Based on a presentation given at the 2007 ASA Conference: ‘Policy, Pricing and Purchasing’
An enthusiastic sales executive working for a journal publisher is given the UK academic library market as part of his territory. At first glance, this appears to be a welcome addition compared with some of the more challenging markets elsewhere in the world: relatively small country, seemingly uncomplicated higher education structure and quite advanced in embracing online content and consortia activity.
On closer examination however, he uncovers a quite complex structure, with a number of policy-making bodies, funding bodies and membership organizations and a similar number of purchasing organizations all representing institutions in their own way. In many instances, there are some excellent initiatives underway, many of which are collaborations between various players. In other cases, especially on the purchasing side, it is quite a challenge for a publisher to know where to start.