI </li></ul><ul><li>ONIX </li></ul><ul><li>ONIX-PL </li></ul><ul><li>ISSN </li></ul><ul><li>etc. </li></ul>
  48. 48. Further reading <ul><li>I have provided a handout/support document </li></ul><ul><li>Web addresses for full information about each of these standards </li></ul><ul><li>Available on Blackboard </li></ul>
  49. 49. Summary <ul><li>Agents: </li></ul><ul><li>Are committed to enhancing the efficiency of the information supply chain </li></ul><ul><li>Are experts in one-to-many relationships facilitating millions of transactions between libraries and publishers </li></ul><ul><li>Provide sophisticated services designed to facilitate library workflow </li></ul><ul><li>Support libraries (and publishers) through wider industry involvement and lobbying </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Enable librarians to focus on core activities/more important issues </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Confer major savings in staff time and cost etc. </li></ul></ul>
  50. 50. Remember, without agents…
  51. 51. … it would be murder in the library
  52. 52. Thank you for your attention. Questions, comments… www.subscription-agents.org

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