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Re: Serials Payment Dates

As customers, I believe that libraries should be pressuring for a
different subscription period without being locked into 12 months spanning
the calendar year.  Our academic institutions work on a September to May
academic year (with some exceptions) and various fiscal years.  Why not
subscription years that are variable, especial given the flexibility that
digital subscriptions offer?  Benefits to Agents, Intermediaries and
Publishers would be a spreading out of the work depending upon
subscribers' subscription year.  Benefits to Libraries would include the
ability to introduce and cancel subscriptions for content to correspond
with the academic year with the flexibility of dealing with the related
fall-out during our slow times.

Lorraine Busby
Western Libraries
University of Western Ontario

Rollo Turner 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
> possible.
> � 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
> involved.


> Rollo Turner
> Secretary General