Each year as part of the NESLi2 deals renewal process, we receive a list of our ‘core’ titles from some of the journals publishers – these are the ones that we are not allowed to cancel as part of the licence (see our earlier blog post on core titles).
We then work through the list checking each title they have recorded as a ‘core’ title against our own lists of ‘core’ titles and the information from our subscription agent to identify the discrepancies between them. For the majority of the titles there is agreement between the journals team, the publishers and the subscription agent, however, there are always a small number of titles that we do not agree on – and this happens year after year after year! While some are titles where all parties do not agree as to whether they are core or not, others are trials that will automatically renew if they are not cancelled.
It is these discrepancies in the lists that cause major headaches for all parties during the renewal process as we have to open negotiations to resolve the differences that arise despite already having agreed a contract. This process can take a long time due to the queries that go back and forth, and the explanations and discussions over the different titles. This process can also, occasionally, impact on the student experience of the library as if the titles have not been agreed, the payments not sorted and the new invoices agreements not signed by each party before January it can result in the loss of access to the materials, which happened last year. Other reasons for having an accurate and up to date understanding of our subscriptions can be found in a blog post about Knowledge Base + at http://knowledgebaseplus.wordpress.com/2012/03/19/historical_entitlements/
It is hoped that with the release of KB+ these particular difficulties in the renewals process for the journal teams, publishers and subscription agents may be a thing of the past? With KB+ offering the institutions the facilities to keep an electronic record of their ‘core’ journal titles and to upload electronic documents it is hoped that the management of journal subscriptions will become easier, more efficient and more accurate hopefully making renewal negotiations to become less problematic. In fact, we hope that having this information stored at KB+ and therefore accessible to JISC Collections at the negotiation stage that in the near future we won’t even have to have the conversation at all!
In the next few weeks, the HIKE project will be working with KB+ to look at how we manage renewals in a multi-year NESLi2 deal and how this impacts on KB+ and ultimately Intota. We will blog the outcomes soon!