Approving the switch to online

Today I suggested to one of my superiors that it would be useful if we reviewed the titles that are scheduled to be switched to online access before the switch occurs. That way, we can take care of many problems up front; it’s easier to correct a subscription before it’s in place than discovering it (maybe months) later and having to change the subscription mid-year (if the publisher allows it), regain lost print issues (if it’s a return to print), and adjust the acquisitions records, catalog, and A-to-Z list.

What’s your institution’s process for approving/choosing online access?

Update 4/18/07: I reviewed the hundred-or-so titles that seem to be new online access in 2007. Several don’t offer IP authentication, or only provide rolling access (and if we don’t have alternative access, like via Academic Search Premier, we’re out of luck in a few years when our access rolls away…). I’m going to organize my notes, take a second look at each title, and make recommendations.

As I mentioned to Patricia (see comments), my colleagues have been discarding (i.e. sending to ISBE) print copies of titles that are print + online as soon as they verify online access. But some of these problems mean we’re going to have to hold onto the print. We likely have lost a few months’ access by not doing this before the subscriptions were switched. I’m going to suggest changing subscriptions back to print only or just retaining print; for the titles that are IP authentication with rolling access, I’ll suggest purchasing the archive/backfile when available and affordable.

Thank you for your comments!


4 Responses to “Approving the switch to online”

  1. Ab Says:

    When I was at an academic library, we (e-resources committee: ERM, Ref, and CD responsibilities) developed an e-only policy with input from subject librarians, and then subject librarians were expected and assumed to consider the policy when switching to or starting an e-only subscription. I think it raised awareness of important things to consider, such as IP vs. username/password authentication.

    And yes, when I learned about e-only subscriptions, I checked them out informally to see there was anything “funny” about them. If there was, people were usually happy that someone caught it early, and I agree that it can save a lot of time later on.

  2. Toni Says:

    Speaking of finding something “funny,” today I noticed for the first time a title whose online content is not the same as the print (“Only selected articles appear online”). I’d seen the category in EBSCO’s Access and Authentication menu, but I’ve never seen it filled in. We’d already decided to retain the print issues for a separate reason (it’s only available as single-user access).

    Thanks for your comments, Ab!

  3. Patricia Thompson Says:

    We have done it rather piecemeal. We started out with print titles that had free online. Whenever a new title is requested we suggest that it be an online-only title. We got some online packages and then tried to cancel the print for everything in the package. I would like to have a “blanket” policy that says we’re going online unless there’s a good reason not to, such as a faculty request that we retain print. We may be heading in that direction, but we’re not quite there yet.

  4. Toni Says:

    We’re in a similar situation, Patricia: going online unless there’s a good reason to retain the print. With print + online titles, my colleagues are discarding the print once they confirm online access. It’s a good policy because they keep the print until they can confirm access, which frequently isn’t working/appropriate so thank goodness we’ve kept the print!

    Before this, we’d discarded print (or switched to online-only) and later discovered that the online access isn’t appropriate for us (e.g. not IP, rolling access, etc.). We switched so many titles in 2006 that it is quite a task to confirm the appropriateness of the access/authentication EBSCO switched us to. Unfortunately, many of the problems are discovered when patrons are trying to use that online access. I’ve just finished reviewing the access/authentication details for the titles that were new online access in 2007. I’m about to update my original post…

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