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Minutes, January 16, 2014

Monarch Conference Center
Clackamas, Oregon


Working group members present: Jim Bunnelle, Linda Di Biase (chair), Kathi Fountain (alliance staff), Sara Seely, Nancy Sprague (afternoon note-taker), Joanne Percy, Serin Anderson (morning note-taker)

Guests: Joan Thompson and John Elliot from YBP; Neil Sorenson from ebrary/Proquest and Alison Bobal from EBL joined the meeting at 11:30 am

Morning Sessions

Adding titles/publishers to our current DDA (Joan, YBP)

The list of potential publishers to add includes:  John Benjamins, McFarland, McGraw-Hill, Morgan & Claypool, NY University Press, UC Press, U of Minn Press, and World Bank.  The McGraw Hill content for the most part is not profiled in Gobi and includes a substantial amount of popular material that would have been screened out anyway, while remaining publishers match well with our existing profile.

There was some concern voiced about duplicating material owned by some institutions.  Examples listed were NY University Press and UC Press which both have coverage in Project Muse books (100% for NY Univ Press and 33% of the UC Press collection).  Many institutions also have standing orders for World Bank titles.  Others voiced a need for overall consortial access.

Kathi Fountain worked with EBL to look at what our options might be given our current spending.  
  • Could potentially add everything, but we might run into spending problems.
  • If we want to be more conservative (looking at an approximate 1000 - 1500 record load)  we would be loading about half of the titles with date coverage from 2010-2014.
  • Joan did add that we could load a specific set of titles, but generally once a publisher is added to the profile, they typically stay in.
Decision was made to move forward with adding the following publishers from 2012 on:
  • John Benjamins
  • McFarland
  • Morgan & Claypool
  • NY University Press
  • UC Press
  • University of Minnesota Press
McGraw Hill and World Bank are not being added at this time, although World Bank would be at the top of the list for future consideration.

Joan said there should be a turnaround on getting things loaded of approximately two to two and a half weeks if it’s submitted by next week.  New additions in Gobi will show up as “probable DDA”.
  • ACTION:  Joan will let Kathi know when the books will be in.
  • ACTION:  Kathi will make an announcement to ebook liaisons about additional publishers and content being added.  The announcement will include info on why McGraw Hill is not included.

State of the ebook industry, consortial programs (John, YBP)

There has been a significant growth for DDA in libraries and there is real concern from publishers.  Publishers in general don’t really understand DDA or STL like the aggregators, etc.  This is particularly true of university presses - they have concerns about the model.  YBP, as a vendor neutral aggregator selling both print and ebooks, are seeing a decline in print firm orders and approvals (early on this was partially offset by comparably more expensive ebook sales) particularly within the last two years with the growth of DDA and STLs.  The publishers are beginning to see that DDA and STLs are starting to have an impact on their sales.  Librarians at conferences are talking about how much money they are saving and publishers in the audience are listening.

Three strategies that publishers are starting to consider:

  • Higher than the current average % for STLs (something like 30% rather than 15%) in order to get a handle on the diminishing revenue.

  • Embargo front list titles while back list would be available for DDA (there is definitely more content being embargoed in general).

  • Tweaking the trigger.  They may take away the ability to flex the trigger throughout a program.  It gives them at least some measure of predictability.

Use based models like NovaNet are being tested.  Initial reaction from publishers has been positive, but there isn’t much data yet.   In terms of publishing output, publishers are sometimes splitting titles into multiple entries/more content as another strategy.  Through the first half of this year, YBP has handled an additional 1000 titles.  In terms of books with an ebook equivalent - there is growth in concurrent publishing - now 41% of titles are coming out with concurrent e to p.  54% of the top 25 publishers have concurrent e to p (growth of about 5% in total).  Some traditional publishers like Oxford are becoming not only publishers but aggregators with their own platform.  Small publishers are moving into ebooks by using a third party to publish (Edward Elgar is an example).

Future collection analysis options from Baker & Taylor (John, YBP)

YBP is developing a new collection analysis product called Gobi Analytics – it’s based on the Baker and Taylor product Collection HQ primarily used by public libraries.  It’s expected to launch in the latter half of 2014.  It allows libraries to look at what they have, how it’s been used and compare that data to current profiles.  There is a monthly feed for circ data and libraries would have access to collection data at any given time (other than on a project basis).  The CHQ product can/does pull in usage data from the aggregators (for example for ebooks).

Kathi noted that Alma may fulfill at least some of that functionality with the analytics although that wouldn’t include info on what’s available for purchase.  Would GobiAnalytics help with figuring out all the information on what books are available on different platforms, DDA, firm order only, etc?  John said that it is definitely being designed to do just that (with the new data in GobiTween).

When asked if this would be a fee based service, John said that it would ultimately be a fee based service, but if the alliance “helped” develop the product, we wouldn’t pay until the product was solidly developed.   John said that the basic version will come out for the non-consortial customer in 2014, and the helpers would be providing feedback for version 1.2

It was commented that the CDMC steering team needs to be brought in.  Kathi noted that the hope is that Alma will provide access to older circa data, but this product might be a conceivable backup to that option.

