Re: Direct subscription Susan Andrews 13 Jan 2003 17:57 UTC

There are a couple of other factors that you did not mention.  The
paperwork is/can be immense and you will need documentation for those times
when you need to supply proof to the publisher that you actually did pay
(you will also need things like membership numbers, etc.).  Plus, for
regular claims, the time may not make an immense difference, but for
problem claims, there will be the additional time spent phoning and writing
and arguing that you really are due that last volume/issue/whatever (and
these are the things that I really pay the vendor to do - not having the
hassle, nor spending the large amount of time on these problems).  Not
mention tracking down publishers that have moved, merged, and so on.  Also,
it can be much easier to miss a renewal notice, since publishers constantly
send renewal notices, whether you are currently renewed and the
subscription is not up for 10 months or not.  That last problem, by the
way, is where I would have a problem with not claiming when ordering
direct.  With a vendor, you only have a small percentage of items slip
through the cracks (hopefully nothing that you will sorely regret and have
to pay twice for later), but when you order direct, that percentage can
easily go up.   I think that in the long run, you will be surprised at how
much more labor intensive (not to mention aggravating) ordering direct will

Good luck,

Susan Andrews

Susan Andrews
Head, Serials Librarian
Texas A&M University-Commerce
P.O. Box 3011
Commerce, TX 75429-3011
"Your Success Is Our Business"

  At 10:42 AM 1/13/2003 -0600, you wrote:
>These are my thoughts on the question of direct journal subscription.
>Please excuse dual postings but I would like other opinions.
>After the Divine debacle, I am considering direct subscription. There was
>a posting on SERIALST several weeks ago about this very topic, and I take
>it that most replies to that email discouraged the practice as being too
>time-consuming and expensive.
>I am not convinced, however, that direct subscription is totally out of
>the question. Here are my answers to some objections raised.
>Too expensive as many checks will have to be cut--Using a credit card will
>eliminate the number of checks.
>Too time-consuming to follow-up claims--We have to call the vendor about
>claims anyway. We can submit our claims requests electronically but WE are
>the ones who have to keep track of the missing issues, and call.
>Too time-consuming to subscribe to each journal--This is true but we
>subscribe to many journals issued by the same publisher, so we could batch
>the request.
>Cost--Serials subscription agencies do add to the cost of the
>subscription, so I suspect that with staff time now devoted to these
>tasks, we may break even if we're lucky.
>The Divine situation has an impact on everyone. We are not able to pay
>double for a lot of our subscriptions, so we lose by not providing our
>patrons with journals. The publishers lose because we will not renew. The
>subscription vendors lose because trust has been evaporated, and I
>personally will think hard about the next vendor, if any, I go to.
>My thoughts.
>Jacqueline Snider
>ACT Information Resource Center
>2201 N. Dodge Street
>Iowa City, IA 52243-0158
>Voice: 319-337-1165
>Fax: 319-339-3021