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Re: Serials Payment Dates

Although I do not now deal with serials renewals I did a few years ago.  
I believe that we frequently did not get information about price increases
until sometime in October.  This makes it very difficult to make informed
decisions about serials renewals, much less payments by early November.  
One partial solution would be to decide on prices earlier so that serials
librarians could begin to make decisions earlier.


Christine Ernst Taft
Head of Reference Services
Linda Hall Library of Science, Engineering & Technology
5109 Cherry St.,  Kansas City, Mo  64110
(816) 926-8778, 1-800-662-1545  x778   taftc@lindahall.org
FAX (816) 926-8782

At 02:11 PM 11/6/02 -0500, you wrote:
>The ASA (Association of Subscription Agents and Intermediaries) has
>recently issued the following advice to members and their clients in which
>this list may be interested. My apologies for the cross posting.
>Late Payments
>During the last few years the ASA has noticed that subscription renewal
>payments from libraries to their subscription agents is getting later each
>year. Whilst a desire to delay payments until the last moment is
>understandable, libraries should realise that paying late risks breakdowns
>in their subscriptions. The ASA is therefore writing to its members and
>their customers requesting agents and libraries to note that:
>� The period at the end of December and early January is a major holiday
>season in Europe and the USA with many publishers closed for the Christmas
>and the New Year holidays. Publishers therefore need to plan for this and
>frequently need to despatch January issues early in December to avoid
>postal delays.
>� Annual subscriptions must be renewed well before the despatch dates for
>the January issues. This means that agents and publishers have a very
>large volume of renewals to cope with in November which requires them to
>work closely together to process orders in good time. Leaving renewal
>payments until the end of November may well mean that the customer will
>miss the January issue, and quite possibly lead to a breakdown in the
>subscription as well as termination of access to the electronic journals.
>Very late payments mean that your subscriptions will cease!
>� The cost of replacing missing issues, repairing subscription breakdowns
>and re-establishing access to electronic journals is very high. But the
>cost to the library in terms of reduced service to the library patrons and
>users due to missing issues and lack of access is incalculable. This
>situation is almost wholly avoidable if payments are made as early as
>� Agents should advise libraries of the dates by which they require
>payment to ensure continuity of supply.  Libraries should note these dates
>and try, wherever possible to meet them. In case of difficulty libraries
>should discuss their requirements with their agent.
>� Where exchange rate movements are uncertain it should be noted that
>agents may be able to help reduce such risks to the library through their
>foreign currency purchasing arrangements. Libraries are advised to talk to
>their agents about any suspected exchange rate problems well in advance of
>any impending payment date.
>It is clear therefore that by working very closely together with both
>publishers and libraries, agents can provide the services to ensure that
>renewal payments can be made in good time. Failure to pay in reasonable
>time risks subscriptions breakdowns and increases costs for all parties
>The Association of Subscription Agents and Intermediaries represents some
>44 agents and intermediaries world wide including the larger international
>agents. ASA Members probably handle well over 90% of all library
>subscription purchases worldwide. A full list of Members is given on the
>ASA Website (www.subscription-agents.org). It is the purpose of the ASA to
>represent the interest of its Members and to promote good practice in
>Members' services to both publishers and libraries.
>The ASA has recently highlighted the need for publishers to provide a
>grace period of one month for electronic journals rather than simply
>switching off access on December 31 each year. This has been very
>successful with markedly fewer problems this year than last. The position
>continues to improve and has been of very considerable benefit to
>libraries. The ASA is also requesting publishers to price as early as
>possible to enable libraries to have sufficient time to make their renewal
>plans and enable them to pay in good time for their renewals. Again
>publishers have been very sympathetic to these requests.
>The ASA is involved with many international bodies to promote good
>practice and enhance relationships between agents, intermediaries,
>publishers and libraries. Additional information on the ASA can be found
>on the ASA website (www.subscription-agents.org)
>Rollo Turner
>Secretary General