KB+ and the renewals process

After the release of the ‘renewals’ feature in KB+ in December 2012 which aims to facilitate the renewals process undertaken by Journals teams throughout the UK HE sector we thought it would be useful to provide some feedback to the KB+ team. The ‘renewals’ feature intends to simplify the journals renewals process, specifically the big deal renewals – both mid multi-year deal renewals and the renewal of the big deals themselves. The renewals tool will help to maintain an accurate list of titles within the different subscriptions we subscribe to, identify the dates we have access to and any core titles within the collection. It is also hoped that as each year’s subscription details are uploaded into the system, KB+ will provide historical documentation of all the titles we have subscribed to, the access we have to these, identification of the core titles with any changes tracked, and the changes in publishers and titles tracked through the years.

The ‘renewals’ feature on KB+ allows you to compare your current subscription, with the core titles clearly identified, with the proposed renewals package from the publisher. It is also possible to compare these with any other journals packages offered, and you are not restricted by publisher. For example you could compare Package A year X with year Y, but also package B etc. The comparison is clearly displayed by a colour-coded spread sheet and identifies the titles available in the package, highlighting those titles that are missing from the previous year’s collection and any new titles that have entered the journals package. This enables us to identify any issues at a glance. However, we wondered if it would be possible for the spread sheet to also include why some of the titles are missing such as if they have ceased publication, transferred to another publisher, combined with another journal or split into two journals, or would this information be something each individual library would need to chase up after their absence in the journal package has been drawn to our attention by KB+? Additionally we wondered if it would be possible for the spread sheet to identify which journal titles are hybrid (subscription and OA) and which are OA? We don’t want to be paying twice for an OA title so we could do with seeing the percentage OA content.

Once this comparison spread sheet has been downloaded from the renewals section it is possible for you to amend the details of the coming year, e.g. add the core titles, to reflect your holdings before uploading the spread sheet to KB+ to record the coming year’s holdings. For this document to be used as a record of historical entitlements and reflect accurately the current holdings of the institution, the additional information of the format of the title, print, electronic or both, and the dates of the access would also need to be included in the comparison spread sheet. We would also like to be able use the data in the spread sheet related to the renewal as a master version that could be uploaded (perhaps automatically) into Serial Solutions to amend the knowledgebase to accurate reflect our new holdings?

The KB+ ‘renewals’ will greatly help the Journals teams by:

  • gathering the information on the titles that have changed title or publisher, ceased or are new in the package
  • displaying it in an easy to read and interpret colour-coded spread sheet
  • highlighting the titles which have changed from last year.

It will save time and automate one of the tedious and manual jobs that has to be undertaken each year. We also think it could be improved even further if JUSP (Journals Usage Statistics Portal) information to also be included on the comparison spread sheet. This would mean that if a title was missing from the collection during the coming year we would be able to evaluate the impact it may have on our institution by analysing the usage stats from the previous year, e.g. if a title had a handful of downloads in the previous year we might not mind losing it from the collection, however, if a ‘non-core’ title was highly accessed we might want to consider a subscription with the new publisher. In addition it would be good to see the percentage of movement in a given deal in order to access the stability of a package – the downtime would be good too – but we may be asking a little too much with that one!!

Finally, we’d like to thank Liam Earney at JISC Collections (and our project team!) who has already taken some of these points forward 🙂

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