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Re: Unresponsive information providers

Like you, I have difficulties in having a timely and "routine" (ha!)
procedure for adding titles which require a license agreement.  Recently,
I have had more problems getting someone identified at a company who has
the authority to negotiate.  I have viewed that as related to the mixups
involved in mergers and acquisitions.  Then, yes, a whole series of
back-and-forth calls, mostly forth (on my part) to try to keep it moving.  
Since I make it clear up front they will get no payment until I have all
signed copies in my hand, that has _sometimes_ proven an effective carrot.  
But in some cases, just getting a verbal intent to starting service to a
title seems to equal a completed transaction in the minds of the company.  
After getting that, some companies just seem to sit back and say "that's
done!"  Uh, folks, no it's not!  Some companies have turned on service
contrary to our wishes before I even started negotiating, but I won't send
the URL forward until I get that signed license agreement.

It sure would be nice to have some consistency and standardization, but I
guess this is still a fledgling situation.

Cynthia M. Coulter, Head
Acquisitions Department
Rod Library
University of Northern Iowa
Cedar Falls, IA  50613-3675


Ellen Finnie Duranceau 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