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05 June 2020

Open Book on Academic Selling and Open Access

21 September 2017

Our September Open Book event focussed on two topics we haven't previously covered, selling into academic libraries and Open Access.

Our guest speaker was Jeremy Upton, Director of Library and Collections at the University of Edinburgh. Previously Deputy Director of Library Services and Assistant Director of Systems and Resources at the University of St Andrews, Jeremy has long experience in this area, and has been involved in several Scottish-wide book and journal procurements.

Jeremy presented us with a brilliantly prepared summary of the complex process of academic buying and selling, telling us about both traditional models and the current situation using consortia and tendering. We looked at how budgets are allocated, with an overwhelming amount being spent on e-journals v print books. We also discussed how students can know which books to recommend to the university library to purchase. With a purchase driven acquisition scheme, when an individual accessing an electronic book could trigger a purchase, the suppliers, both publishers and agents will supply the library with metadata records for the potentially relevant books they would like to sell in. This makes it even more important for academic publishers to ensure information about their books is held on the databases of the agents and that they are thinking carefully about the subject descriptions they add.

We then looked at Open Access, currently a very active area of discussion. There is a recognition that the current academic monograph publishing model is not working.   So there needs to be change, but it will occur slowly, as the academic world is very conservative. Technology will eventually drive change.

Eleanor Logan, Trade Liaison Manager, organises our Open Book events.