TRLN Beyond Print: Consortial E-Book Acquisitions: Librarian/Publisher/Vendor Perspectives

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  • Welcome. We are reporting out and providing for continued conversation around the Triangle Research Libraries Network Beyond Print Conference held in August 2011. In last Sunday’s New York Times Technology Bits Blog there was a brief write-up by David Streitfeld given to the Books in Browsers conference in San Francisco and I quote:   Is any form of traditional media under more assault than the book? For half a millennium, it was happily contained between covers: easily understood by a child, disposable, nearly indestructible, demanding minimal energy, a triumph of economy and form. The Internet has upended all that, of course. Yet the strongest impression from several of the sessions at the Books in Browsers conference in San Francisco over the last two days is that while the off-line book might be dying, the online book has yet to be born. The most basic definitions are still being worked out. And…isn’t that why we are here today?
  • Brian O’Leary gave the closing talk with this focus: Although business models have changed, publishers and their intermediaries continue to try to evolve their market roles in ways that typically follow the rules for “two-party, one-issue” negotiations.  In an environment in which the negotiations are better framed using models for “many parties, many issues”, these more limited approaches have made the design of a flawed ecosystem even worse, shifting burdens onto valued intermediaries (libraries and booksellers, among others). Content abundance, coupled with improvements in available technologies, gives us an opportunity to reshape the competitive framework. 
  • So…TRLN Triangle Libraries Research Network - UNC Duke NC State NCCU - want to do just that “reshape the competitive framework.”  - take fullest possible advantage of the inherent characteristics of digital products and also are acceptable to users with affordable, sustainable pricing. Although effective cooperative collection development among the libraries at Duke, UNC, and eventually NCSU began during the Great Depression of the1930s, it never focused on saving money.  As noted in the definitive history of TRLN, “If cooperation is to succeed, it must therefore emphasize institutional advancement and enhanced service to users
  • So, what is our consortial e-book acquisition context? And at this point I need to acknowledge my colleague Stephen Brooks at UNC and others in TRLN with content that will be soon published in a Serials Review article. E-books provide researchers access to monographic resources at the moment and location of their research need, which is a great advantage over their print counterparts and we find in fact are in much greater demand by our users. Patron-driven acquisitions (DDA or PDA), allow a library to purchase specific e-books for their patrons at the moment of need in lieu of just-in-case acquisition. Librarians have learned how to cooperatively acquire and license e-journals through joint publisher “big deals” so as to maximize the resources available to faculty and students, although the financial sustainability of these mechanisms is being called into question. The relatively newness of e-books, their rapid development, and the lack of standard vending and pricing models, however, have created a new set of obstacles in creating win-win models that would work for publishers/vendors, librarians, and patrons. Libraries in the United States have generally shared their print resources under the first-sale doctrine of copyright law, e-books' usage is typically governed by contract law and their permitted use is defined in mutually agreed-upon contracts between the e-book seller (a vendor or publisher, for example) and purchaser (in this case, a library). While a digital format intuitively facilitates immediate and broad distribution of content, digital rights management restrictions (DRM) provide a technical mechanism of enforcement against easy dissemination and the contracts typically legally forbid or greatly restrict sharing. For example when UNC-Chapel Hill buys an e-book, NC State, NCCU or Duke will have to buy its own copy, either in print or electronic format; request interlibrary loan of the print version of the book from another library; or, if UNC-Chapel Hill 's contract with the e-book provider permits walk-in use, direct its patron to the campus of Chapel Hill when a non-UNC patron of a TRLN member library wishes to use the title in question. How cumbersome and problematic – certainly not user-focused – what happened to our principle of sharing? Other financial and workflow issues include: E-books are priced at the hardcover price without the benefit of paperback version discounts E-books are not as easily identified as having or not having “shipped” or awaiting cataloging Problems with access by particular patron groups or IP ranges are discovered at the point that someone tries to access an e-book and cannot. Now, from context (why?) to action (how?)…..
