Column Editors: Ramune K. Kubilius (Galter Health Sciences Library & Learning Center, Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine)
and Sever Bordeianu (Head, Print Resources Section, University Libraries, MSC05 3020, 1 University of New Mexico, Albuquerque, NM 87131-0001; Phone: 505-277-2645; Fax: 505-277-9813)
Issues in Book and Serial Acquisition, “Oh, Wind, if Winter comes, can Spring be far behind?” Charleston Gaillard Center, Francis Marion Hotel, Embassy Suites Historic Downtown, and Courtyard Marriott Historic District — Charleston, SC, November 5-9, 2018
Charleston Conference Reports compiled by Ramune K. Kubilius (Galter Health Sciences Library & Learning Center, Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine)
Column Editor’s Note: Thanks to all of the Charleston Conference attendees who agreed to write short reports highlighting sessions they attended at the 2018 Charleston Conference. Attempts were made to provide a broad coverage of sessions, but there are always more sessions than there are reporters. Some presenters posted their slides and handouts in the online conference schedule. Please visit the conference site, http://www.charlestonlibraryconference.com/, and link to selected videos, interviews, as well as to blog reports written by Charleston Conference blogger, Donald Hawkins. The 2018 Charleston Conference Proceedings will be published in 2019, in partnership with Purdue University Press: http://www.thepress.purdue.edu/series/charleston.
In this issue of ATG you will find the second installment of 2018 conference reports. The first installment can be found in ATG v.31#1, February 2019. We will continue to publish all of the reports received in upcoming print issues throughout the year. — RKK
WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 7, 2018
(continued from previous installment)
MORNING CONCURRENT SESSIONS
Let the Winds of Change Carry Us Forward: Measuring Diversity and Other Multidisciplinary Subjects in the Collection — Presented by Sue Phelps (Washington State University, Vancouver) and Julia Proctor (Penn State University) — https://sched.co/GB3M
Reported by Rebecca M. Imamoto (University of California, Irvine)
In the session, Phelps looked at African American Studies, while Proctor examined LBGTQ Studies. They set out to answer questions such as: do their collections adequately reflect the appropriate research level for their institution, and/or do they compare favorably to peer institutions. The conclusion reached was that assessing a certain subject’s coverage requires a multi-prong approach and the use of different metrics. These types of in-depth assessments take time and are difficult if funds aren’t available for commercial products. However, they are worthwhile in providing some answers as to whether a collection reflects the diversity of a campus population and the disciplines studied.
Measuring the Scholarly Impact of Newspaper Sources in Research — Presented by Eric T. Meyer (University of Texas at Austin) — https://sched.co/GB3M
Reported by Amy Lewontin (Snell Library Northeastern University)
Meyer presented work done prior to his arrival at UT Austin (where he is Dean and Professor at the School of Information), and was done while he was a Professor of Social Informatics at University of Oxford. He noted that his consulting work on newspaper citation analysis was funded by ProQuest. The object of his well-researched study was to better understand the importance of what he referred to as “prominent newspapers” in scholarly articles and to identify trends across newspapers as well as subject disciplines. The newspapers under analysis (years 2000-2017) included the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, the Washington Post and the Guardian. The full text of Professor Meyer’s study is available through the Social Science Research Network here: https://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=3194632.
Based on a citation analysis of newspapers in academic studies across all subject disciplines, over nearly two decades, Meyer saw a very steep increase in the number of citations from the newspapers in his study, across many disciplines, and from around the world. So, English language newspapers appeared to have both academic value to researchers and global reach.
The data for the study originated with Elsevier’s Scopus. The audience found certain features of Meyer’s study very interesting. He was not studying where researchers obtained the newspapers being cited, but he did note the heavy use of the Guardian, currently not behind a paywall of any kind, and the New York Times, a newspaper being used across all scholarly disciplines. Per Meyer, based on his citation analysis, upward trends showed something that was growing very, very fast. The top five disciplines making academic use of newspapers in scholarly articles are: Social Sciences, Arts and Humanities, Economics, Business and Psychology.
In answer to an audience member question about what years of the newspapers were being cited in academic research, Meyer acknowledged that the years cited by the authors was not something taken into account in this version of his study. He noted that the journals that often had heavy newspaper citations from his study were quite high impact journals, including Journal of Business Ethics and Asian Survey. The academic institutions represented by the citing authors included Columbia University, London School of Economics, King’s College, and many other large well respected universities.
