Home 9 Against the Grain 9 v27 #5 STL and Emerging eBook Business Models

v27 #5 STL and Emerging eBook Business Models

by | Dec 7, 2015 | 0 comments

by Rebecca Seger  (Senior Director, Institutional Sales, Oxford University Press)

and Lenny Allen  (Director, Institutional Accounts, Oxford University Press)

Late last year, when Katina approached us about the possibility of editing an issued of ATG dedicated to STL, our first thought was “What will there be left to talk about by November of 2015?  Won’t we all have moved on by then?”  Well, the short answer is “no.”  We haven’t entirely moved on, and the sea of scholarly communications, the one in which we all swim, continues to be roiled by Short-Term Loans (STL) and other evolving and emerging business models for digital monographs, not to mention all the other formats that are equally important but outside of our immediate scope here.

We are all of us living through an era in which the advent of digital everything is producing enormous disruption in many areas.  The taxi drivers protesting Uber are today’s Luddites, smashing the equipment not because they are inherently anti-technology but because they are, as the Luddites were before them, afraid of losing their livelihoods.  STL and other new models are disrupters, and we, together, both publisher and librarian, need to be prepared for and to accept this as an ongoing feature of our landscape.  And, equally important, to consider the impact on the authors and faculty we both serve.

We believe that we will continue to see new models come and go and that this iterative cycle of acceptance and rejection is something we need to learn to live with.  Perhaps journals, so much farther ahead than eBooks in staking out the digital territory, offer an analogy for us to consider.  The big deal was considered by almost all, and for some time, to actually be a good deal as well until, for some institutions,  it wasn’t, as the journal-publishing world contracted and the size of the deals swelled.  And, in this case, it was the market that decided it simply wasn’t sustainable.

We need to be realistic about what is possible, and we need to keep an open mind.  What we don’t want is to simply carry on with print models in digital as if they are one and the same.  We have just begun to scratch the surface of what is possible in a digital environment for all forms of scholarly communication, and certainly new models and new modes of accessibility will come along that we have not even thought of yet.

In addition to publisher views on demand-driven acquisition models like STL and its impact on the current scholarly publishing business model, we have the consortia perspective provided by Kathi Fountain, Collection Services Program Manager of the Orbis Cascade Alliance.  The Alliance was an early adopter of STL as a model at the consortial level, and Kathi explains more about their original implementation as well as how they adapted to rate changes and how metrics are changing the nature of librarianship in the digital era.

Michael Zeoli, Vice President, Content Development and Partner Relations at YBP, shares his view, backed by compelling data, of how DDA and STL are impacting the scholarly ecosystem.  Michael Levine-Clark, Professor/Associate Dean for Scholarly Communications and Collections Services, University of Denver Libraries, takes us forward to Evidence-based Acquisitions, how this newer model works and, more specifically, how the University of Denver is implementing this model.

Jason Price, Director Licensing Operations at SCELC Library Consortium, and Maria Savova, Director of Information Resources and Systems at Claremont Colleges Library, have graciously agreed to cover one of the high-level topics we feel is critical to an understanding of STL and other non-standard PA models, Access vs. Ownership.

And we’re especially grateful to Kari Paulson for agreeing to be interviewed on STL and how she sees this model, and other emerging eBook models, within the framework of current library budgets and the ever increasing demand for data as an acquisitions driver.



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