  • TRLN's conversations with the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation began in early 2010, when the consortium was considering how planning funds would best advance its vision of unlimited resource sharing. TRLN's programmatic councils were examining existing barriers - in loan policies, technology, and licensed resources - to a single collection concept for the consortium.  With its extensive experience building minimally overlapping print collections, council leaders felt TRLN was well-positioned to take a national leadership role in confronting the myriad of challenges with sharing electronic resources - including licensing and cost barriers and the growing popularity of acquisition on demand for electronic books. An award from Mellon was made in 2011 and planning for a summit began. In order to maximize the in person time at the summit, the Beyond Print Steering Committee envisioned the meeting in the style of a graduate seminar - with background materials presented and digested prior to the meeting. E-books encompass so many issues for libraries - including long-term preservation, metadata availability and quality, proliferation of formats and devices for reading the content - that the Committee decided to identify secondary or tertiary issues upfront and then set them aside on a "parking lot" for future consideration. The single story "lot" quickly became a "deck" as the list of peripheral issues grew.   The primary issues of focus then became resource sharing, acquisition options and cost. Now I will turn over the platform to Sarah who will take us from “anecdote to data” as the Summit evolved.  
  • We solidified around two models: Is based largely on the demand-driven models that are proliferating in the world of libraries where an individual purchase is made, access available to consortia based on short-term loan fees and use triggers and then reach a threshold for consortial-wide purchase/permanent access. Other is a base price model in two flavors: 1) to bring one copy into a consortia (collecting imperative that many consortia feel) and then pay more for titles that are widely/frequently accessed in the consortia and 2) to purchase a core collection at a multiplier of 50% or less. Both models would require caps or thresholds where title is permanently owned across the consortia. Provide relatively cost certainty for libraries and cap payments at a reasonable level for consortial-wide access. Caps proposed during the meetings at everything from equivalent of full purchase by 33% of members to 100% of members. If it is demand-driven, rather than up-front requirement, then we can pilot, experiment, and develop the model.
  • Devilish details: Fair short-term loan cost? Libraries pushing for true-micropayment model in $5-$10 range and publishers/vendors introducing models in $20-$30 range. Potential win-win is here in operational and shipping costs associated with print ILL. Incentives on both sides. In terms of artificial scarcity – ARL perspective is lose one simultaneous user and publisher perspective is lose all users when title is out on loan. We obviously have a lot of infrastructure work to do on both sides to enable short-term loans and ILL for e-books.
  • General challenges: Some publishers have infrastructure in the works to experiment and others do not. Publishers very concerned about managing the back-end and data to enable demand-driven models that scale from individual institutions to short-term loans to consortial thresholds as well as managing the payments to authors/creators. Implications of short-term loans that can shift costs from loaning institutions to borrowing institutions – not always ability to handle that economic transference. University presses. Joe Esposito has an excellent post on the scholarly kitchen about the issues around university press economics – two main issues being that many individual customers for these titles are found on college campuses and that constitutes a good portion of UP revenue and Evergreen titles that are course adoptions. Sarah referenced these, but initial consortial modeling demonstrates that the level of potential sales and revenue in a consortia is probably lower than most publishers might project. True costs for print ILL – this is critical to see if we can approach this area for economic transference to help enable the shift to electronic content. Preservation and long-term access. In many ways it feels like where we were 10 years ago with journals. We can figure this out, we just need the rights to enable processes to secure the content long-term. Putting together pilots for experimentation to dig into these issues is the most significant challenge and opportunity coming out of the summit. How to we bridge between status quo and complex emerging environment libraries want on business side to foster fruitful experimentation that libraries and publishers can afford while fostering migration to digital.
