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Jisc is today relaunching a digital archival collection purchasing scheme that will help institutions reduce the cost of buying digital collections and archives from publishers and opens up the scheme to academic-related affiliates.
Digital archival collections of primary source material are an important complement to traditional resources, journals and books. However, a survey conducted by Jisc reveals that cost is a major issue for most collection managers. A little more than a quarter (26%) of respondents spent up to £100,000 on one-off digital archival collections over the last five years, and only 27% indicate they are always or sometimes able to negotiate fees with publishers.
The purchasing scheme enables institutions to buy products at a discounted price.
Karen Colbron, digital content manager at Jisc, says:
“We are delighted to expand the number of publishers on the group purchasing scheme, increasing the breadth of content available to our members. The scheme is based on the principle that the more products are bought per publisher by any institution, the lower the price for participants. The arrangement ensures price transparency across all products, eliminates annual platform fees and removes the burden of having to negotiate separately with each publisher.”
Sandra Bracegirdle, associate director, collection strategies, University of Manchester library, says:
“At Manchester we have appreciated the price transparency and acquisition principles behind Jisc’s digital archival collections purchasing model. We value the role of our trusted partner Jisc in mediating and simplifying these complex and costly deals”,
To date, 44 of 164 Jisc-affiliated higher education institutions have bought content through the scheme. Collectively, they have saved £670,000 on 122 products.
The purchasing scheme offers 90 products, which cover a wide range of subjects, genres and time periods – everything from human rights, climate change, colonialism and apartheid, to primary source materials on British politics, such as UK parliamentary papers and the history of the Labour Party. Also included are philosophy, religion and sciences collections as well as film and television materials covering Russian cinema and BBC collections.
Publishers taking part in the scheme include Academic Rights Press, EastView, JSTOR, Oxford University Press, Brill, British Online Archives (Microform), De Gruyter, Irish Newspaper Archives, ProQuest and Wiley.