July 29, 2014

Canadian Research Knowledge Network Terminating Its National License Agreement With ACS

share save 171 16 Canadian Research Knowledge Network Terminating Its National License Agreement With ACS

The Canadian Research Knowledge Network (CRKN) is ending its national license agreement with the American Chemical Society (ACS) as of the end of 2013, the network announced. After that, participating libraries can contract directly with ACS if they so choose. “The organization’s negotiating team was unable to reach a renewal agreement with ACS, owing to fundamental issues with the new pricing model adopted by ACS for its international (non-US) library and consortia customers,” CRKN said in a statement. “This pricing regime represents a huge financial risk for those libraries that are most committed to promoting ACS resources, and will penalize those who are most successful in integrating ACS content into new web- and mobile-based discovery and access systems.”

But it’s not only non-US libraries that have issues with ACS pricing models: earlier this year Jenica Rogers, library director at SUNY Potsdam, canceled the library’s ACS subscriptions because they would have taken up 10 percent of the library’s acquisition budget. AS LJ reported, Rogers’ blog post and ACS’ response touched off a storm of commentary on library blogs and listservs about the ACS pricing model and lack of transparency.

CRKN has 75 member institutions from across the country. Here’s a membership list.

Additional Details From the CRKN News Release:

The Canadian Research Knowledge Network has announced a decision to terminate the national license agreement it has held with the American Chemical Society (ACS) since 2001 for its Web Editions and Legacy Archives products.  [Our emphasis] Termination of the CRKN-ACS license will take effect at the end of 2013, at which time participating libraries may choose to contract directly with ACS or implement alternate arrangements.

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The decision to terminate the national agreement was taken by the CRKN Board of Directors after the organization’s negotiating team was unable to reach a renewal agreement with ACS, owing to fundamental issues with the new pricing model adopted by ACS for its international (non-US) library and consortia customers.

Under ACS’s new pricing, costs for participant libraries will be determined solely by usage, using the average number of full-text downloads from the most recent three years, and with participating institutions organized into usage bands.  Any growth in usage that would move a participating institution into a higher usage band would result in a prohibitive price increase that could double or triple the cost of the ACS content.  This pricing regime represents a huge financial risk for those libraries that are most committed to promoting ACS resources, and will penalize those who are most successful in integrating ACS content into new web- and mobile-based discovery and access systems that are used increasingly by university researchers and students.

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The decision to terminate CRKN’s agreement with ACS comes after twelve years of partnership between the two organizations, made possible by a series of large-scale, stable, multi-year agreements that were negotiated in good faith by both parties and maintained with streamlined administration. This partnership expanded the reach of ACS’s journals into sixty-six Canadian universities, transforming the research environment for chemists and enabling major advances in interdisciplinary, inter-institutional, and international work.

Read the Complete CRKN Announcement

See Also: CRL, CRKN, and JISC Form Partnership to Explore Challenges in Acquisition and Preservation of E-Resources

share save 171 16 Canadian Research Knowledge Network Terminating Its National License Agreement With ACS
Gary Price About Gary Price

Gary Price (gprice@mediasourceinc.com) is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. Before launching INFOdocket, Price and Shirl Kennedy were the founders and senior editors at ResourceShelf and DocuTicker for 10 years. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at Ask.com, and is currently a contributing editor at Search Engine Land.