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Wednesday, November 7 • 5:45pm - 6:45pm
10 Doing the Math – discovering infinity transitioning monograph standing orders from print to online and deriving a variable formula for success

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In retrospect persuading the Math faculty at the University of British Columbia (UBC) of the value in switching their beloved monograph series from print to online format was a breeze. The tough part came in making this pledge a reality.

As with most academic institutions, the pursuit of online collection options is a logical objective, to help meet the demands of reduced space for print resources and the desire to provide access to more content to a broader range of users. Although stalwart defenders of the importance of print and physical proximity to their collections, the Math faculty at UBC were won over by arguments of greater discoverability, findability and access. In making our case, we knew that the series in question were available electronically, what we didn’t fully realize is they become different entities when they go digital.

Unlike journals, in this publishing domain, electronic subscriptions or standing orders are not the norm. This immediately raised questions about ensuring continuous and stable funding for materials that were no longer ‘serial’ but rather monograph, a budget sector with historically less protection. We discovered that every series had a different publishing and pricing model – though the majority involved delayed online publication release and higher costs ranging from 10% to 75% per volume. Contemplating the logistics of acquiring as annual electronic backfiles within our fiscal year, or monitoring approval slip plans for title by title selection quickly demonstrated that the process wasn’t adding up to a balanced equation in terms of cost or workflow efficiency. Further complicating the mix was the inclusion of some series in one of our EBA plans. What should have been a welcome relief and easy win, became a sober second thought as the evidence showed the content was not being accessed, hence a challenge to the principle of purchasing based on user demand.

This session explores the logistical and financial issues to consider in making existing ebook purchase models work for our circumstances, and is of interest to librarians and publishers involved in mathematical ebook collections.


Mayu Ishida

Librarian, University of British Columbia

Kat McGrath

Collections Librarian, University of British Columbia

Wednesday November 7, 2018 5:45pm - 6:45pm EST
Carolina Ballroom, Francis Marion Hotel