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JISC Collections 2010 Conference and AGM

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On Monday we held our annual conference and AGM. The conference kicked off with David House, Chair of JISC Collections highlighting the challenges our members face in light of the funding cuts and the impending increase in student fees. The need to work collaboratively and demonstrate value is more acute than ever before.

Lorraine Estelle, in her Directors Report, presented the work of JISC Collections over the past year focusing on the value and efficiency that our members and publishers achieve through our shared service. Lorraine used an example of the costs of negotiation and licensing of a recent A & I agreement. The estimated cost to JISC Collections for negotiating the license agreement on behalf of all the subscribers (130) is around £2.5k. If all 130 institutions were to do the same it would cost in the region of £300k. Acting centrally saves our members time, money and avoids the duplication of effort. But not only do we bring value to institutions, publishers also benefit from our invoicing service. Lorraine suggested that as the most conservative estimate, the cost to the publisher of negotiation and licensing with 130 institutions would be 12 times higher than it is in dealing with JISC Collections.

Lorraine picked up on a point from Derk Haank that consortia members are not homogenous and therefore organisations such as JISC Collections do not always work in the interests of all the members. Lorraine addressed this point by showing how over the last year surveys, meetings with individual libraries and key groups, re-formatting of working groups and collecting data on the Nesli2 requirements have helped us ensure that we are not a blunt instrument but working to meet the needs of all the organisations we serve.

The presentation from Lorraine wrapped up by highlighting some of the key developments for next year, including the launch of the Journals Usage Statistics Portal (JUSP), the licensing comparison and analysis tool and the three new platforms – historic books, journal archives and mediahub. All of these services, combined with our core service of negotiating and licensing, show how we are working to provide our community with effective ways to manage content acquisition, licensing and exploit content purchased to its full potential.

On the theme of collaboration, Ann Rossiter, gave her first major talk as the new Executive Director of SCONUL. It was an excellent presentation and we have recorded Ann's talk for you all to view:

Ann spoke of her past roles and what she hopes to bring to SCONUL and its members. Ann thanked JISC Collections for its work, noting that one SCONUL member has said that if JISC Collections didn't exist you would have to invent them. The relationship between public and private was central to her talk. Public private partnerships need to be based on cost sharing and risk sharing, with all partners benefiting. Ann suggested that in the current scholarly environment, it is not clear that these costs are being shared on the basis of the value brought to the table. Publishers, Ann suggested, risk being disintermediated and need to look for new models which reflect more closely the value brought by the partners to the table.

Ann made specific reference to the recent Times Higher piece on the value UK HE brings to scholarly communications through peer review saying that the response of the Publishers Association, that libraries should cut staff to be able to afford the increasing costs in journals, showed a real lack of understanding. Ann invited Graham Taylor to come and see some of her members' libraries and engage with them.

Ann also talked about the hike in student fees and the importance of developing a detailed understanding of the relationship between the nature of the student body; student satisfaction and student outcomes, and the way in which those factors drive the reputation of the university. Certainly there was plenty for everyone present to think about and we hope that Graham takes up Ann’s invitation.

The conference ended with an interview session hosted by Paul Harwood, deputy CEO of JISC Collections. Entitled 'the sum of the parts', Paul invited staff, such as myself, to join him on stage and interviewed us about the licensing activities and projects we are involved in. Anna Vernon and myself kicked off the first session talking about e-books in HE and FE and our new projects, e-books for FE phase 2 and OAPEN-UK. Liam Earney and Carolyn Alderson were then interview about NESLi2, JUSP, the licensing comparison tool and how we ensure that we tailor our licensing agreements to the needs of individual institutions whilst retaining simplicity and UK-wide efficiencies.

If you want a quick overview of our activities, please view our Annual Review which also details our financial accounts which were presented during the AGM section of the conference.
All in all, a good conference and we thoroughly enjoyed having the chance to catch up with our members and publishers during the lunch.

We hope that you enjoyed it too.

