ITHAKA Sustainable Scholarship 2012 – Librarian Pre-Conference

Ithaka Sustainable Scholarship 2012 was held October 15-16, 2012 at the New York Hilton.  The first day pre-conferences included a librarian and a publisher track.  The second day included a number of speaker panels with Ithaka and non-Ithaka presenters. About 50 librarians and 25 publishers attended the first day.  About 200 people attended the second day.

On the first day  I attended the librarian track and learned about Ithaka developments with books, journals and platform updates at JSTOR, Primary Sources, Ithaka S+R (Scholarship and Research) and Ithaka preservation.

Books at JSTOR

Frank Smith, Director, Books at JSTOR ( and John Lenahan, Associate Vice President, Institutional Participation and Strategic Partnerships discussed Books at JSTOR.

Launching November 2012, Books at JSTOR will offer more than 15,000 titles from 30 publishers.  JSTOR has been encouraging publishers to include titles that bring in the most revenue through print sales.  JSTOR hopes to use the data to show publishers reasons to liberalize their policies and make more monographs available electronically.

The pricing is set by publishers, not by JSTOR. The speakers noted that backlists actually cost more but offer higher discounts for multi-volume sales. Pricing is tiered by JSTOR classification and includes volume level discounts.

Pricing reflects two user models, a multi- user model and an unlimited simultaneous user model.  This slide shows an example of how tiered pricing works.

Originally JSTOR began e-book sales with only a single user model.  This model allows unlimited online reading, chapter downloads, and no restrictions on printing.  Thirty chapters of a single book may be downloaded per year under the single user model.  The title page and table of contents are seen as a chapter.  With the single user model, currently a second user will not get a message if book is in use.  JSTOR is working on this

Additionally, 43% of JSTOR e-books are available for multiple simultaneous users.   These books allow unlimited DRM-free downloads.

DRM download restricted titles use fileopen (which requires a plugin).  This prevents copying.   Chapters can be downloaded on up to three devices. Downloaded chapters do not expire. Libraries can set up pay-per-use for additional chapter downloads, or buy packs of 30. Libraries can buy up to three copies of a book (per college in a consortia).

If you bought a book single user and you decide to go to multi-user you can get credit from the original purchase.

Audience was very interested in getting the e-books they may buy from JSTOR into other platforms. JSTOR is talking to Coutts and Yankee Book Peddler but they not there yet.  Additionally, such an approach would increase the price libraries pay for the books.  Nonetheless, libraries  really want to see the e-books on their standard platforms to avoid buying duplicates.  JSTOR says it will run holdings comparisons.

Note that the JSTOR book tab will show up even if a library does not subscribe to any of the e-books. When a library has both journals and e-books, they show up together in search results.  The quick view of search results displays the opening sentences of the book retrieved.

JSTOR also offers demand driven acquisitions. As with other patron driven models, a library sets up a deposit and selects titles. Triggers to purchase are three chapters downloads or five chapter views.

The home page for books will link to book reviews in JSTOR.

Current and Archival Journals in JSTOR

Bruce Heterick, Vice President, Outreach and Participation and  John Lenahan, Associate Vice President, Institutional Participation and Strategic Partnerships discussed JSTOR journals.

This session provided an overview of the latest and planned archive collections launching, and covered the Current Scholarship Program for the 2013 subscription year. The speakers also outlined the new participation fee option that was introduced with Arts & Sciences XI.

JSTOR journals break down into 12 muti- disciplinary collections and 11 disciplinary collections.  They cover 59 disciplines.  JSTOR pricing shows a 0% price inc over the last 15 yrs but content has grown so the cost per page is going down. Archive capital and annual access fees have gone down. Presenters showed a chart comparing JSTOR per use price vs. other publishers.  For example, Elsevier per use price was about $7.57 whereas the per-use price for a JSTOR article is about $ .70.

One of their new collections is the Jewish Studies Collection which includes 40+ titles in English, German, French, Italian and Hebrew.

Libraries have complained that recurring access fees are a burden.  In response, with the introduction of the Arts and Sciences XI collection there will be only a one-time payment for pre-existing customers (no on-going access fee will be charged).

A new development is the JSTOR advisory group.  It includes world-wide representatives.

In November 2012 JSTOR will launch its alumni access program.  Libraries may sign up beginning January 2013.  JSTOR piloted the program with 60 institutions.  To participate, libraries will need to pay an additional 10% on their access fees.  The library must segregate alumni users for data collection.

JSTOR reminds us that Early Journal Content (public domain) is now available free and is well used.  Additionally, the Register & Read program includes 70 titles from 30 publishers.  The program launched after the Early Journal Content became available.  It allows unaffiliated users limited, free and for-a-fee access to articles in both early and more current journal issues.

