Outsourcing-VINE.doc

Developing a framework for purchasing and licensing

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Developing a framework for purchasing and licensing of electronic information Electronic information services and products are different in many respects from information systems purchases which are concerned to a greater extent with hardware and software support, although the problem of archiving means that hardware and software considerations do have to be included. As with information systems in general: library and information service managers are subject to o political influences (e.g. widening participation agendas may increase pressures for educational institutions to buy resources that can be networked for offcampus use) o external stakeholders (advisory or standard-setting bodies, for example) o internal constraints (a major difficulty with devolved budgeting) senior officials may assume that licensing deals and collaborative purchasing saves money (but take less account of the time required to arrange, monitor and evaluate the arrangements), as well as space, if electronic resources are purchased rather than print) public sector organisations in LIS can and do form consortia. The PURCEL report(Education for Change Ltd for PURCEL consortium, 2000) identified the following issues at workshop discussions on purchasing and licensing of electronic resources in the higher education sector: HE sector wide issues (institutional missions and strategies, cultures of funding) Budgets, costs and value (attributing costs to devolved budgets, estimating and forecasting budgets for electronic resources, the year-end factor) Collection development policies (to be led by content or driven by format?) Pre-purchase evaluation Purchase decision making processes (who should be involved, complexity of deals, time factors) Post-purchase evaluation Licensing (failure to comply with model licence, bundling/unbundling of electronic and print) Role and tasks of the library staff (and to this should be added the role and tasks of the IT staff).
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Many of these problems are ongoing and the JUSTEIS (Urquhart, 2002) report confirms the seemingly intractable nature of problems concerned with the publisher pricing models, site licences and digital preservation and archiving, with local collaboration and consortia dealing possibly detrimental to national deals. Using the interaction model outlined above ((Kern & Willcocks, 2000), many of the difficulties between client (library/purchasing consortium) and the supplier (publisher) have focused on the product/service exchange (debates about bundling, unbundling and preservation) financial exchange (pricing models for electronic resources) service enforcement and monitoring (debates on standards for usage statistics). Some, emphasis is apparent for: communication/information exchange cultural adaptation investments in resources, knowledge and time although the concerns are often limited at this stage to the actual licensing arrangements, and often on the relationships within the consortia, and there has been less time to evaluate the impact on the users in higher and further education institutions.
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