On Monday we held our annual conference and agm. The conference kicked off with David House, Chair of JISC Collections highlighting the challenges our members face in light of the funding cuts and the impending increase in student fees. The need to work collaboratively and demonstrate value is more acute than ever before.

Lorraine Estelle, in her Directors Report [link to her presentation here] presented the work of JISC Collections over the past year focusing on the value and efficiency that our members and publishers achieve through our shared service. Lorraine used an example of the costs of negotiation and licensing of a recent A & I agreement. The estimated cost to JISC Collections for negotiating the license agreement on behalf of all the subscribers (130) is around £2.5k. If all 130 institutions were to do the same it would cost in the region of £300k. Acting centrally saves our members time, money and avoids the duplication of effort. But not only do we bring value to institutions, publishers also benefit from our invoicing service. Lorraine suggested that as the most conservative estimate, the cost to the publisher of negotiation and licensing with 130 institutions would be 12 times higher than it is in dealing with JISC Collections.

Lorraine picked up on a point from Derk Haank that consortia members are not homogenous and therefore organisations such as JISC Collections do not always work in the interests of all the members. Lorraine addressed this point by showing how over the last year surveys, meetings with individual libraries and key groups, re-formatting of working groups and collecting data on the Nesli2 requirements have helped us ensure that we are not a blunt instrument but working to meet the needs of all the organisations we serve.

The presentation from Lorraine wrapped up by highlighting some of the key developments for next year, including the launch of the Journals Usage Statistics Portal (JUSP) [insert link], the licensing comparison and analysis tool and the three new platforms – historic books, journal archives and mediahub. All of these services combined with our core service of negotiating and licensing show how we are working to provide our community with effective ways to manage content acquisition, licensing and exploit content purchased to its full potential.

On the theme of collaboration, Ann Rossiter, gave her first major talk as the new Executive Director of SCONUL. It was an excellent presentation and we have recorded Ann’s talk for you all to view [embed links here].
Ann spoke of her past roles and what she hopes to bring to SCONUL and its members. Ann thanked JISC Collections for its work, noting that one SCONUL member has said that if JISC Collections didn’t exist you would have to invent them. The relationship between public and private was central to her talk. Public private partnerships need to be based on cost sharing and risk sharing, with all partners benefiting. Ann suggested that in the current scholarly environment, it is not clear that these costs are being shared on the basis of the value brought to the table. Publishers, Ann suggested, risk being disintermediated and need to look for new models which reflect more closely the value brought by the partners to the table.

Ann made specific reference to the recent Times Higher piece [http://www.timeshighereducation.co.uk/story.asp?storycode=414106] on the value UK HE brings to scholarly communications through peer review saying that the response of the Publishers Association, that libraries’ should cut staff to be able to afford the increasing costs in journals, showed a real lack of understanding. Ann invited Graham Taylor to come and see some of her members’ libraries and engage with them.

Ann also talked about the hike in student fees and the importance of developing a detailed understanding of the relationship between the nature of the student body; student satisfaction and student outcomes, and the way in which those factors drive the reputation of the university. Certainly there was plenty for everyone present to think about and we hope that Graham takes up Ann’s invitation.

The conference ended with an interview session hosted by Paul Harwood, deputy CEO of JISC Collections. Entitled ‘the sum of the parts’, Paul invited staff, such as myself to join him on stage and interviewed us about the licensing activities and projects we are involved in. Anna Vernon and myself kicked off the first session talking about e-books in HE and FE and our new projects, e-books for FE phase 2 and OAPEN-UK. Liam Earney and Carolyn Alderson were then interview about NESLi2, JUSP, the licensing comparison tool and how we ensure that we tailor our licensing agreements to needs individual institutions whilst retaining simplicity and UK wide efficiencies.

If you want a quick overview of our activities, please view our Annual Review [http://www.jisc-collections.ac.uk/Publications/Annual-Review-2009-2010/] which also details our financial accounts which were presented during the AGM section of the conference.
All in all, a good conference and we thoroughly enjoyed having the chance to catch up with our members and publishers during the lunch.
We hope that you enjoyed it too.

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