Meyer summed up his research study of newspapers by saying that he saw a lot of potential for growth in the academic value of newspapers, and that the global reach of the newspapers was also increasing and appeared to be a trend that warrants further in-depth study.
Open Web Tools — Presented by Curtis Michelson (Minds Alert LLC) and Gary Price (Library Journal’s Infodocket) — https://sched.co/GB3Z
Reported by Michael Young (Homer Babbidge Library, University of Connecticut)
An intensive introduction to tools that allow searchers to find valuable content “not discoverable by Google,” this session was the most useful and informative of many high quality sessions attended by this reviewer at Charleston this year. In highly entertaining antiphonal chorus, Price and Michelson demonstrated an array of archiving repositories, discovery tools, citation managers, pedagogically efficacious apps and datasets (and much more). Just a few notable features of the tools demonstrated include a search engine for openly available content (Oasis), Web archiving tools that capture both static web pages and multi-media objects, including a new beta version of Internet Archive’s Wayback machine, and rumor trackers (Hoaxy). These web tools offer myriad enhancements, including the capability of generating graphics for embedding, page and video captures, citation tracking, and pure discovery. An advantage of many of the tools is direct access without registering or mining of the user’s data.
The session’s infographic with live links to the tools demonstrated can be found at: https://schd.ws/hosted_files/2018charlestonconference/52/Open%20Web%20Tools%20Infographic.pdf.
Strategic Restructuring: Staffing collections for an evolving scholarly landscape — Presented by Samuel Cassady (Western University), Pamela Jacobs (University of Guelph Library) and Denise Koufogiannakis (University of Alberta Libraries) — https://sched.co/GB41
Note: Denise Koufogiannakis (University of Alberta) did not present in this session.
Reported by David Gibbs (California State University, Sacramento)
Jacobs described a restructuring at the University of Guelph’s MacLaughlin Library from a liaison librarian model to a functional, centralized Information Resources Team to handle collection development. This allowed the library to take a more holistic view of collections and the collections budget, and fostered greater collaboration, trust, and collegiality among librarians. The library has moved away from title-by-title acquisition and toward evidence-based collections. They made a conscious decision to focus on the middle and end of the e-resources cycle (evaluation and review) rather than just the beginning (investigation and acquisition). Cassady described a similar shift, although Western University is at an earlier stage and experiencing greater challenges. They are attempting to be evidence-based, to rely more on demand-driven acquisitions, and to pivot from operational to strategic thinking. Challenges have included less direct interaction with end users (students and faculty), resistance on the part of some librarians to the perceived devaluing of their subject knowledge, and the difficulty of automating collections in certain professional subject areas, such as law. Due to travel delays, Koufoginnakis was unable to present, so Jacobs ran through her slides. Unlike the other two libraries, Alberta retained the liaison model but organized librarians into collections teams.
WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 7, 2018
Academic Libraries and Curriculum Collection Development — Presented by Beth Bernhardt (UNC Greensboro), Robert Boissy (Springer Nature) and Michael Levine-Clark (University of Denver) — https://sched.co/GB2u
Danielle Aloia (New York Medical College)
Traditionally, academic libraries were seen as a place for research, but today, they are becoming a place for teaching and learning. In this same vein, about 50% of librarians in the audiences have a policy of not purchasing required course textbooks. They are seen as costly and hard to keep up-to-date. According to a Springer survey (https://media.springernature.com/full/springer-cms/rest/v1/content/11018662/data/v3), eBooks are being used regardless of the policy. If they are available, they will be used. Medical texts are only 5% of the books in Springer but are downloaded the most. Movies and videos are growing in collections. Also discussed in the session was work with the school bookstore to add the library holdings to the books for purchase; one library offered mini-grants to faculty to order OER titles.
