22:1 (2007:03) Other Serials News: TRANSFER Initiative

February 27, 2007 at 7:13 pm | Posted in Other Serials and E-Resources News | Leave a comment


Reported by Nancy Beals 

Presenters:  Nancy Buckley, International Journal Sales Director, Blackwell Publishing; Jill Taylor-Roe, Head of Liaison and Academic Services, Newcastle University Library.

TRANSFER is a project that is creating standards to address the challenges of the movement of journals between publishers. Nancy Buckley (nancy.buckley@oxon.blackwellpublishing.com) is the chair.  TRANSFER, which was initiated earlier this year, is in the early stages of the project and there is a great deal of work still to be done. The aims, scopes and guidelines for transferring and receiving between publishers are available at the website. They have created a working group and an advisory board which includes many people from the industry such as librarians, publishers and agents. 

The movement of titles between publishers has created a lack of clarity, mainly in the area of print to electronic. Currently, it is not clear who is responsible for customer satisfaction. TRANSFER is creating a code of conduct or good practice guidelines so that movement causes minimal disruption. Communication, which is the largest issue, needs to be addressed so that this process can be easier. There are also legacy and archive, licensing and pricing issues.  

Many problems and frustrations lie in the changing of publisher arrangements for society journals.  Societies move to commercial publishers generally because of revenues, editorial policy and pricing, economies of scale, usage data, web presence, and for other reasons.  They want to promote their societies, include more content, and take advantage of the commercial publisher’s abilities with PR and innovation. 

There are implications for publishers, intermediaries, and libraries when a journal moves to a different publisher.  Publishers have to merge data with existing systems and be able to interpret it.  There are platform, format and content changes, and issues with links and backfile ownership.  For intermediaries, every title that moves to another publisher can create 10-15 subscription transactions in their systems.  So far, there have been over 5000 title changes this year.  It is easy to see how this can become a difficult situation.  Timing is an important issue for librarians, who need to know well in advance for budgeting purposes.  They need to retain appropriate access, to be able to collect usage data (preferable COUNTER compliant), and to experience no access problems.  Transfers need to be timely and there needs to be an easily accessible source of data on transfers.  TRANSFER is looking into the idea of a central repository to store journal transfer information. 

TRANSFER is currently in collaboration with the STM Association and the Association of Learned and Professional Society Publishers, and is a project of the United Kingdom Serials Group. 


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