October 22, 2021

Closing the Gap Between University Presses and Libraries

From Lindsey McKenzie at Inside Higher Ed:

MIT Press and the University of Michigan Press have both announced plans to start selling their ebook collections directly to libraries by creating their own distribution platforms.

The publishers previously did not have a mechanism for selling to institutions directly. Instead, access to ebooks was largely brokered through third-party acquisition services such as EBSCO, ProQuest, OverDrive, Project Muse and JSTOR.

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Rick Anderson, associate dean for collections and scholarly communication at the Marriott Library at the University of Utah, said whether libraries choose to work directly with university presses or not will likely come down to a question of scale.

It will be “relatively easy” to work with larger presses like MIT Press or the University of Michigan Press, but “if we had to deal with all university presses individually, that would be a problem,” he said.

Smaller university presses could, however, offer “deep discounts in return for direct dealing,” said Anderson. “My door is always open to a publisher that wants to talk about discounts. We might be willing to invest more staff time if the price is right.”

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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.

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