Academic journal article Library Resources & Technical Services

Literature of Acquisitions in Review, 2010-11

Academic journal article Library Resources & Technical Services

Literature of Acquisitions in Review, 2010-11

Article excerpt

This review covers the literature of acquisitions from 2010 through 2011. This period was punctuated by continuing economic challenge, and the themes expressed in the literature are largely related to this situation. Libraries moved with conviction toward patron-driven acquisitions. The reexamination of the Big Deal persisted as libraries felt the strain of budget cuts. Approval plans continued to evolve and e-books steadily increased market share. Workflows and management tools' became more sophisticated as' librarians and vendors' sought to cope efficiently with the influx of electronic resources.

This review of acquisitions literature is a continuation of the literature reviews conducted by Dunham and Davis for the years 1996-2003 and 2004-7, and by Harrel for 2008-9, published in Library Resources and Technical Services. (1) The challenges brought forth by the Internet and technological change were a major focus of the 1996-2003 review. In the 2004-7 review, prominent topics included budget concerns and the management of electronic resources. These topics continued to be a concern for the 2008-9 review as were approval plans, creating workflows, the Big Deal (the acquisition of large collections of electronic resources from individual publishers that usually include all-inclusive title lists with agreed-upon limits to price increases), the changing landscape of the marketplace, and the increasing prevalence of e-books. For 2010-11, tight budgets influenced much of the conversation. The Big Deal faced continued scrutiny. The challenges of managing e-resources led to the refinement of workflows and tools. Approval plans continued to evolve and open access publishing gained increasing momentum. Electronic books became a hit with the public and libraries 'alike and patron-driven acquisitions was widely discussed in the literature.

Research Method

In identifying the significant literature published in 2010 and 2011, the author searched Library and Information Science Abstracts (LISA); Library, Information Science & Technology Abstracts with Full Text (LISTA); and ISI Web of Knowledge for appropriate works. Using "acquisitions" and "library" as keywords and limiting by date of publication and scholarly journal, LISA returned 555 results and LISTA returned 547 results. With a similar search, ISI Web of Knowledge returned 221 results. The author consulted WorldCat to find monographs focused on the topic. Finally, the author conducted a systematic review of the contents of selected library science journals. Most items considered for this paper were peer-reviewed articles from scholarly journals published in English, but books, proceedings, and reports also were considered. Works on serials largely were excluded because they are covered in serials and continuing resources literature reviews. The author selected items for this literature review that were indicative of prominent themes in the literature.

The literature published in 2010 and 2011 spans various topics. For convenience, the author has organized the review into four categories (library acquisitions services, tools and resources used in acquisitions work, purchasing models, and open access). Some categories have subsections.

Library Acquisitions Services

In summarizing the findings of a survey of Association of Research Libraries' (ARL) budgets, Lowry found that

   member libraries have experienced three unprecedented
   years of flat or reduced budgets beginning
   with FY 2008-09, when 55 percent indicated reduced
   budgets. In FY 2009-10 that trend continued, with
   61 percent experiencing flat or reduce budgets from
   the prior year. For this year, 2010-11, 47 percent
   are faced with flat or reduced budgets. As observed
   earlier, this is the new norm and not an aberration.
   It will have consequences for teaching and research
   within higher education and in the market place of
   scholarly communications internationally. … 
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