Intersectionality: How the Definition Has Evolved and How Librarians Can Support the Conversation — Presented by Sarah Howard (Princeton University), Sharon Landenson (Michigan State University), Shawn(ta) Smith-Cruz (City University of New York) and Philip Virta (Gale) — https://sched.co/GB2l
Reported by Rachel R. Newbury (Carlson Library, Clarion University of Pennsylvania)
Virta served as moderator for this interactive session which began with an overview of intersectionality and how it can be used as an analytics tool with many axes. Identities of race, gender, class and sexuality reproduce themselves and provide measurable data for narrative studies, feminist studies, and other areas of research focusing on re-centering or de-centering traditional structures. An effective and engaging part of the presentation was group discussions prompted by “Think. Pair. Share.” exercises, focused on Identities & Narrative, Benefits of Exploring Intersectionality in Instruction, and Strategies for Working Within & Resisting Existing Structural Challenges, respectively. Speakers encouraged attendees to consider who is being excluded in the creation of new scholarship, equalizing the power dynamic while being creators and not just consumers of information. Also mentioned was the importance of recognizing and calling out bias while respecting perspectives beyond the “scholarly” when engaging with intersectional texts. Library professionals need to pay attention to the classification of materials in our collections, since the terms for intersectional research are relatively new and resources are scattered throughout our collections. This session more than fulfilled expectations. Link to SLIDES: http://bit.ly/intersectionality_libraries.
A Joint Roadmap for Open Science/Scholarly Tools: Collaborating to Support Open Infrastructure — Presented by Lisa Hinchliffe (University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign), Alison McGonagle-O’Connell (Collaborative Knowledge Foundation), Travis Rich (The Knowledge Futures Group, MIT), Michael D. Roy (Middlebury College) and Dan Whaley (Hypothesis) — https://sched.co/GB2r
Note: Michael D. Roy joined the session remotely.
Reported by Ramune K. Kubilius (Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine, Galter Health Sciences Library & Learning Center)
This very full post-lunch panel consisted of five on-site speakers and one (Roy) connecting remotely, representing roadmap-minded people and organizations.
Whaley discussed the acronym, (jrost.org), and how the “S” may no longer mean “science.” Many of the new in 2018 roadmap initiative participants are non-profits with shared user stories and themes. The focus on funding is to invest in open infrastructure, but the means to sustain and fund don’t exist. There is a three-year game plan to deliver funding. The open community is controlled, with the aim to feed and incubate new funds. The aim is to staff, survey, outline funding sources, and establish governance.
Hinchliffe emphasized that she was centered on the user community: their practices needs, preferences, and beliefs. Considerations for JROST are what works is what matters, loyalty until it doesn’t work, generative of alternatives, the role of institutional policy and support. Standardize, regularize, and create at the enterprise level.
McGonagle-O’Connell highlighted COKO (Collaborative Knowledge Foundation) projects accomplished with community facilitation, including books, journals, micropubs.
Rich talked about empowering institutions to lead their knowledge ecosystems, where collaboration is permissionless. One should care about open only if it is scaleable. PubPub is open source for community publishing, Underlay is a protocol for data interoperability, Prior Art Archive is an open industry led archive used even by USPTO, and Ecosystem Map is a Mellon funded environmental scan that will be concluded Summer of 2019.
Roy talked about the Invest in Open initiative (https://scholarlycommons.net) that got started with David Lewis’ “The 2.5% Commitment.” How does higher education invest in this and what counts as the scholarly record? Roy gave context by using known entities of “Angie’s List” (for the census of infrastructure) and “Fitbit” (for the dollars invested).
In the time remaining for discussion, it was commented that the roadmap is not an end state, but a work pattern, an aspiration; it is not a prescription to what a roadmap should look like.
WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 7, 2018
AFTERNOON CONCURRENT SESSIONS
Budgets on My Mind: Changing budget allocations to meet teaching and research needs — Presented by Corey Murata (University of Washington Libraries), Denise D. Novak (Carnegie Mellon) and Denise Pan (University of Washington Libraries) — https://sched.co/GB3e
Reported by David Gibbs (California State University, Sacramento)
Both Carnegie Mellon and the University of Washington saw a need to restructure their collections budget and allocation process to better align with the evolving nature of user needs and publication patterns. Despite its stature, Carnegie Mellon is a relatively young institution and had no library until the 1960’s. It has since expanded to three libraries with a collections budget increase every year since Novak has worked there (26 years). Collections decisions are mediated by a budget committee and an Expensive Purchase Committee, which Novak says works well and is appreciated by liaisons. The library has used approval plans since the mid-1990’s and has switched some of them to e-only or e-preferred in recent years. They have recently established a Budget Re-Allocation Task Force in order to make the budget more nimble and responsive to evolving needs. At the University of Washington, Pan and Murata faced a similar need to simplify the budget, which comprised some 70 subject funds managed by 50 librarians. They carried out a survey of 91 libraries’ budget practices, the results of which are forthcoming. Half of survey participants were considering changes to their allocation method, with a typical response being “We’re getting in our own way with all these little subject funds.” Murata noted that there was no one answer or one-size-fits-all to the budget question, and that the best he can hope for is to “make everyone equally unhappy.”