Plan for spending money at end of FY if we have it (Alison, EBL)

Last year we thought we were going to underspend, so Alison had done an analysis of titles that had been used for x# of libraries, but there’s a fair bit of manual analysis.  Starting in April or early May, Alison can start pulling that data together, but we would need to give her a little bit of lead time.  The data is pretty changeable, but she can give price cut-offs.  She just needs time and parameters.  Last time the analysis was done, the parameter was set for titles that were triggered by at least three libraries.  

Alternatives:  take the left over money and test a different model or step down our trigger from the current 15.  Comment that we may want to maintain our trigger for the sake of consistent data.

We’ll also need to watch the spend based on adding the new publishers/titles.

Report/recommendation on funding formula change (Kathi)

The sub-group working on the funding formula options added in a “use” metric in all models where use is counted as any interaction with a title (including browse).  Guiding principles included making sure the invoices didn’t see drastic changes and achieving some measure of improvement in equity based on cost per use.

Everyone was in agreement that Option B was the option to move forward.  It introduced use as a component and slightly reduced the equal split in order to reduce some pressure on very small libraries where DDA may comprise a significant percentage of their monograph budget.  The breakdown for Option B was 35% FTE, 25% equal split, 30% materials budget and 10% use.

Afternoon Sessions

Update on publisher discussions for limited use model and EBL proposal on alternative approach (Neil, ProQuest)

So far little progress has been made in discussions with publishers on the limited use model, and data are not yet available on limited use model projects such as NovaNet and CARLI. Neil presented an alternative approach to consortial DDA recently proposed by David Swords for the Alliance. This new approach, the Higher-Priced Book DDA, is based on the idea that consortial DDA may be less about the choice of the right model and more about filling in gaps.  The proposal suggests that the Alliance investigate the option of focusing on higher-priced books (over $300) for the ebook program. Higher-priced books from all publishers in EBL’s database would be available. When any one library purchases a higher-priced book, all libraries would keep access by way of STLs. Potential advantages: publisher’s permission would not be needed if only one library purchases the book; it would overcome the high cost of owning books in the multiplier models; and it could provide access to more unique, esoteric books that many libraries could not afford. Numerous questions were raised about this proposed option.

Discussion/decision on which model to recommend for FY 2015 program

We agreed to hold off on decisions regarding changing the model to allow more time to work with publishers and investigate other alternatives once more specific data are available. Ideally we would like to move to a more accurate way of paying for content that gets used, while providing shared ebooks that would be of beneficial to all libraries. We discussed the need to re-examine our goals for the ebooks program and what would help us meet these goals. Do we want to look at gaps in the collections where there’s no coverage? YBP data may be able to help identify gaps. Would it be helpful to look at Summit loan data? What are we shipping around? What’s in demand in print? Are these titles likely to be useful as shared ebooks? The upcoming discussion on “One Collection” at the March meeting may also help inform how we proceed.

ProQuest Title Matching Project Proposal (Neil, ProQuest)

Neil provided a description of Title Matching Fast, ProQuest’s collection analysis tool that incorporates the Bowker database of ISBNs. He gave examples of two libraries (UNLV and University of Nebraska, Lincoln) that have used this tool to evaluate their collections to discover overlap with ebook collections, to save space, and to compare their collections with lists of high use titles. Potential uses of the title matching project for the Alliance include looking at collections from a consortial view as well as by the individual libraries. Each library would need to provide a list of their ISBNs which would be matched with Bowker data and could also be compared with ebrary data. This free analysis would provide a snapshot of what we all have and might allow for subject analysis and identification of gaps in our collections.

Discussion/decision on TMP proposal

Everyone agreed that now is not the best time to proceed with the title matching project, so we will hold off on this for now.  After the transition to Alma is complete we can investigate options for pulling out ISBN’s for all Alliance libraries, re-evaluate what our collection analysis goals are, and discuss further the title matching tool options.

Report to Board/Council

Linda offered to work on writing a draft of the report for the Board and Council meetings, with Tom contributing the Technical Issues section, and the Funding Formula team assisting with the Funding recommendations. The Value section will include information on the new publishers being added. Kathi volunteered to compile the statistical data for the appendices to be consistent with previous reports. Everyone on the EWG will have a chance to review and comment on the report before the meetings. Linda will present the recommendations at the Board meeting on February 28 and Jim offered to attend the March 13 Council meeting.

All agreed it would be useful to continue the annual ebook survey and include the survey results in the report. We discussed the survey questions and removed those that were no longer relevant. Kathi will draft a new question regarding the importance of shared ownership vs. shared access. She’ll make the revisions to the survey and send it out using Survey Monkey, hopefully by January 22, with a due date of two weeks, so survey results can be included in the report.

FAQ updates

Jim removed out-of-date information from the FAQ and updated several sections. The Cataloging and Resource  Discovery section of the FAQ still needs some revisions regarding Alma and technical workflow changes. Tom will be asked to draft a few questions and answers to cover these changes.
Walk-in access

The FAQ includes a question about walk-in access, which is currently not provided. Several libraries have had requests for EBL access from walk-in users, so Kathi offered to follow-up with EBL about this issue. Potential options include a guest login or a script for by-pass for walk-in users. If it’s technically feasible, providing walk-in access would have a positive effect for public services. Since the number of walk-in users is quite low, it was felt this change would have a small impact on costs for the DDA program.

The meeting adjourned at 3:30 pm.