ORCID

0000-0002-8807-3460

Abstract

When negotiating journal pricing, the disadvantages libraries face are well documented. In addition to financially incompatible acquisition models that are out of sync with both library budgets and any predicted growth, libraries are also presented with rising inflationary costs, content added to an already overloaded system, and vendor consolidation.

Pricing issues are further exacerbated by traditional negotiations, where libraries begin negotiations based on the offers made by publishers and vendors. These offers too often are predicated on historical spend and coupled with list prices that come with few explanations for their sums. Big package deals, that arguably expand access to resources and may lower costs on an article basis, have also increased overall costs and pushed out diverse resources. In attempting to move away from such deals institutions are faced with similar pricing for dramatically reduced access. The difficulties in navigating our way to a sustainable model become clear when the loss of researcher access is coupled with the increased staffing needed to manage individual subscriptions.

New, and potentially viable pathways are beginning to emerge, including open access initiatives and the application of new models, such as read/publish. Although these pathways are not yet fully formed, they are promising developments that attempt to more holistically account for the contributions of the academy, the public good, and the costs of publishing.

This presentation detailed the efforts of a task force within VIVA (Virginia’s academic library consortium) to create a bridge-solution between the current acquisition model and the future vision of its members. It creates a space to rethink what these deals could be and relies on consortial criteria to determine the value of content. The approach remains conscious of the real long-term institutional trust and communication risks to such endeavors, and is built on concerted, collective action.

DOI

https://doi.org/10.5703/1288284317034

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Flipping the Model: A Values-Based Consortial Approach to Journal Negotiations

When negotiating journal pricing, the disadvantages libraries face are well documented. In addition to financially incompatible acquisition models that are out of sync with both library budgets and any predicted growth, libraries are also presented with rising inflationary costs, content added to an already overloaded system, and vendor consolidation.

Pricing issues are further exacerbated by traditional negotiations, where libraries begin negotiations based on the offers made by publishers and vendors. These offers too often are predicated on historical spend and coupled with list prices that come with few explanations for their sums. Big package deals, that arguably expand access to resources and may lower costs on an article basis, have also increased overall costs and pushed out diverse resources. In attempting to move away from such deals institutions are faced with similar pricing for dramatically reduced access. The difficulties in navigating our way to a sustainable model become clear when the loss of researcher access is coupled with the increased staffing needed to manage individual subscriptions.

New, and potentially viable pathways are beginning to emerge, including open access initiatives and the application of new models, such as read/publish. Although these pathways are not yet fully formed, they are promising developments that attempt to more holistically account for the contributions of the academy, the public good, and the costs of publishing.

This presentation detailed the efforts of a task force within VIVA (Virginia’s academic library consortium) to create a bridge-solution between the current acquisition model and the future vision of its members. It creates a space to rethink what these deals could be and relies on consortial criteria to determine the value of content. The approach remains conscious of the real long-term institutional trust and communication risks to such endeavors, and is built on concerted, collective action.