Building a Narrative for Researchers Around Open Research Impact — Presented by Rachel Borchardt (American University), Mithu Lucraft (Springer Nature, moderator), Sara Rouhi (Digital Science) and David Sommer (Kudos) — https://sched.co/GB5B
Reported by Nicole Eva (University of Lethbridge)
Moderator Lucraft began the session with the general comment: open isn’t the end goal, and questions: what does open impact even mean; how is potential impact mapped; how is impact currently being assessed. Sommer offered the benefits of the Kudos platform, such as facilitating a plain language summary of your research so that it’s accessible to members of the public, can be easily disseminated through social media, and tracking metrics. Borchardt suggested “pitches” to get researchers out to OA sessions, which included selling them on the benefits of findability, increased citation impact, the “stick” of an OA policy (if applicable to one’s institution), and that of being a social good. She also suggested phrasing such sessions as “strengthen your academic profile” rather than “open access.” Rouhi cited some statistics such as: the average article takes 2.5 years to get cited, whereas an OA article takes an average of 1.5 years; and 1/3 of OA items get some kind of “attention,” which is larger than non-OA items. She also offered some tips to getting found (and cited): shorter titles, word choice in the title, and words used in the abstract to optimize search engines finding your material.
Crawling to Walking to Sitting on Clouds: The Path to Efficiency and Happiness in Acquisitions —Presented by Ann-Marie Breaux (EBSCO), Sarah Forzetting (Stanford Libraries) and James Gulvas (University of Michigan Library) — http://sched.co/GB3r
Reported by Christine Fischer (UNC Greensboro)
Presenters for this session discussed improving problematic workflows. Gulvas presented pros and cons to having separate workflows and teams for print and electronic formats. He noted the value in leveraging vendors and their services, described efficiencies in selectors submitting orders through major vendor platforms, and identified CORAL as an electronic resources management tool that they have used successfully to replace the need for numerous spreadsheets to track resources. The contribution made by paraprofessionals was emphasized by Forzetting who discussed several activities that improve transparency and demonstrate value by involving support staff in outreach, including participating in library and campus events. Quarterly meetings where staff describe workflows enable individuals to see how what they do impacts others and offer a chance to share appreciation for one another’s roles. In her remarks Breaux offered the positive view that embracing new technology can provide libraries big opportunities to improve efficiencies. In various positions during her career she has developed use cases to describe workflows and ask “why” for each step in the process with the aim of finding the most effective solutions. Concluding comments affirmed the value of telling our acquisitions story and working in partnerships that are respectful and collegial.
East Meets West: The Japan Association of National University Libraries (JANUL) and the University of Central Florida (UCF) Exchange Librarians and Learning Commons Information — Presented by Yuka Taniguchi (Kobe University Libraries) and Barbara Tierney (University of Central Florida Libraries) — https://sched.co/GB3l
Reported by Raymond Pun (Alder Graduate School of Education)
Taniguchi and Tierney presented their perspectives in a 2016-2017 librarians’ exchange program. Tierney provided context on her work in learning commons that led to this opportunity to engage with academic librarians from Japan at a conference. Tierney offered tips for presenting at a library conference in Japan. One handy resource was her LibGuide which provides bibliographies on learning commons in academic libraries. Tierney discussed the differences among local, national and private universities in Japan and the general differences between Japanese and American academic libraries. For example, consortia work is not prevalent in Japan as compared to the United States. Generally, the library director is not a librarian but rather someone from another department in the university. After her experience visiting academic libraries in Japan, she had a conversation about sending a librarian from Japan over to UCF. Taniguchi was selected by JANUL to participate in this program and shared her experiences in attending library meetings and supporting reference services. UCF provided an opportunity for her to think more about outreach services and collaboration between librarians and campus partners in Japan. The presenters emphasized that librarians can take advantage of these opportunities to promote global learning and collaboration within the profession today.
