Bargain hunting Sarah D. Tusa 29 Nov 2007 21:00 UTC
In response to Jaime's question, it seems to me it would depend on how many subscriptions you are looking to switch from vendor to direct-apply. We have kept a handful of titles as direct-applies for many years precisely because it is substantially cheaper to get those particular titles directly from the publisher. Also, if your institution allows multiple-year purchases, you can get pretty good deals on 3-year subscriptions for some, as you mentioned. (At another library where I worked many years ago, we entered a 3-year subscription to Wall Street Journal for the Business Library because of the savings.) For most print subscriptions, I believe it is still more economical in the long run to use a vendor. The Accounts Payable office on our campus is sorely understaffed, and I hate to imagine what would happen to our subscriptions if we sent over 800-900 invoices (even after we canceled $70,000-worth of subscriptions) instead of 15-20 per year for our renewals! The fact that many of our journals are from the same handful of major publishers would keep that number down somewhat, but it would still be a nightmare for them and a huge headache for us in the library. We've always been in favor of economizing where we can. Hence, if a journal is significantly less expensive if purchased directly from the publisher, I say GO FOR IT! You can probably determine where the point of diminishing returns fairly easily, based on your total number of subscriptions and the paperwork that is involved. We seem to be going in the opposite direction with electronic journals. Partially because of consortia agreements, we seem to be reverting to paying each separate publisher for its respective bundle of e-journals (e.g, Elsevier, Sage, etc.), but maybe there will be more time-saving consolidation down the road. I fear the biggest stumbling block will be the individual license agreements, but now I'm straying from the original topic, which means it's time for me to get back to my other duties as assigned. Good luck! Sarah Tusa Coordinator of Collection Development & Acquisitions Mary & John Gray Library Lamar University Beaumont, TX ________________________________________________________________________ ______ "I'm drowning here, and you're describing the water!" -- Jack Nicholson, in "As Good as It Gets"