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Re: using agents for electronic subscriptions Sally Morris 05 Sep 2003 11:51 UTC

While I am no longer a working publisher myself, I was one for many years
and so can perhaps speak from personal experience as well as on behalf of
our members

In my opinion, it is helpful to the publisher as well as to the library to
work through subscription agents.   It is costly and time-consuming to deal
with each individual library, just as it is for libraries to deal with each
individual publisher.   It is complex to have to deal with customers who
want to transact in many different currencies, whereas the single
transaction through an agent will be all in one currency, usually the
publisher's own (again, the same applies for libraries).   It is
time-consuming to deal with claims individually, particularly when many of
these may be simply be premature or due to late publication (which can be
communicated, once, to agents).

The largest publishers may feel that it is worth having their own
infrastructure to deal with all these issues.  For the small to medium
publisher (the substantial majority of publishers) this is very unlikely to
be the case.


Sally Morris, Secretary-General
Association of Learned and Professional Society Publishers
South House, The Street, Clapham, Worthing, West Sussex BN13 3UU, UK

Phone:  01903 871686 Fax:  01903 871457 E-mail:
ALPSP Website

----- Original Message -----
From: "Lauren Corbett" <lcorbet@EMORY.EDU>
Sent: Saturday, August 30, 2003 12:10 AM
Subject: using agents for electronic subscriptions

> I've started shifting more of my electronic subscription business to an
> agent, including billing for a couple of consortial purchases.  While
> it's not yet as smooth of an ordering process for me as it is with the
> print subscriptions, my volume is growing to the point where I feel the
> benefits will outweigh the hiccups in the process.  I haven't been
> through a renewal yet with my agent, but I know I can't keep handling so
> many direct subscription renewals and I want the reports that I get from
> my agent.
> Also some publishers have notified me this month of the introduction of
> penalties for late payments, by fees or a shutdown.  This seems less
> likely to be a problem if I've paid my agent, rather than having an
> invoice passing through the library, the university accounts payable,
> and a third party or central state office cutting checks.
> For those substituting electronic for print subscriptions, continuing to
> use an agent can keep service charges level.
> Overall, I believe the core reasons for using agents apply to the
> electronic subscriptions as well as the print.  And I believe this to be
> true for not only the libraries, but the publishers too.  Are there
> publishers on the list who would agree with me?
> --
> Lauren Corbett
> Acquisitions Team Leader &
> Interim Division Leader for Information Resources
> Emory University -- Woodruff Library
> ph: 404 712 1818
> fax: 404 727 0408