CONSORTIA EFFORTS Y.M.PATIL RAMAN RESEARCH INSTITUTE BANGALORE – 560 080. WORKSHOP ON FORGING COLLABORATIVE PARTNERSHIPS : CONSORTIUM OF LIBRARIES OF DAE INSTITUTIONS, JULY 28-30, 2003. TIFR, MUMBAI AN EXPERIENCE WITH FORSA LIBRARIES
INTRODUCTION: • Due to increase in cost of journals and cut in subscription of titles, library professionals have initiated several measures in sharing information resources by way of co-operative acquisitions, inter-library loans and supply of photocopies. This was fine as far as print media concerned. • Emergence of information technology has changed information-handling activities at all levels, viz. Publishers, intermediaries, library professionals and users. • Print editions are converted into e – editions. Both are available for subscription with additional costs for e – access. This enhanced cost for e – journals which is additional burden to dwindling library budgets. • This trend forced librarians to look for ways and means to subscribe maximum journals with reasonable costs, with better access and there emerged consortia concept.
FORUM FOR RESOURCE SHARING IN ASTRONOMY & ASTROPHYSICS (FORSA): • It was established in 1981 and chalked out plans and strategies for library co-operation, resource sharing and developed tools necessary, pertaining to print media. • Members of FORSA are : IIA, IUCAA, NCRA, PRL, RRI, TIFR, SO and CASA-OU. • Following are the developments among FORSA libraries. • All libraries have automated their collections • Facilitate e-access to journals • Actively participate in resource sharing • Document delivery (e-mail, fax and speed post) • Database merging of all libraries holdings • To participate in “Virtual Observatory” project in support / supply of information • Consortia plan for sharing E –journals and databases with publishers like Kluwer, Nature Publishing, IOP, etc. • We have gone into two consortia formation, viz. • Indian Astrophysics Consortium- with KLUWER, • FORSA Consortium for Nature On - Line – with Nature Publishing.
INDIAN ASTROPHYSICS CONSORTIUM: • Participants:IIA, IUCAA, RRI, SO, and HCRI. This is a consortium with homogeneity of subject group - Astronomy and Astrophysics and negotiated licensing with the following terms and conditions: • Single payment by one of the participant or through an agent and license has to be signed by all and to maintain same subscription level; • Initial minimum subscription was for four journals with 10% e – access charges but reduced to two journals thereby increasing e – access charges to 12%. • The condition should be flexible in future to include members who do not have any single journal, and ready to pay a non-subscription penalty.
SALIENT FEATURES OF THE CONSORTIUM: • Small group of homogeneous, like minded professionals has facilitated better communication and understanding between publishers and an agent ; and an agent issuing individual invoice; single payment, signing license by individual library. • This model facilitated cross e – access to all print journals subscribed.Members are not burdened with marginal interest journals, which otherwise is a standard offer of “bundled” journals from publishers. • Institutional usage statistics is provided periodically, viz. Weekly, fortnightly and monthly • It was a “ win- win ” situation for both publishers and consortium participants in terms of the decreased cost of electronic access to e – journals and increased volume of sales for publishers.
MINOR PROBLEMS ENCOUNTERED: • It was a maiden venture for FORSA. To begin with we did not have established guidelines / procedures to go into consortium formation. • We had to go through an intermediary for single payment. At a final stage, one more member was added with titles outside the purview of defined subject area, thus diluting initial objective of consortium formation. We must put down every terms and conditions in writing so as to avoid any unpleasant thing coming at a later date. • The consortium members should be more organised and formal to choose the members. All participants should be informed regarding any decisions taken This could be a signal to future consortia negotiations. • Currently, the publishers do not support an aggregate journal report for the consortium and this functionality will be provided at a later date.
NATURE ON–LINE SUBSCRIPTION : • Participants: IIA, IUCAA, NCRA, PRL, RRI and JNCASR. • This is a consortium of homogeneous group negotiated licensing for on-line access. • This is a model for single title which is most significant e – journal for all participants. • All libraries have subscribed this journal by AIRMAIL but deferred on – line access due to exorbitant cost-(BP 1200.00). All members agreed to have on – line access under consortium subscription at reduced cost.
On preliminary enquiry, publishers offered two pricing models as follows: • OPTION 1: Users between 1 TO 999 with six sites: The basic price is BP 1350.00 and BP 250.00 per additional site. Basic price 1350.00 Additional 1250.00. 250 x 5 2600.00. Cost per site is 2600 / 6 = 433.33 or say BP. 434.00. • OPTION 2: Between 1000 and 2000 users and six sites: Basic price 2750.00 Additional 1250.00 250 x 5 3950.00 Cost per site is 3950.00 / 6 = BP 658.00.
THE FOLLOWING WERE PARTICIPANTS RESPONSES BASED ON PRICE OPTIONS: • Initially we were not sure about how many libraries likely to join the consortium. • Is there any concession for PRINT + On – Line subscription? • Consortium cost BP 434.00 is too high compared to many other publishers and it is almost equal to print cost. Hence, basic price and additional site charges be reduced keeping in view small user group; • There should be one more option of pricing with users less than 500. The option for 500 is workable with FORSA Group with less charge compared to Option 1. • We may have to add some more members under the consortium in order to reduce the cost keeping in view the options given.
BASED ON DISCUSSION, FOLLOWING POINTS EMERGED: • There is no change in cost, as pricing model is universal and OPTION 1 is applicable to FORSA consortium. • Print and on – line subscriptions are separate entities and are not clubbed for consortium subscription. • One invoice, single payment and one of the participant has to sign the license agreement • To overcome the above hassle, it is permissible to go through a subscription agent for consortium subscription.
WITH FURTHER DISCUSSIONS/NEGOTIATIONS, CERTAIN POINTS WERE CONSIDERED IN ORDER TO GET CONSORTIUM SUCCESSFUL: • All participants will receive invoices and to be settled within a reasonable period; • To avail on – line access through consortium under FORSA, there has to be some legal entity of the forum, which is taking multi site licensing. Hence some one among the participants has to sign the license agreement on behalf of the FORSA members which was agreed upon; • When each participant received invoice along with license agreement form for signing , then the problem of signing by one on behalf of all was overcome; • Publishers also agreed for payment through an agent but there is no discount or commission under consortium • On – line access is based on IP addresses and each institute has to provide with IP addresses along with number of maximum users per site which will facilitate simultaneous access to on – line Nature; • There is provision to get institutional usage statistics on monthly basis; • As per publishers, this is a first Indian consortium for On – Line NATURE.
Table 2: The following table gives the cost factor and savings under FORSA Consortium: We have paid 36% of non-consortium on-line price or 79.6% of print (airmail) edition, which is higher than normal cost of print edition charged by the commercial publishers. Those who can not live with Nature, consortia price is still tolerable.
CONCLUSIONS: • Various library consortia models are emerging and it is necessary to get exposed to procedures for licensing keeping in mind negotiations with the publishers across the table. • E – Journals have come to stay ipso facto library consortia. Consortia have become a survival kit for libraries. • It may be mentioned here that the consortium with the participants who have similar interest / discipline / same title can work successfully compared to the ones where these factors are not the main focus. • The experience of consortia under FORSA gave us further confidence to go ahead in forming some more consortia with other publishers. • One has to be a MILITANTLIBRARIAN to become a TRIUMPHANTLIBRARIAN!!