UKSG eResources Training, Birmingham 10th June 2015

Overall this was an excellent way to gain an understanding of the e-resources landscape from various angles. And some interesting librarian pop quiz trivia! Do you know what YBP stands for? EBSCO? Who published the first academic/scientific journal?

I gained some interesting insights into how the academic publishing industry operates. It also allowed for some reflection on and explanation of things that are perhaps straight forward but I hadn’t taken the time to step back and think about. Topics such as COUNTER, Access Protocols and Open Access were introduced, but not dealt with in depth as there are other UKSG training seminars on these. What was really brought into focus for me was just how much I have learnt over the last 6 months about the more in-depth technical elements of e-resource management. It was certainly a great opportunity to lift my head out of the spreadsheets and talk to other early career serials librarians about their experiences.

Here are some of the notes I took during the day.

Managing content in the electronic world – Regina O’Brien, University of Salford
Found that students weren’t taking up ebooks – however increasing number increased use.
Only 2% budget spent on print subscriptions, often in Art journals.
The e-resources life cycle:


The business of e-resource publishing – James Pawley, SAGE.
(Worked for royal society chemistry previously)
SAGE, privately owned, social science, gender politics, California.
Historical background of scholarly communications, anagrams and annotated articles sent around by post, a  round robin of scholarship.
  • Register submissions
  • Quality assurance and validation
  • Dissemination

Journal Pricing
Licensing from aggregators is significant contribution to revenue.
Pricing is incredibly unpredictable, a lot down to licensing fees, but also price must be set before knowing how many subscribers there will be.
Exercise involving us setting the percentage price increase based on some anonymised financial data for a “typical” science journal.
Both publishers and libraries have been good – relatively – at adopting new ways of working.
Library budgets as percentage of university spend have been cut unrealistically – disconnect between budget and how research operates.


Getting technical – an overview, Laurence Lockton, University of Bath.
Protocols, standards and profiles.
Layers of protocols relating to how e-resources are transferred.
Library view of e-resource technology: discovery and delivery & e e-resources management (admin, KB, stats)
Open URLs.
Knowlegebases – maintained by vendor, bib details, holdings and embargoes, target linking.
KBART code of practice publisher signs up to – improved metadata: from vendor to Knowlegebases.
Transfer code of practice – uksg initiative.
KB+ and GOKb – library community maintained, not relying solely on vendor.
Number of approaches – from individual logins to federated access.
Usage Statistics
Is html doc on landing page doubling usage reported?.
Counter code of practice for usage factors – April 2014
Counter code of practice for Articles


Intermediaries and their services, Richard Savory, Jisc Collections.
Subscription agents
Huge drop in percentage handled by subscription agents – 2000 to 2015, from 98% to 40% of STM publishers.
Law firms still very paper based and money to be made in supplying services to them.
Often forgotten that publishers are intermediaries themselves. Providing a service to smaller society publishers.
Economies of scale, ease of access.
A more affordable alternative to ejournals – but often with embargoes, no warning of dropping titles etc.
Intermediary book suppliers – better discounts but involve higher costs.

KB+ team within Jisc
Constantly updating titles, changing as licenses change etc.
Is Jisc an intermediary? Not commercial but do provide many of the services.. Work for the academic community.
The future of intermediaries?
Likely to be fewer but bigger intermediaries.
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Posted in eResources, Reflection

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