  • General challenges: Some publishers have infrastructure in the works to experiment and others do not. Publishers very concerned about managing the back-end and data to enable demand-driven models that scale from individual institutions to short-term loans to consortial thresholds as well as managing the payments to authors/creators. Implications of short-term loans that can shift costs from loaning institutions to borrowing institutions – not always ability to handle that economic transference. University presses. Joe Esposito has an excellent post on the scholarly kitchen about the issues around university press economics – two main issues being that many individual customers for these titles are found on college campuses and that constitutes a good portion of UP revenue and Evergreen titles that are course adoptions. Sarah referenced these, but initial consortial modeling demonstrates that the level of potential sales and revenue in a consortia is probably lower than most publishers might project. True costs for print ILL – this is critical to see if we can approach this area for economic transference to help enable the shift to electronic content. Preservation and long-term access. In many ways it feels like where we were 10 years ago with journals. We can figure this out, we just need the rights to enable processes to secure the content long-term. Putting together pilots for experimentation to dig into these issues is the most significant challenge and opportunity coming out of the summit. How to we bridge between status quo and complex emerging environment libraries want on business side to foster fruitful experimentation that libraries and publishers can afford while fostering migration to digital.
  • General challenges: Some publishers have infrastructure in the works to experiment and others do not. Publishers very concerned about managing the back-end and data to enable demand-driven models that scale from individual institutions to short-term loans to consortial thresholds as well as managing the payments to authors/creators. Implications of short-term loans that can shift costs from loaning institutions to borrowing institutions – not always ability to handle that economic transference. University presses. Joe Esposito has an excellent post on the scholarly kitchen about the issues around university press economics – two main issues being that many individual customers for these titles are found on college campuses and that constitutes a good portion of UP revenue and Evergreen titles that are course adoptions. Sarah referenced these, but initial consortial modeling demonstrates that the level of potential sales and revenue in a consortia is probably lower than most publishers might project. True costs for print ILL – this is critical to see if we can approach this area for economic transference to help enable the shift to electronic content. Preservation and long-term access. In many ways it feels like where we were 10 years ago with journals. We can figure this out, we just need the rights to enable processes to secure the content long-term. Putting together pilots for experimentation to dig into these issues is the most significant challenge and opportunity coming out of the summit. How to we bridge between status quo and complex emerging environment libraries want on business side to foster fruitful experimentation that libraries and publishers can afford while fostering migration to digital.

Transcript

  • 1. Consortial E-book Acquisitions Librarian / Publisher / Vendor Perspectives Charleston Conference / November 10, 2011 Greg Raschke , North Carolina State University Libraries Carol Hunter , University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Libraries Jonathan Bunkell , ebrary Sarah Lippincott , Triangle Research Libraries Network TRLN: Beyond Print Funded by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation
  • 2. Although business models have changed, publishers and their intermediaries continue to try to evolve their market roles in ways that typically follow the rules for “two-party, one-issue” negotiations.  In an environment in which the negotiations are better framed using models for “many parties, many issues”, these more limited approaches have made the design of a flawed ecosystem even worse, shifting burdens onto valued intermediaries (libraries and booksellers, among others). - Brian O’Leary
  • 3. Collaboration history
    • TRLN United: One Collection, One Community
    • from the 1930’s to the present
    • If cooperation is to succeed, it must therefore emphasize institutional advancement and enhanced service to users.
  • 4. E-book Context
    • Research advantages of e-books
    • Purchase at point of need
    • But what about?
    • Principle of cooperative collection development and resource sharing
    • Complicated current rights environment
    • Financial and workflow issues
  • 5. Action
    • Andrew W. Mellon Foundation support of consortium vision
    • TRLN Beyond Print Summit August 2011
    • Cohort of Librarians, Publishers, E-book Vendors
    • Resource sharing, acquisition options and cost focus
  • 6. From Anecdote to Data
    • TRLN analyzed two sets of approval plan orders from YBP: July 2007 – July 2010 (three years) and August 2010 – May 2011 (nine months)
    • Analyzed using SAS, MySQL database, Excel, and manual verification
  • 7. TRLN Collection Overlap
    • TRLN libraries buy only one copy of a title more than 50% of the time and two or fewer copies more than 80% of the time. i
    • Eight publishers account for 30% of the overlap between all three institutions. ii
    i Includes print and electronic titles ii Titles purchased between August 2010 and May 2011
  • 8. E-Book Overlap
    • An estimated 71% of e-books are duplicated in print by at least one institution i
      • Of the estimated 29% of titles not duplicated in print, 84% are licensed as e-books by multiple institutions
    i Based on analysis of a sample of 380 e-books acquired through YBP between July 2007 and May 2011
  • 9.  
