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RE: Serials Payment Dates

I have a question about access to online journals...I run into problems
around September and October where many online journals just cut off our
access without informing us (so frustrating..we don't know until someone
is trying to get into the journal!) It seems a little premature to denying
us access (or wanting us to reregister for the new subscription year)
because it's too early for us to have all our renewals into our agent and
for them to have the paperwork done. Does this happen to other libraries
and how do you deal with it?

Erin Bauer
Serials/Electronic Collections Librarian
Creighton University Medical Center
Health Sciences Library

-----Original Message-----
From: owner-liblicense-l@lists.yale.edu
[mailto:owner-liblicense-l@lists.yale.edu]On Behalf Of Rollo Turner
Sent: Wednesday, November 06, 2002 1:12 PM
To: Undisclosed-Recipient:@dns1.hotchilli.net;
Subject: Serials Payment Dates

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