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Leaving Elsevier's "Big Deal"

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  • 1. Leaving Elseviers "big deal": an evaluation of the Italian National Institute of Health experience inside the Bibliosan Consortium Franco Toni Istituto Superiore di Sanità – Rome, Italy Franco Toni QQML 2012 - Limerick 1
  • 2. Introduction• The first contract of ISS (Istituto Superiore di Sanità) with Elsevier for the e- journals started 10 years ago• The journals collection was at that time about 1,700 titles only 200 of which also in electronic format• Elsevier’s journals data in 2002: – 262 titles – Total amount of 551,000 EUR for paper – Additional fee of 7% for electronic version of subscribed titles + 3,5% for the “Big Deal” (more of 1,400 journals)• From 2003 till 2005 the fee was reduced at a total of 8% (from the previous 10.5%)• Terms of the contract: – Obligation to maintain subscription of all the titles – No possibility of cutting any journal, other than replacing it with other of equivalent value – Price cap of 5% per year Franco Toni QQML 2012 - Limerick 2
  • 3. The story continues…• In 2006 birth of Bibliosan, the System that grouped all the libraries of the research institutes of the Ministry of Health• Using funds granted by the Ministry, Bibliosan signed a series of contracts with many publishers including Elsevier• The ISS left the previous agreement with Caspur to join the new contract• The new contract forced ISS to maintain the whole collection of journals• Between 2002 and 2006 Elsevier acquired other editorial brands (Academic Press, Mosby, Saunders, etc.) that greatly increased the number of journals and their costs• In 2006 the situation of ISS was: 336 subscribed journals with a total expenditure rocketed to 873,000 EUR• In 2008 the first Bibliosan contract was converted into a long term 5 years agreement with a “Big Deal” access fixed at 6% of the contract value and price cap at 5% Franco Toni QQML 2012 - Limerick 3
  • 4. The story continues…• In 2010 the Library had a strong reduction in its budget of more than 30%• In this year on a assigned budget of 1,6 million EUR the impact of the Elsevier contract for the subscription of paper journals was 997,000 EUR• In 2011 the library was forced to leave the consortium access• A drastic cut in titles was made and the total number reduced to only 185 from the original 343• The total amount for the electronic version (leaving the paper copies) of the journals was fixed at 430,000 EUR (+20% VAT)• The availability of journals for the researchers of our institute suddenly dropped from over 2,200 to just 185 (the access to the other 158 paper journals discharged in 2011 was granted for the period 1995-2010) Franco Toni QQML 2012 - Limerick 4
  • 5. Downloads Analysis • Comparison 2009 – 2010: > 3% (about 3,000 articles) • Comparison 2010 – 2011: > 14 % (about 13,400 articles) Franco Toni QQML 2012 - Limerick 5
  • 6. Downloads Analysis • More in depth if we split the statistic in two different periods, January-July and August- December, respectively we have a difference of 9.36% between January and July (that is the period with free access from Pubmed) and of 21.95 between August and December Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec TOTAL 2009 9477 9090 9031 8417 8542 8068 8145 4118 9425 9293 9072 6152 98830 2010 8211 9386 11111 8548 9657 6921 6785 4432 7777 8788 8293 5901 95810 2011 6625 8423 9139 7069 7800 7603 8285 4779 6141 5687 6471 4386 82408 Franco Toni QQML 2012 - Limerick 6
  • 7. Downloads Analysis• We cut titles that did not attain 100 downloads per year• 50% of downloads must be referred to only 25% of the titles• Top 10 titles account for about 20% of the total Franco Toni QQML 2012 - Limerick 7
  • 8. Impact of new deal• Pros: – The halving of total expenditure – A relevant shortcut in the cost per download (from > 10 EUR to 6.3 EUR) – No relevant differences in the number of document delivery requests (the fall- off in supply has not produced a parallel increase in the DD service) – Halving expenditure = – 20% in downloads• Cons: – The total number of journals is dramatically decreased: this has caused serious problems to many researchers – Themes and disciplines that interest just a few specialized researchers inside the Institute have been especially penalized – The loss of access rights to the “big deal” titles for which we paid an handsome fee in the ten previous years – The Bibliosan Consortium as well received relevant damage from the disengagement of the ISS Franco Toni QQML 2012 - Limerick 8
  • 9. Some additional considerations• Extreme inelasticity of the contract model applied by Elsevier: the long-term contract becomes a sort of trap that compels libraries to maintain their set of journals unmodified for several years even if their budget is continuously decreasing• Librarians must direct their efforts in order to gain a greater flexibility from publishers in managing the agreements: it is no longer possible to continue to purchasing the same number of journals as we did ten years ago while the prices are now doubled• Need of transparency in the pricing policy: no continuous change in the commercial policy, no splitting of the collection, no creation of new journal subsets with additional costs Franco Toni QQML 2012 - Limerick 9
  • 10. Conclusions• The “big deal” contract model can no longer be the reference frame in the consortium negotiations• We need to force the publishers to propose new and more flexible agreements• Stop with agreements including the access to hundreds of unnecessary journals paying too expensive fees for this• New models of contracts based on lists of journals selected by discipline and that take into account the real use of resources such as the number of downloads and their cost per item. Franco Toni QQML 2012 - Limerick 10
  • 11. Thanks for your attentionftoni@iss.it Franco Toni QQML 2012 - Limerick 11

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