24:3 (2009:09) 24th Conference: Strategy Session: Playing the Field

September 11, 2009 at 12:31 pm | Posted in Conference Reports, Strategy Sessions | Leave a comment

Playing the Field: Pay-Per-View E-journals and E-books

Lindsey Schell, University of Texas; Katy Ginanni, Trinity University; Benjamin Heet, University of Notre Dame
Reported by Janet Arcand

The presentation began with a description of the desired concept for pay-per-view.  In it, IP-registered users can access online content from a publisher, payable by the library upon download, through an invoice or a deposit account.  The Library can choose to mediate it.  Users should have access to many more articles than were available through traditional library subscriptions.  The cost per use would be dramatically cheaper for the library’s seldom-used subscriptions, and there would be no storage costs.  It would serve as a supplement to the library’s ILL service and should be quicker than traditional ILL.  Usage and cost statistics would enable the PPV deal to be evaluated.

Trinity University had a successful pilot project to access Elsevier journals, gaining access to 2500 titles and no longer needing to purchase 77 print titles.  Faculty response was generally favorable but library staff noticed that when faculty could see the cost of the articles, they sometimes chose not to purchase them.  76% of articles retrieved were to journals for which they had no previous subscriptions.  Students have to get access to articles though the mediation of librarians or faculty.

The University of Notre Dame wanted to replace their access to 800 Springer subscriptions.  They started with an unsuccessful PPV experience with Ebsco EJS, which dropped the option before they could acquire it.  Notre Dame then chose a pilot project with Infotrieve.  The article discovery was done through A&I databases instead of through a browse mechanism and this decreased usage.  Registration to obtain articles was cumbersome and the shopping cart appearance confused users.  75% of the library’s users gave up or had incomplete transactions.  Notre Dame later canceled this project and chose to resubscribe to their Springer package.

The University of Texas had an unsuccessful project with Ingenta.  There were fewer journal titles available than had been advertised.  The shopping cart appearance was never fixed and users had to get through five clickthroughs to get to the article.  The statistics module showed multiple failed deliveries for which the library was charged.  The product did not block users from subscribed content, the article cost was higher than advertised, and support queries were not answered promptly.

The University of Texas had a successful project for a collection of 300,000 e-books with EBL.  The deal was customized to allow three rental views of the book for 5 to 10% of the list price.  Upon the fourth “view” request, a purchase of the e-book was generated for the full list price.  EBL provided brief MARC records for rentals, and full MARC records for purchased books.  The estimated cost per use was $4 (as compared to an estimated $28 cost per use for print titles).


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