Is High Use Really A “Big Deal” Using Accessible Data and Advanced Analytics to Better Value Journal Packages — Presented by Bruce Heterick (JSTOR/Artstor/Portico); Darby Orcutt (North Carolina State University) — https://sched.co/GB3c
NOTE: Statistical work for the study discussed was done by Yuan Tian, from the Dept. of Statistics at NCSU,
who did not present in the session.
Reported by Amy Lewontin (Snell Library, Northeastern University)
Hetrick provided an introduction to the session. Orcutt opened his talk by saying that he does not expect there to be huge changes in this area in the next year or so, but that “something will have to give” pretty soon. He encouraged the attendees to be prepared to make decisions for users and that include data-driven ideas. He acknowledged that many academic libraries spend a lot of time looking at usage, but he took note of the value of library selectors’ knowledge, and the fact that they may have a good sense of how and when individual journal titles are being used. Orcutt stressed that it is important to see if it could be determined if scholarly journals were being used for research or for what he termed “instruction.” Orcutt suggested that possibly academic journals being used as part of the instructional work, for undergraduate or graduate papers, might be “replaceable” with other titles. He posed the intriguing question: could our users make do with other scholarly titles? Other questions that Orcutt posed to the audience included: “were discovery systems creating instructional uses?” He discussed issues around the big deal offerings that many libraries take part in, year after year, and the difficulties libraries are and have been facing in finding money in their budgets to pay for the costs.
Orcutt discussed his work with Yuan Tian, a computer science graduate student at NCSU, to analyze their COUNTER data, for the last five years, to see if some journals were used consistently, month after month, and these would be considered, “research” journals. Journals with usage that dropped off, during the quieter months of academic work, were then considered to be “instructional” journals. He discussed patterns that were then visible after the analysis that showed that many scholarly journals at his institution did not receive heavy use, for example, 100 uses or more per year. Orcutt described a way to then value the cost of the “research” titles in the big deal packages, and this would appear to make them much more expensive, and the other titles, the possibly replaceable titles in the packages, easier to cut or trim. He mentioned that other schools where journal cancellations were done have received very few complaints.
Heterick from JSTOR took note of Orcutt’s data-driven usage analysis, noting that academic libraries have been asking JSTOR for the capability to mine their own database usage. He mentioned that JSTOR journal usage for research journals has been consistent and flatter over the years, but referred to “teaching oriented” usage in certain journals having peaks in usage.
Interesting audience questions included: can scholarly journals go from being research oriented to instructional from year to year, and how to determine that? Per Orcutt, there may be spikes for certain articles in certain journals, but he had not really seen that trend, and that based on the date, things had seemed fairly consistent. Orcutt was asked if his study had culled out STEM vs. non-STEM journals, or different disciplines, to see trends with research vs. instructional journals, but Orcutt had not really looked at the data in a discipline-centered way.
The discussions and questions were extremely interesting. Both Heterick and Orcutt felt there was much more work to be done in the area of analysis of usage, including at the article level.
Read & Publish: What Changes Can Libraries Expect? — Presented by Curtis Brundy (Iowa State University), Katharine Dunn (Massachusetts Institute of Technology), Josh Horowitz (Association for Computing Machinery (ACM)) and Kevin Steiner (AIP Publishing) — https://sched.co/GB3s
Reported by Janice Adlington (McMaster University)
OA2020 and PlanS are intended to catalyze a transition from subscriptions to open access publishing. In this session, two small society publishers and two libraries shared perspectives about one model for funding the flip, “Read and Publish.” Not surprisingly, all participants are concerned about the effects on their budgets. Long-tail subscribers can be expected to cancel as content becomes freely available, and heavy producers may not be in a position to maintain publisher revenue at current levels. The ACM is proceeding cautiously, with plans to transition over the next decade: of their 2,800 subscribers, 1,000 produce 80% of the articles. The AIP supports Gold and hybrid open access publishing, but did not share details beyond a vague plan to move into this space. MIT and Iowa State seek to promote library values of openness and diversity and are ready to use their budgets as leverage, but also want budget neutral outcomes and year-to-year predictability. Iowa State has signed on to OA2020, and expects their first agreement soon. MIT has a read and publish offsetting agreement with the RSC (Royal Society of Chemistry). Sybelle Geisenheyner of the Royal Society of Chemistry stepped up to the microphone from the audience and shared this publisher’s experience with “Read and Publish” (in another conference session, “Words Into Action,” (https://sched.co/GB44), Dunn and Geisenheyner provided more details about the agreement). Both libraries and publishers also noted that tracking submissions can be staff-intensive and require additional infrastructure, and that author freedom must be maintained. The overall message was one of cautious optimism: libraries and publishers can work together to experiment with this transition model.
