Big deal or no big deal?

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Client Research Information Network
Dates 2012
Sector(s)Communications & Media
Service(s)Policy & Economics, Strategy & Finance

CEPA were commissioned by a consortium including Research Libraries UK, JISC Collections and Research Information Network to develop a financial model to evaluate the costs of the "big deals" with publishers. This model - the Journal Titles Selection Tool (JoTSET) - allows libraries to estimate the costs of alternative methods of delivery to big deal packages in licensing journals.

We reviewed the existing model developed by Imperial College London, and were tasked with designing and developing an updated model. The key aims of this project were increasing model functionality, improving usability and enabling universities to have flexibility in selecting constraints for optimisation.

A key component of the project was understanding the needs of different university libraries in evaluating the big deals for different publishers. We undertook a road test by sending the model to several university libraries (in the UK, Europe and USA), and the consultation process provided some important feedback to improve the usability of the model. The client's aim is to publish this model as a freely available resource for university libraries to use when evaluating their expenditure on electronic subscriptions in forthcoming negotiations with publishers.

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