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All There Is to Know About Evidence Based Acquisitions

A Summary of Charleston’s Digital Webinar

Rebecca Bentes Associate Marketing Manager- Taylor & Francis, Library (Books)

Have you heard about the latest trend in purchasing options offered by publishers? If not, we’ve got you covered on everything there is to know about Evidence Based Acquisitions, or EBA’s as they are commonly referred to.
According to a Cambridge University Press poll, 55% of participants utilized an EBA in their library while 45% did not.

How Does an EBA work?
The publisher and participant agree on an initial deposit for an agreed upon list of titles. The publisher then turns on access to those titles for an agreed upon length of time. Once access is turned on, usage stats are collected and monitored throughout the duration of the EBA. These stats can be sent to the participant monthly, quarterly or on an as-needed basis, or the participant can pull their own data without having to wait for the publisher. At the end of the EBA, the participant decides on a selection of titles they would like to keep or have perpetual access and ownership of.

What are the benefits of selecting this purchasing model?
There are many reasons EBA’s have gained popularity. We’ve narrowed down the best ones below:
Gives users access to a critical mass of content easily, efficiently and affordably
• Allows users to align spend with demonstrated need
• Involves users directly with the selection of content
• Allows for experimentation – discover what users really want and use
• Flexibility to choose broad or granular access
• Librarians are in control of making final, informed decisions

What are the risks associated with EBA’s?
Sound too good to be true? There are some risks associated with EBA’s that you should be aware of. Here are the most important ones to keep in mind:
• Workflow and staff time investment
• Risk of upfront costs – requires a leap of faith
• Tension between ownership, access and value
• Questions of sustainability for both the library and publisher

Cambridge University Press ran a poll asking participants what their biggest concern in implementing an EBA was. The results were:
• 67% – Budget and Sustainability
• 18% – Staff Time & Workflow
• 10% – Risk of Upfront Costs
• 4%   – Other

Given these potential risks, most publishers have a created a robust support plan to offset as much risk as possible. Their plan includes:
• Stable collections – not a lot of titles dropping in and out
• Accurate title lists and cataloger enhanced MARC records delivered monthly
• Coordination with discovery services
• Enriched usage reporting to facilitate selection process
• Infographics and promotional support

Now that you have all the information you need on the Evidence Based Acquisition purchasing model, we hope you will consider whether it is a good fit for your institution. Contact an eBook sales representative at Taylor & Francis if you would like even more information.

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