Who’s Counting? Measuring Usage of Untraditional Databases Subscriptions — Presented by Steve Cramer (UNC Greensboro), Cynthia Cronin-Kardon (University of Pennsylvania), Dan Gingert (PrivCo), Richard Landry (SAGE Publications) and John Quealy (SPGlobal.com) — https://sched.co/GB4U
Reported by Angel Clemons (University of Louisville)
This panel of presenters explored the challenges of measuring usage of databases when the content cannot be reflected in traditional COUNTER reports and how value can be conveyed in the absence of these statistics. Cramer and Cronin-Kardon presented from the librarian’s perspective, while Gingert, Landry, and Quealy presented from the vendor’s perspective. Cramer and Cronin-Kardon laid out the challenges and questions that must be considered when dealing with non-traditional databases (e.g., What are we counting? Users or datapoints? What is a download — a full balance sheet, a company report, etc.? Is there a way to standardize usage?). Gingert, Landry and Quealy spoke about the challenge of measuring the value of non-commoditized data, the role of subjectivity in usage statistics, the responsibility of the data publisher to convey the value of their product, and what are effective measures of usage for their products.
Discovering the Library and the Librarian in Science Textbooks: Representations and Implications — Presented by Jenny Bruxvoort (U of IL Urbana), Paige Dhyne (U of IL Urbana) and Lisa Hinchliffe (University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, moderator) — https://sched.co/GB3u
Reported by Matthew Benzing (Miami University)
Bruxvoort and Dhyne, graduate students in Information Science at University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, were introduced by Hinchliffe, their professor and mentor, who also introduced their research project. The students examined textbooks from 100 and 200 level science courses at the “Big Ten” universities to gain an understanding of what students are learning about libraries and research. One interesting finding was that the biological disciplines tend to be friendliest to librarians, representing them as valuable resources, while the physical sciences barely mention them. Textbooks also tend to lean heavily on the receivership approach to education, where science is seen as knowledge handed down from on high rather than a dynamic conversation. Conclusions reached include the suggestion that librarians discuss how libraries are viewed in textbooks with their faculty to get them to be cognizant of these issues when choosing textbooks.
Library Space Transformed — Presented by Matt Barnes (OCLC), Jee Davis (Villanova University), Jared Howland (Brigham Young University), Wen-Ying Lu (Santa Clara University) and Rebecca Schroeder (Brigham Young University) — https://sched.co/GB3t
Reported by Jeanne Cross (University of North Carolina Wilmington)
Presenters from three universities discussed large-scale weeding projects of their libraries. Each gave a brief overview of their library and institution then Barnes, acting as a facilitator, posed prepared questions that presenters responded to in turn. This organization made for an engaging and dynamic session.
All used GreenGlass and a combination of other tools, some created in house, for their projects. Project members were organized differently, some formed a large task force while others broke into a series of task-based working groups. All projects sought participation from across the library. Criteria for decision making varied by subject area for all institutions. Communication about the project and decisions included presentations with data visualization and virtual review shelves or spreadsheets shared with faculty for comments.
Although communication strategies were planned in advance, presenters suggested that communication could always be improved. Some recommendations were to standardize subject librarian outreach across disciplines to avoid inconsistencies, engage faculty earlier, and explain subject specific criteria more clearly so faculty didn’t feel compelled to go through deselect lists line by line.
Not all prepared questions were addressed due to time constraints but were included in handouts provided at the session. Time was left for audience questions.
Negotiate as if Your Library Depends on It — Presented by Rick Burke (SCELC) and Tejs Grevstad (ConsortiaManager) — http://sched.co/GB5E
Reported by Alicia Willson-Metzger (Christopher Newport University)
This session provided tremendously useful tips for negotiating with library vendors. Deal with vendors honestly and fairly, with an openness to understanding their positions. Preparation is key; by failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail. Envision what you want the result of the negotiation to be; work backward from that point. It is fine to begin the negotiation with “no”; in fact, doing so can save a huge amount of time. List everything you cannot/will not do. Learn the “art of mirroring,” i.e., subtly adopting speech patterns, body language, tempo, and vocabulary of the other party can help in the negotiation process. Sources of power in dealing with a vendor include knowing their current financial status; knowing where they’re coming from and what they’re up to; and knowing their corporate structure. Make sure to know what’s included in the deal and how your patrons use the material included; for instance; how much does your faculty publish in these journals? How much do the individual journals cost; how many are open-access; how much has your community used the resource? Always play to your team’s strengths, and use various team members to make your point. An excellent session with thought-provoking content.
