I've been reflecting on the ethics of library engagement with their vendors. When I published Red Light Green Light a year ago, I was thinking about how to take back control of the materials budget. But there are other angles as well. For example, if you read reviews on GlassDoor of various vendors, you see common themes, for example of strategic change, reorganizations, layoffs, and other cutbacks. There are also cases that are more disturbing. It's probably not possible to draw conclusions about a company as a whole from any single employee review, but sometimes you see fairly specific and apparently widespread allegations of, in one case, gender inequities, harassment, and discrimination. Do librarians consider issues of this type in licensing or other engagement with vendors? Should they?
Sounds like someone's writing something...· Meg Vmeg 2
Answers: no, and no. I don't see how journal/ebook/etc vendors are different from other vendors our institutions deal with. If the institution has applicable standards regarding contracting then of course those could be used. And to the extent that we chat with our reps, I suppose if your rapport allows it you could ask about these rumors and offer sympathy. Otherwise I generally assume that the organizations we deal with are plagued by the pathologies common throughout the US; that the sales reps in for-profits are regularly abused by superiors driving them to hit their targets, and that the non-profits are relying on low-level employees with crappy benefits in NYC or wherever who are willing to work for a cool company that needs to underpay them in order to balance massive salaries "competitive with the rest of the industry" to top-tier execs. This is not the same problems you mentioned above but it's the same wheelhouse--do we need to feel good about the companies we're contracting from. It would be great if we could. But, that way lies madness. Better to focus on how well the products they are peddling serve our users.· Jiffy Kurls 3
I was impressed to learn about the hard line tactics that BTAA and other consortia took with T&F earlier this year. Is this more typical but just not widely publicized? https://scholarlykitchen.sspnet.org/2018/08/15/advocating-change-btaa/
Ithaka S+R published a new report today, Amplifying Student Voices, which is collaborative research with a group of community colleges on students' needs. In the second half of this IMLS-funded project, we will be looking towards how college libraries can best support these needs. The project is authored by my colleague Christine Wolff-Eisenberg and NVCC's Dr. Braddlee. http://sr.ithaka.org/publications/amplifying-student-voices/
Our VP just sent me and my dean a link to the Inside Higher Ed article on this... I wouldn't say there are any surprises in it but it's good for such things to be supported by research.· Jiffy Kurls 1
Excellent piece today from our own @lisalibrarian arguing that licensed resources are over utilized and offering strategies for driving down usage to expose real value https://scholarlykitchen.sspnet.org/2018/05/22/are-library-subscriptions-overutilized/
I think what emboldens libraries is the sense that users will somehow get what they need without the library subscription. It isn't SH, Green, etc. specifically emboldening libraries - it is that users won't march on the building with torches. :) oh, and also, most of the emboldened have promised fee free ILL/doc delivery for anything scholars need. Reading the websites and not just the press releases is helpful. Having said that, I would note as well that a lot of the more aggressive stances are in Europe and the proposals are to replace a subscription Big Deal with an APC Big Deal so I'm not sure that librarians are being emboldened in all cases so much that they are negotiating for something different. Which, in honesty, I believe the publishers will be okay with once they can work out the financial model. Of course, I also believe they are trying to figure out an RIAA-like threaten-to-sue approach but can't figure out how to make that work ... yet. So, who knows? I do think that the RG lawsuit is potentially the real black swan event here depending how it is decided.· LisaLibrarian
News Corp Chief Executive Robert Thomson called for the creation of an “Algorithm Review Board” to oversee tech giants and provide a check on their increasing power. He has been critical of Facebook Inc. and Alphabet Inc.’s Google, saying they have too much influence over the news and information consumers see and offer little insight into the workings of their platforms.
Big news today: Springer Nature IPO postponed "The planned initial public offering of publisher Springer Nature has been postponed on the eve that trading in shares was expected to begin "due to market conditions"." https://www.thebookseller.com/news/springer-nature-ipo-postponed-782656
I decided to write a couple pieces on how research workflow investments will affect those scholarly publishers at risk of being "left behind" -- and what they can do about it. I think this suggests some of the implications that will arise for universities and their libraries, but I envision writing something specific with them in mind as well. https://scholarlykitchen.sspnet.org/2017/12/18/workflow-strategy-left-behind-context/
Libraries Look to Big Data to Measure Their Worth—And Better Help Students https://www.edsurge.com/news/2017-11-17-libraries-look-to-big-data-to-measure-their-worth-and-better-help-students
“University libraries are having to explain their place in the world of degree completion,” says Alan Bearman, dean of university libraries and the Center for Student Success and Retention at Washburn University. “As we all know, there’s this big push in the nation about on-time degree completion, and libraries are trying to see where they fit in that world.”· secret agent Fister
No more losing yourself in the stacks!· secret agent Fister 1
There are other worlds we should fit into, also. But y'all know how I feel about that.· secret agent Fister
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