The site offers an institutional finder which works as a proxy re-direct.  Users not linking from a library web site can be redirected to their college library so they will have access to owned content. Brooklyn College has done the administrative work needed to make this work for our users.

The presenters shared some interesting data about how users access JSTOR including:

50% starts at JSTOR

40% starts at Google

6% starts through vendor linking

4% starts at a library web site

JSTOR reminds us that we are investing a lot in discovery services, but these will only be useful if our users start their searches with a library web site.

There was discussion about the current scholarship program. Data has shown a 119% inc in use of these titles over their use in prior platforms.  The program offers flexible subscription options. Discounts on single title as well as discounts on packages run as high as 33% (U chicago press). See data on current collection turn away to evaluate purchasing current titles. Libraries are concerned about what to do if they have the older runs of a title through JSTOR but the current runs of the same title through another provider.  JSTOR currently does not work as a source in link resolving.

JSTOR acknowledges that publishers not in the big deal packages are not so likely to be picked up by libraries.

JSTOR likes the idea of pay per view for its current titles and suggests that libraries assume a per article licensing fee. Libraries can also have deposit accounts.

Some interesting JSTOR stats:

JSTOR Plant Science and Primary Sources

Javanica Curry, Director, Participation Strategy and Deirdre Ryan, Director, Primary Sources discussed JSTOR Plant Science and Primary Sources

JSTOR has rich primary source collections ranging from Geographic Image Systems (GIS) to British Pamphlets.  Content includes samples collected by Charles Darwin while on the Beagle and those found at medieval historical sites in Tanzania, Kenya, and Timbuktu.

In the initial stages of developing Primary Sources, Ithaka took opportunities that came up to gather primary source material.
The focus in 2011 was on developing the British pamphlets collection, the collection on African cultural heritage, and the collection on struggles for freedom.

Interestingly, the developers of the Ithaka database Plant Science ( were eager to get conversation going among their scientist users, but they were adamant that they did not want to use Facebook.  So they settled on  a widget through DISQUS.

When mellon funding ends in 2013 Ithaka will start to charg for its primary sources on a sliding scale.

An overview of JSTOR archival collections:

JSTOR Platform Updates

Jeremy Stynes, Associate Vice President and Creative Director discussed platform updates.  He pointed out that the web site employs resposive web design, an approach that is probably better than having an app since it is device agnostic.

The topic search is new on the JSTOR site.  Users should be aware that search boosts favors words in title.

Ithaka S+R Updates
Deanna Marcum, Ithaka S+R Managing Director, Rebecca Griffiths, Program Director, Teaching & Learning, Nancy Maron, Program Director, Sustainability & Publishing and Roger Schonfeld, Program Director, Libraries & Scholarly Practices discussed Ithaka S+R (Scholarship and Research).

Schonfeld noted that Ithaka is doing a faculty survey and a second project that focuses on the needs of specific disciplines.  Maron discussed an interest in sustaining digitized special collections. She has surveyed ARL directors, done case studies of digital collections on campuses and observed that digitization is happening all over the campus.  She is also looking to learn what are the sources of revenue used for digitization projects. Griffiths has done a study of hybrid statistics courses and compared them to tradtional course.  She has also studied ( massive open online courses) MOOCS.

During the Q&A Ithaka asked for directions they should take their research.

ITHAKA Preservation Approach

Laura Brown, Executive Vice President, JSTOR Managing Director, Deanna Marcum, Ithaka S+R Managing Director and
Kate Wittenberg, Portico Managing Director discussed preservation approaches.

Wittenberg said that Portico’s emphasis is on moving to e-books.   They are working with Columbia and Cornell in the 2CUL initiative to figure out what to do about 85% of journals not being preserved. They are looking at emerging preservation needs of the community, working with JSTOR and Ithaka to explore how to leverage strengths of both on behalf of portico, working hard on eliminating their backfile (they got an outside vendor to help them keep up) and they are looking to have publishers use formats that make the preservation process faster.  As they note, Portico is asking pubs to do the same things places like amazon are asking.

Brown noted that the historical impetus behind JSTOR was to allow libraries to clear off shelf space;  now, after 15 years that is happening.  JSTOR is looking at the preservation for new types of scholarship.

Marcum raised a number of questions related to preservation.
What about shared collections? Who makes preservation decisions?What about things like blogs?  Who will preserve them?
In the past, major research libraries were expected to take on responsibility for preservation. What about now, with so much digital content being produced on local campuses?

Someone in the audience asked: does everything have to be saved?
Marcum argues that technology allows us to save cultural artifacts easily so why not save broadly?

A final point was that creation and preservation is happening almost simultaneously; therefore establishing standards is important.


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