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Re: Unresponsive information providers

You are certainly not alone.  My experiences in this regard have varied
widely.  Some publishers and vendors work through the licensing process
quickly and efficiently, while others seem to have no interest in the
process at all.  The thing that I find interesting is that there doesn't
seem to be any correlation between profit motive and efficiency in dealing
with licenses -- in my experience, those publishers/vendors who actually
stand to make money by getting the license into effect are not
consistently better at getting it done than either non-profits or those
who are offering free access.  My faith in Smithian economics is still
strong, but I do find this rather puzzling.

Rick Anderson
Head Acquisitions Librarian
Jackson Library
UNC Greensboro
(336) 334-5281


On Tue, 14 Mar 2000 19:28:17 EST Ellen Finnie Duranceau 
<efinnie@MIT.EDU> wrote:

> I am wondering if I am alone in having great difficulties recently getting
> information providers to respond to licensing questions, keep a
> negotiation moving, and complete the process in a timely manner.  For
> virtually all of our major purchases in this fiscal year, I have had to
> make innumerable phone calls and send innumerable email messages over
> weeks and months trying to get responses to our issues and an executable
> contract. These phone calls follow explicit written documentation of our
> concerns and questions, so that there is a clear paper trail to pick up
> and put down. Despite this paper trail and many calls, in most of these
> cases I have still not succeeded in concluding a license agreement.
> Is anyone else having this experience? Do information providers have some
> insight to share about this lack of responsiveness? Do librarians have
> ideas about how to get these deals negotiated and completed in a timely
> manner?
> This problem did not surface for me here at MIT until this year. In
> previous years, using similar methods, I was able to get deals closed
> readily.
> Any comments, confirmations, or alternative experiences would be most
> welcome! Ellen Duranceau
> **********
> Ellen Finnie Duranceau
> Digital Resources Acquisitions Librarian
> MIT Libraries, Room 14E-210A
> Cambridge, MA  02139-4307
> efinnie@mit.edu
> ph. 617 253 7562
> fax 617 253 2464