Monday, November 24, 2008

The Challenge of Acquisitions in the Digital Age

In purchasing an electronic resource, the librarian must be familiar with licensing models, system requirements, file compatibility, authentication, proxy servers, and interface design. Differences among publisher interfaces, variations among aggregator interfaces, and duplication within the library's electronic collection mean that numbers for one title may be different from those of another for reasons that have nothing to do with the intrinsic value of the content. When we are evaluating e-resources and making contacts with publishers and content suppliers, we need to come to them with our own demands for the usage rules and requirements for the materials that they are selling. In addition to business acumen and accounting knowledge, a digital-age acquisitions librarian needs to understand scholarly communication and the emerging business models of digital publishing.

(Whittaker, Martha. “The Challenge of Acquisitions in the Digital Age.” in portal: Libraries and the Academy (Oct. 2008) at:

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