Monday, April 12, 2010

What can be done about The Big Deal?

Jill-Taylor Roe of Newcastle University led a breakout discussion entitled "Is the party really over now? Perceptions of the Big Deal one year on". Unfortunately I joined toward the end but did just catch this summary question: What one thing could be changed to solve the issues associated with the Big Deal? Many representatives from both library, agent, and publisher sides contributed to form the following answers:

• UK libraries should come together and actually negotiate with publishers as a national consortium. Scotland do have SHEDL which has been very successful and could be expanded to cover the rest of the UK.
• Perhaps move away from a subscription model and look at more of a doc delivery model. Sums would have to stack up but it’s not ruled out.
• Why is there a tax on digital information but not on print? We could stand together - publishers and libraries - to lobby the government to reduce tax.
• Usage-based pricing is not used enough but it’s very staff intensive to really analyse the data. Something for the wish-list.
• Librarians should just say no to big deals, be business negotiators and not just content collectors.

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