Re: subscription agent service fees question-online journal subscription Elizabeth Lorbeer 29 Jun 2005 17:07 UTC

My library uses Ebsco to order our electronic journals.  Like you, I share
the dislike for the $10 per title service charge.  In 2004, we purchased
the LWW Total Collection, composed of 234 titles, and paid $10 for each
title in the bundle.  Right now we most likely pay about $3,000 to $4,000
in title charges.

What's happening is that the publisher is no longer cutting a share to the
agent like before with print orders.  It's unfair to the agent who has
historically brought a steady stream of customers to the publisher.  I
encourage agents and publishers to sit down and broker a deal that allows
the agent to recoup their commission.  It's too tempting for the customer
to leave the agent and buy directly from the publisher.

I strongly believe in using a subscription agent and supporting the
practices of the ASA (  Rollo Turner
wrote an excellent article two years ago on the value of using an agent.
The agent provides many services which I am not equipped to handle.
Further, when an electronic journal is not working, or the publisher has
failed to apply payment for a renewal, all I have to do is call my agent,
and this matter is taken care of in a matter of hours.   They have the
contacts, the power, and knowledge to keep my collection electrified.

A word to the wise: If the decision is to remove substantial amount of
business from the agent, you can expect your annual service charge to rise
on the rest of the subscriptions they order on your behalf.  Though the per
title charge may seem excessive, weight it against an increase in annual
service charge.

Liz Lorbeer

Elizabeth Lorbeer; EdM, MLS
Collection Development Manager
Rush University Medical Center
Armour Academic Facility, 5th Floor
600 South Paulina Street
Chicago, IL 60612-3832
Phone: (312) 942-2282
Fax: (312) 942-3143

Date:    Tue, 28 Jun 2005 12:34:03 -0400
From:    Tian Zhang <ZHANGT@STJOHNS.EDU>
Subject: Re: subscription agent service fees question-online journal

We use Ebsco since 2002. Their service is good. Instead of the service
fee, Ebsco also charge $10 per title if the publisher does not give them
commission for that title.

But I have a question: right now, we subscribe more and more e-journals,
and usually, I have to sign the license agreement with the publisher
directly. Also I have to activate the journal by IP address and then put
the URLs to our catalog records for our library users. As online
journal, our library do not need to make claims. And most of the time, I
subscribe the journals by packages with the publisher if it is
available. And I want to subscribe these titles directly through
publisher and withdraw them from any agent by spending service fees.
What are your opinions about it?

Tian Zhang
Serials Librarian
St. John's University Library