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EBSCO

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Subscription agents continue to work to ensure electronic publishing efficiency

Subscription agents have seen many e-journal (and e-journal package) orders returning to the fold within the last few years - i.e. back to the agents after having been placed with publishers.

EBSCO is excited about this re-emerging trend. Many libraries have discovered that it is more cost-effective and efficient to let subscription agents such as EBSCO handle the numerous requirements of e-journal subscription management. E-journal package purchases complicate the serials acquisition and management process and require the specialised services of the subscription agent.

With 32 offices located in 20 countries, EBSCO is prepared to assist libraries and publishers worldwide with a variety of electronic services.

Electronic journals service

EBSCO focuses both on providing the high-quality traditional services that our customers have come to expect and on developing and refining new services to help with the ordering and management of electronic journals, e-journals packages and other electronic resources. We realise that locating, acquiring and managing electronic information can often create more work and complexities for librarians, and we recognise it is our job to help.

Our e-journal services facilitate collection development and assessment, which can be quite challenging for many. As online journals have become a bigger part of the research environment, EBSCO has created a system for accessing and managing such journals. EBSCOhost Electronic Journals Service (EJS) now provides access to nearly 12,000 e-journals. EJS employs EBSCO SmartLinks technology so that EBSCO's databases and the e-journals accessible through EJS are fully integrated. EJS provides a broad range of tools, such as Registration Tracker and usage statistics, to help librarians manage the administrative side of an e-journal collection.

New and enhanced services

Our EBSCO A-to-Z service provides libraries with a comprehensive listing of all the e-resources in the library's collection, whether they are contained in databases, publisher packages or are individual e-journals.

A-to-Z's master title file has, as its base, the existing EBSCO title database, which is updated and maintained by our Title Information Department. EBSCO has one of the most exhaustive title databases in the world with more than 298,000 titles, including 15,000 online journals.

LinkSource, which will soon be integrated with A-to-Z, is a fully functional, OpenURL-compliant link resolver that solves the problem of item-level linking. LinkSource can link to full text in databases from various vendors, e-journals from gateway sites, OPACs, A-to-Z lists, web search engines and more.

Special teams assist with registration, payment and more

EBSCO has created special customer service teams to assist with the unique issues surrounding e-journal subscriptions. These teams assist with invoice payments, IP address changes, registration and other services that help both the customer and the publisher.

For every e-journal subscription that leaves EBSCO, the publisher is asked to send us any information that the customer may need for online access. Many publishers take advantage of this service and send batch files at the time of order fulfilment. This eliminates the need for publishers to contact subscribers individually. It also alleviates the frustration the customer may feel in having to gather multiple registration numbers from publishers.

Consortia services

In the past few years, EBSCO has continued to help individual institutions deal with group purchasing and to work on behalf of consortia to negotiate and secure agreements with publishers. Group purchasing appeals to many of our library customers because of the potential cost savings or increased access opportunities, but it often creates unexpected additional work. Recent agreements benefiting Mexico's IMSS (Instituto Mexicano del Seguro Social), open consortia in Spain, and national licences in Portugal, are evidence of our vital role as a facilitator. Collective purchasing groups value EBSCO's detailed invoicing, payment processing, ILS integration and e-journal gateways. EBSCO also systematically collects member information for publishers and addresses licence issues and common questions from consortia members.

Going the extra mile

The challenges faced by libraries today are immense. New types of content are available; there are additional purchasing choices, content access issues, information management problems, budget cuts and new subscription models. It is a constantly changing world for librarians, publishers and subscription agents.

EBSCO is involved in the library community and actively looks for ways in which we can help our customers with the continuing challenges they face. Staff librarians provide complimentary training and support for our Web-based services. EBSCO supports library and information conferences around the world, through attendance, exhibits and sponsorships of scholarships and programs - things we do to demonstrate our commitment to providing superior service to the information industry.

The world of the library, publisher and subscription agent is a complex one and is becoming more so as online information resources become more prevalent. Librarians, publishers and vendors are in a state of transition as we continue to experiment with purchasing, pricing, delivery and service options. As we have now for more than 60 years, EBSCO will continue to invest its financial and human resources into developing the services and products vital for meeting the changing needs of our customers.

contact details

Rebecca C. Walden
Tel: +1 205 980 6794
Email: rwalden@ebsco.com
Web: www.ebsco.com