Words into Action: Building an Open Access Ecosystem — Presented by Ivy Anderson (California Digital Library), Katharine Dunn (Massachusetts Institute of Technology), Sybelle Geisenheyner (Royal Society of Chemistry Worldwide, Ltd) and Rice Majors (UC Davis) — https://sched.co/GB44
Reported by Janice Adlington (McMaster University)
Panelists presented two distinct explorations of Read & Publish: CDL’s work designing offsetting agreements, and MIT’s experience working with a society publisher, the RSC. The University of California collectively publishes 40,000 articles annually. Six of the ten campuses in the system have signed on to OA2020, and the CDL has modeled funding in search of a version of offsetting that can work in the decentralized North American research environment. The “Pay It Forward” study (https://www.library.ucdavis.edu/icis/uc-pay-it-forward-project/) indicated that APC (article processing charge) payments are affordable within the current system only if research or grant funding is incorporated. Over the next few years, CDL plans to pilot Read & Publish with a small number of publishers to determine sustainability, with the first agreement aimed for 2019. The second set of presenters, from MIT and the RSC, described their experience moving from the RSC’s “Gold for Gold” program to a Read & Publish agreement. Over a transitional period, the Publish fee will increase as Reading fees fall, and list subscription fees will decrease as additional institutions participate. To date, the RSC has agreements with 44 institutions. Both sets of presenters noted that authors generally support open access, but that simple procedures, flexibility, and transparency are key. Slides for this session are available on the conference website, https://sched.co/GB44.
More on the MIT-RSC partnership can be found at: Sept. 24, 2018 “Scholarly Kitchen” article by Emma Watson, RSC Director of Publishing (https://scholarlykitchen.sspnet.org/2018/09/24/guest-post-why-a-society-publisher-is-moving-toward-read-and-publish-models/).
Putting our Values into Action: Integrating Diversity, Inclusion, & Social Justice into Collection Management and Technical Services — Presented by Michelle Baildon (Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)), Rachel Finn (Vassar College), Jenny Hudson (GOBI Library Solutions) and Becky Imamoto (University of California, Irvine) — https://sched.co/GB3x
Reported by Rob Tench (Old Dominion University)
In this thought provoking session, attendees were encouraged by the four presenters to rethink and reevaluate their approach to collections assessment, development, and management. Baildon started off the program with an overview of MIT’s efforts to operationalize the values of diversity, inclusion, and social justice (DISJ). She emphasized that changing individual and organization mindsets by incorporating a discipline based communications of practice is a core and successful practice in her work environment. Imamoto reported on how UCI Libraries evaluate their collections and ILL requests for diversity with a focus on interdisciplinary subjects. She cautioned that although it takes time to complete a thorough review of collections the payoff is well worth the effort. Utilizing tools available from GOBI Solutions helps. Following up on Imamoto’s remarks, Hudson explained how GOBI Solutions can help libraries evaluate collections by incorporating analytics and by creating processes for delivering diverse material to patrons. According to Hudson, the key for GOBI is to listen to libraries. Finn concluded the session with a passionate appeal to library staff to look at themselves and their institutional practices and philosophy through a critical, honest, and neutral lens. She asked the audience to apply a five point approach for achieving DISJ: assess collections, evaluate curriculum needs, identify and accept that gaps in collections exist, prioritize inclusive collections, and move away from approval plans as a primary collection tool. All in all, those in attendance were challenged by the concepts and passion of the presenters.