  • 10. What Libraries Want
    • Flexible acquisitions options, including title-by-title selection
    • Integration of e-book purchasing into acquisitions workflow
    • Support for resource sharing
    • Transparency about availability of electronic materials
    • Preservation assurances
    • Multipliers that reflect actual usage and purchasing patterns
    • Clearer and less limiting application of digital rights management (DRM)
  • 11. LIBRARIANS, CONSORTIAL COLLEAGUES VENDORS, AGGREGATORS, PUBLISHERS Avoid operational words like “ILL.” “Access,” “resource sharing,” and “temporary access” are more descriptive Need for industry standards for e-book usage and purchase triggers Ownership through purchase does not necessarily include “permanent access,” and does not allow the owner to provide temporary access Ownership through purchase should include permanent access, and should allow the owner to provide temporary access to consortia members and to external libraries An institution’s prior investment in p should be considered by publishers in pricing e Lease-to-own models should be offered Consideration of SERU in lieu of license Where possible, offer deep discounts for print with purchase of e-book and vice versa Transaction costs are low in short-term loan environment, & justify full price purchase Simplify licensing language and paperwork, not necessarily SERU Industry standards are not feasible in current market Sharing and Networks Cost Models Acquisitions Options Need multiple models: e.g. title-by-title selection, DDA, lease-to-own, packages Integration with book vendors (workflow, ordering information, e and p duplication) Simultaneous publication of p and e, preferably e first Need transparent terminology Explore pricing options for short-term loans, and use-based pricing TRLN: Beyond Print | Commonalities and Gaps
  • 12. Initial Frameworks: Business Models
    • Two business model frameworks
      • Individual purchase (user-driven or selected) – consortial access triggers additional fees to cap triggers consortial-wide ownership.
      • Base price in two flavors: 1) for one copy in consortia with additional payment based on use thresholds to cap and 2) core collection at negotiated multiplier.
    • Devilish details:
      • Reasonable cap/threshold for consortia.
      • Consortial analysis of purchasing activity and realistic market expectations and overlap.
    • Conspicuous absence of subscription discussion
  • 13. Initial Frameworks: Resource Sharing
    • Two resource sharing frameworks
      • Short-term loans that build to purchase.
      • ILL based on artificial scarcity.
    • Devilish details:
      • What is fair short-term loan cost?
      • What is fair level of artificial scarcity?
      • Infrastructure to execute both.
  • 14. Initial Frameworks: General Challenges
    • Management side for vendors/publishers – uneven playing-field.
    • Shifting costs to borrowers.
    • University presses.
    • Data sharing and development.
    • Long-term preservation.
    • Moving forward with pilots and experimentation.
  • 15. Current Realities: Consortia PDA Models
    • All members can trigger  Consortia would purchase
    • PDA ‘consideration repository’ is visible to ALL member libraries
    • Any patron from any member library can trigger a title
    • Once triggered all members’ patrons have access to the title
    • The consortia is invoiced appropriately
    • All members can trigger  Individual member would purchase
    • Every member can see the PDA eligible holdings (consideration repository and owned titles) of other members that they don’t already own (effectively shared catalog)
    • These PDA eligible titles are made available to local patrons
    • Any patron can trigger one of these “non-owned” titles
    • When a patron triggers a title, that patron’s institution purchases the title for local use (NOT consortia use)
  • 16. Moving Forward
    • Pilots/discussions underway
      • OCUL
      • Beyond Print discussion
      • Significant consortia interest in sharing/access of ebooks
    • Data driven approach
      • Consideration of ILL costs
      • Data allows informed discussions with publisher partners