Louise Cole Senior Information Advisor A university library view
An aside … <ul><li>Only started at Kingston (a Band D institution) in October so mainly taking examples from my 9 years wo...
Summary <ul><li>Trials </li></ul><ul><li>The subscription proper </li></ul><ul><li>What do academics want? </li></ul><ul><...
Trials <ul><li>Sometimes not a trial to the whole product or very limited use </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Prevents all stakehold...
Trials: the ideal <ul><li>Time: at least 30 days and not targeted in the summer or in early autumn </li></ul><ul><li>Acces...
The subscription proper <ul><li>Order takes a long time </li></ul><ul><li>Often no access before payment has cleared, howe...
The subscription proper: the ideal <ul><li>Set up access ASAP once a firm order has been placed </li></ul><ul><li>Licences...
What do academics want? <ul><li>Quick and easy access at a date when the product is needed </li></ul><ul><li>Seamless proc...
Some stories <ul><li>Product A </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Business database with financial statistics </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><l...
Some stories <ul><li>Product B </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Advertising resource </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Trial allowed and cus...
Some stories <ul><li>Product C </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Media resource </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Trial proved unworkable as ...
Some stories <ul><li>Product D </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Journal back file </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Limited amount of downlo...
Some stories <ul><li>Product E </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Science database with full-text </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Downloads ...
Some stories <ul><li>Product F </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Science abstracting service with full-text </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li...
Publisher mistakes <ul><li>Targeting the wrong people </li></ul><ul><li>No involvement or support after the sale has been ...
Good practice <ul><li>A trial should be the showpiece for a particular resource, not a trial in itself </li></ul><ul><li>G...
The unforeseen <ul><li>People not available to assess the product </li></ul><ul><li>Open trials available at the wrong tim...
In conclusion <ul><li>The trial should be a product’s shop window so use it (or lose potential subs) </li></ul><ul><li>Be ...
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A university library view

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Presentation given by invitation at the JISC Collections' Publisher Workshop, 29th November 2007.

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A university library view

  1. 1. Louise Cole Senior Information Advisor A university library view
  2. 2. An aside … <ul><li>Only started at Kingston (a Band D institution) in October so mainly taking examples from my 9 years working with e-resources at University of Leeds (a Band A institution) </li></ul>
  3. 3. Summary <ul><li>Trials </li></ul><ul><li>The subscription proper </li></ul><ul><li>What do academics want? </li></ul><ul><li>Some stories </li></ul><ul><li>Publisher mistakes </li></ul><ul><li>Good practice </li></ul><ul><li>The unforeseen … </li></ul>
  4. 4. Trials <ul><li>Sometimes not a trial to the whole product or very limited use </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Prevents all stakeholders from evaluating </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Reliability and suitability cannot be assessed </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Technical issues not always checked </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Software may not be downloadable </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Trials sometimes place limited (IP only) or number restricted (one at a time) or time limited (7 or 14 days) </li></ul>
  5. 5. Trials: the ideal <ul><li>Time: at least 30 days and not targeted in the summer or in early autumn </li></ul><ul><li>Access: preferably on and off campus and unlimited access to all available content </li></ul><ul><li>Should consider a trial to be just that, a trial run of the product as if purchased </li></ul><ul><li>No licences unless absolutely necessary: take a lot of time to process </li></ul>
  6. 6. The subscription proper <ul><li>Order takes a long time </li></ul><ul><li>Often no access before payment has cleared, however small that payment is </li></ul><ul><li>Licences often sent out late, holding up the process as they need to be checked and approved </li></ul><ul><li>The ‘real thing’ doesn’t work when the trial did! </li></ul><ul><li>Incorrect URL / authentication … </li></ul>
  7. 7. The subscription proper: the ideal <ul><li>Set up access ASAP once a firm order has been placed </li></ul><ul><li>Licences provided in advance (and not just generic draft ones) </li></ul><ul><li>Customer/technical support in setting up the resource in early stages </li></ul><ul><li>Correct information provided re URLs and passwords </li></ul>
  8. 8. What do academics want? <ul><li>Quick and easy access at a date when the product is needed </li></ul><ul><li>Seamless process: they don’t care about delays and excuses </li></ul><ul><li>The full product, working from day one </li></ul><ul><li>No unexplained cut-offs, changes in authentication or product </li></ul><ul><li>A stable product throughout teaching time </li></ul>
  9. 9. Some stories <ul><li>Product A </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Business database with financial statistics </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>No trial was allowed </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Order took 3 months to process … </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>… and quote was changed during that time </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Confusion over the licence </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Next to no technical support </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Billing severely delayed </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Targeted students for more products! </li></ul></ul>
  10. 10. Some stories <ul><li>Product B </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Advertising resource </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Trial allowed and customer rep helpful </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Excellent feedback from faculty </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Good usage statistics </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>When firm order placed, no contact … </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>… order abandoned after 6 months </li></ul></ul>
  11. 11. Some stories <ul><li>Product C </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Media resource </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Trial proved unworkable as website out of action </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Restricted numbers allowed </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>No confidence in product – order not pursued </li></ul></ul>
  12. 12. Some stories <ul><li>Product D </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Journal back file </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Limited amount of downloads allowed </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Exceeded in first few days so trial ended prematurely </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Assumed ok because of current content </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Licence proved difficult to obtain so relied on emails </li></ul></ul>
  13. 13. Some stories <ul><li>Product E </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Science database with full-text </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Downloads enabled but not allowed during trial </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Trial terminated due to ‘misuse’ after three days </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Order for product not pursued </li></ul></ul>
  14. 14. Some stories <ul><li>Product F </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Science abstracting service with full-text </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Software needed to view material </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Software not available during trial </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Order not pursued </li></ul></ul>
  15. 15. Publisher mistakes <ul><li>Targeting the wrong people </li></ul><ul><li>No involvement or support after the sale has been made / ‘no name’ policy </li></ul><ul><li>Trials not allowed or when they are, they have not been thought through </li></ul><ul><li>‘ Open access to all’ trials which raise expectations where assumptions are made </li></ul><ul><ul><li>i.e. a trial title being linked from reading list </li></ul></ul>
  16. 16. Good practice <ul><li>A trial should be the showpiece for a particular resource, not a trial in itself </li></ul><ul><li>Good documentation, good communication, flexibility (allowing more than one trial), understanding … </li></ul><ul><li>Send usage statistics for the trial period </li></ul><ul><li>… most of the time we do want to buy </li></ul><ul><li>Offer … but don’t hassle; if we want a trial, we’ll get back to you </li></ul>
  17. 17. The unforeseen <ul><li>People not available to assess the product </li></ul><ul><li>Open trials available at the wrong time </li></ul><ul><li>The funds might not be there although we like the product </li></ul><ul><li>Usage may be poor or non-existent </li></ul><ul><li>We might have had a trial without knowing it! </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Faculty access for a year but no one said! </li></ul></ul>
  18. 18. In conclusion <ul><li>The trial should be a product’s shop window so use it (or lose potential subs) </li></ul><ul><li>Be aware of semester dates, financial years, and other influences </li></ul><ul><li>Make it easy for us to subscribe to resources, not difficult </li></ul><ul><li>Establish good relationships built on mutual trust: think of your customer as ‘the good guy’! </li></ul>

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