Simplifying the Collections Budget to Maximize Flexibility and Increase Responsiveness to User Needs — Presented by Denise Koufogiannakis (University of Alberta Libraries) and Denise Pan (University of Washington Libraries) — https://sched.co/GB3w
Reported by David Gibbs (California State University, Sacramento)
Koufogiannakis argued that the shift from title-by-title collection development to multidisciplinary resources, big deals, and consortial agreements has rendered subject funds obsolete. The library has stopped title-by-title selection of monographs and has centralized collections work. The former structure had an unwieldy 427 active fund codes. Attempts to split interdisciplinary products among multiple fund codes caused headaches for acquisitions and financial services staff. Now the budget is down to two funds: one-time and ongoing. Rather than talk money with faculty, librarians address needs. Pan reported that at the University of Washington, the existing budget structure was constraining collection development opportunities and was not nimble enough to respond to emerging needs. Acknowledging that changes related to collections can get emotional, Pan and her colleagues used John P. Kotter’s Eight Steps for Leading Change as a model for persuading skeptical librarians. In the end, funds were consolidated into four big disciplinary buckets; subject lines were collapsed; and a desiderata database was established to support trans-disciplinary, big-ticket needs. Librarians are encouraged to see themselves as “strategic stewards” of the collection budget.
WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 7, 2018
The Scholarly Kitchen Live: Chat with the Chefs — Presented by Lettie Conrad (Maverick Publishing Specialists), David Crotty (Oxford University Press, moderator), Joseph Esposito (Clarke & Esposito), Robert Harrington (American Mathematical Society), Lisa Hinchliffe (University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign), Judy Luther (Informed Strategies LLC), Alice Meadows (ORCID) and Ann Michael (Delta Think) — https://sched.co/G8SE
Reported by David Gibbs (California State University, Sacramento)
In advance of the session, moderator Crotty had asked all of the panelists to reflect on one question: “What keeps you up at night?” He started the discussion with three concerns of his own: the acceleration of existing issues, the potential damage to academia of “move fast and break things,” and the societal erosion of trust. Meadows decried politicians’ discrediting of science but noted that a Pew survey showed that trust remains high. She would like to see librarians and publishers focus on the 80 percent they have in common rather than the 20 percent that divides them. Conrad agreed that the relationship has become too adversarial and reminded the audience that not all publishers are the same. Harrington pointed out that 70 percent of society revenues come from publishing, and that members (i.e., the library’s faculty constituents) would suffer if this revenue source dried up. Luther would like to see the audience for academic research broadened through more easily understandable abstracts, graphics, and podcasts. Hinchcliffe pointed out that publishers are still placing too many obstacles between the user and content the library has paid for, and that libraries need to be more user-centered. Michael worried that being overly concerned with privacy will stand in the way of progress and that we need to get the balance right. Esposito posited himself as an optimist and reminded publishers that their brand is the best search engine. The discussion was lively, and Crotty did an excellent job moderating, coming up with creative and intelligent transitions between the speakers.
Are Economic Pressures on University Press Acquisitions Quietly Changing the Shape of the Scholarly Record? — Presented by Meg White (Rittenhouse, moderator), Emily Farrell (De Gruyter), Nicole Kendzejeski (Project MUSE, Johns Hopkins University Press), Mahinder S. Kingra (Cornell University Press) and Kizer Walker (Cornell University Library) — https://sched.co/G8SG
Reported by Martha Smith (Winthrop University)
The panelists are part of a project team exploring how economic pressures on university presses are affecting the publication of scholarly monographs. Diminishing library budgets, open access, “just in time” and on demand collecting lead to decreasing sales, yet publication costs remain high. How are these pressures affecting decision-making for acquisitions editors? As part of this project, the team developed and distributed a survey to university press editorial directors and acquiring editors. The survey results indicated that while there was an increased focus on revenue potential and costs, low sales potential was not a primary reason for rejecting a book proposal. Likewise, when deciding to enter a new field, editors looked more to trends in academia than market potential or the cost to enter the new field. On the other hand, poor sales were the primary reason for closing a series or exiting a field. To supplement the survey results, data on sales and title counts in sixteen subject areas was collected from five publishers, and examined to determine if there was a correlation between annual revenue and the counts of titles acquired that year. The answer seemed to be yes, in general, but the correlation varied widely between subject areas. Bottom line: For now, acquisitions editors are shepherding monographs through to publication regardless of sales potential, but because this model is not sustainable, new economic models and new production and distribution methods will need to be explored.
That’s all the reports we have room for in this issue. Watch for more reports from the 2018 Charleston Conference in upcoming issues of Against the Grain. Presentation material (PowerPoint slides, handouts) and taped session links from many of the 2018 sessions are available online. Visit the Conference Website at www.charlestonlibraryconference.com. — KS