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March 2010, Week 3


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Medical Libraries Discussion List <[log in to unmask]>
Julie Stielstra <[log in to unmask]>
Thu, 18 Mar 2010 15:35:01 -0500
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Julie Stielstra <[log in to unmask]>
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Boy, did I hear from you!  This is a very condensed, paraphrased summary,
and I'm going to this focus group tomorrow loaded for bear.


*What we hate (aside from how painfully expensive everything is)*:

·         Lack of transparency

·         We HATE bundling titles: YOUR choice of 100 titles costs $10,000;
OUR choice of 10 titles costs $10,000 a la carte.  No logic, no fairness,
just greed.

·         Price increases at random times in the year requiring supplemental

·         Price increases of 7 - 15% when CPI is more like 3%.  This is
especially annoying for e-content without paper, printing, mailing, etc.

·         Incomprehensible and secret pricing methods for institutions:
users, tiers, bed sizes, clinical staff, who knows what all

*What we want*:

·         Prices set 3Q calendar year for the following year so we can plan
budgets, pay bill and not get hit with extra charges.  No other business
retroactively charges extra after I've bought their product.

·         Title by title pricing: this journal is this much, period, with
discounts for X number of titles purchased


·         Don’t be mass mailing administrators, CEOs, etc.  Contact the

·         Misleading info about content: don’t say “we have 800 titles in
full text” when half of them are partial non-current runs, etc.   Who needs
the Australasian Journal of Veterinary Cosmetic Dentistry 1983-1985 in our

·         We are trying to make access to our users simple and seamless.  They
(and we) do not want to have to learn eight different platforms to access
eight different titles.  STOP the monopolistic stuff and license to
aggregators (Ovid, ProQuest, etc.).


*What we hate*:

·         Forcing purchase of print + online when all we want is online.

·         Mixing up the content between print and online so that some is
only accessible in one form or another.  ALL print content should be online!

·         We HATE “epub ahead of print,” and we especially HATE it when some
online platforms include these and others don’t.

*What we want*:

·         Choice of print only, online only, or both.

·         All print content is accessible online to all users.

·         All online content is accessible regardless of platform or vendor.


*What we hate*:

·         Not being able to select our own usernames / passwords

·         Not being able to select IP authentication vs UNP

·         Vagaries of activating online subscriptions – we do it, our agent
does it, you do it, and then you don’t let us know.  Excessively complicated
setups, multiple passwords, etc.

·         Calendar year subscriptions that are cut off on Dec. 1, regardless
of whether we’ve paid you or not for the next year, and having to reactivate
from scratch every year.

·         Not having user stats

·         Erratic content: lack of supplements, conference proceedings, etc.
If it’s in the print subscription, it should be online too!

·         Pulling your content from aggregators with no discussion and
little notice.  “Here today and gone tomorrow” is NOT good customer service.

*What we want*:

·         Our choice of IP and/or password access; links with Athens /

·         We order your journal; YOU set up the access for us.  We’ll send
you whatever info you need.

·         Quit the “if you don’t buy directly from us and use our crappy
platform, you can’t have it online AT ALL.”  McGraw / LWW, are you


*What we hate*:

Paying for a subscription for X years, have to cancel for budget reasons,
and thus losing ALL the content we paid for.

*What we want*:

We pay for it, it’s ours.  We maintain access to it as long as we want.


*What we hate*:

·         “No ILLs allowed”

·         Prohibiting ILL of native PDFs.  Let’s face it, this is
absurd.  Patrons
will not stand for print copies any more.  One way or another, they’re going
to end up with a PDF; the only question is how many pages of paper and hours
of time are wasted in the process.

*What we want*:

To provide ILLs within Fair Use / CONTU guidelines, emailing PDFs to
partners and patrons with all usual copyright warnings prominently
displayed.  We're good at this, we're conscientious about this.


Minimize supplements.

Don’t change prices, titles, or size of journals except on January 1.

We hate your voicemail systems.  All of them.

Standardize placement of data like volume and issue numbers, dates, ISSN
numbers or barcodes on the physical issues.

Consistent, prompt usage statistics for online journals.

I will report on the meeting next week!  :-)
Julie Stielstra, MLS
Manager, Knowledge Resource Library
Central DuPage Hospital
25 N Winfield Rd
Winfield, IL 60190
phone 630-933-4536
fax     630-933-4530
email jstielstra [ at ]

" mean in anything; never be false; never be cruel. Avoid those
three vices...and I can always be hopeful of you."  -- Betsy Trotwood to
David Copperfield (Charles Dickens)