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UKSG Conference 2017 Breakout - Managing without a subscription agent: the experience of doing it yourself - Elin Palm and Lisa Lovén


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Since October 2015 Stockholm University Library has managed
their journal subscriptions without using a subscription agent.
Instead they renew directly with each publisher. During this
breakout session they will share their experience of doing it
themselves. What are the pros and cons of not using an agent?
Are there cost savings to be had? What about the working hours
spent? And what’s the difference between the first and the second time renewing without an agent?

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UKSG Conference 2017 Breakout - Managing without a subscription agent: the experience of doing it yourself - Elin Palm and Lisa Lovén

  1. 1. Managing without a subscription agent the experience of doing it yourself UKSG 40th Annual Conference April 2017, Harrogate Elin Palm & Lisa Lovén, Stockholm University Library
  2. 2. Agenda ● Background ● Work process ● Summary and conclusions ● Questions?
  3. 3. Stockholm University ● One of the biggest university in Sweden ● Science, Humanities and Social Sciences ● 70,000 students, 28,000 full time students, 1,700 doctoral students ● 5,000 staff ● 70 departments, and several centers and institutes within science
  4. 4. Stockholm University Library ● 115 staff ● Media acquisition budget – approx. 4,8 million EUR – 94 % e-resources and 6 % print – 50 % e-journals ● Individual journal subscriptions – 4 % of total budget
  5. 5. Patron driven acquisition One of the University Library’s most important strategies is to provide our users with quick access to requested media resources. The goal is to deliver the needed media resources as quickly as possible in close dialogue with our users. In order to achieve this goal, the University Library has an acquisition strategy based explicitly on user needs and demands. This means that our users, through their purchase proposals and their use of media resources, are involved in the selection of media resources to be acquired, as well as in how we renew, deselect, and remove media resources based on usage and demand.
  6. 6. Why we decided to do it ourselves ● Agreement with former agent expired ● No national framework agreement in place ● Procurement = time consuming ● Already discussed the idea before ● Experience of dealing with publishers
  7. 7. Journals ● Flexible journal portfolio ● Relatively few print journals ● Around 300 journals, in addition 140 institutional subscriptions
  8. 8. Emails ● Case management system, 371 cases – ● Personal mailboxes, 630 emails.
  9. 9. Invoice processing ● With an agent: a few e-summary invoices straight into the finance system ● Without an agent: all invoices in PDF that required manual handling to end up in the finance system
  10. 10. Smooth way Invoice as a PDF Handled by our finance unit Finance system Payment reciept
  11. 11. Not so smooth way ● Several reminders ● Creditcard payments ● Wire fee ● Bank details ● Proof of payment ● Proforma invoices
  12. 12. Pros ● Quicker access ● Cost savings ● Better control, overview ● Transparent pricing ● Publisher contacts ● Number of lengthy issues reduced ● Time consuming ● Increased number of invoices ● Various payment methods ● No subscription management tool ● A lot of manual work Cons
  13. 13. Difference between year one and two ● Not as time consuming the second time ● Work process established ● All publishers in the finance system ● Method of payment and how to renew known ● No need to rush the renewals
  14. 14. Do it yourself? ● Library Director & Legal Counsel on board ● Talk to your finance unit early ● Have your credit card ready ● Case management system ● Document and monitor ● Make sure you have the time and the staff
  15. 15. Thank you! ● Any questions? ●