Vendors, Cost Increases, and Keeping Your Mouth Shut

I need a handler that follows me everywhere with duct tape. The duct tape, of course, would be for my mouth.

Today, in a meeting, we were informed that one of our publishers (a university press no less!) is increasing their journal package 120% over last year’s cost. One Hundred and Twenty Percent. Are you kidding me? Our options are to pay the same amount but only have one concurrent user, which is completely unacceptable, or pay their outrageous cost increase. It was generally acknowledged that the publisher more than likely waited until our renewals were in and gave us a limited time to come back with an answer to force us to give in.

Now I am not naïve enough to believe that this does not happen often. I know that it does, but as I sat there I became incensed at the ridiculousness with which libraries are forced to deal with this kind of shit all the time. From publishers, from vendors. Over and over it is the same sad story and I am tired of having it sung to me.

I raised my hand to speak and the following words came out of my mouth in no certain order: ridiculous, dicking us around, hacks me off, and I then I said, “ …and if they think we are just going to continue to ben… I mean stand around and take this forever, they are wrong.” It is a good thing I did not finish my origianal thought.

Yes, Jane has a problem watching her mouth sometimes. This was one of those times. As a profession, we need to come up with some sort of something to deal with this because this is going to be an increasing problem. The price of journals has continued to rise and we have continued to do nothing and pay or cancel subscriptions.

I do not have a solution. I just know that I am angry at the rock and a hard place this puts us in years after year.

–Jane, grr arg

p.s. Hilariously, “dicking” is not in the Word spell check.

Updated to correct poor typing due to anger. 

11 thoughts on “Vendors, Cost Increases, and Keeping Your Mouth Shut

  • September 28, 2006 at 7:15 pm
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    Welcome to the open-access wars. Come to the light side of the force. TELL YOUR FACULTY TO SELF-ARCHIVE.

  • September 28, 2006 at 8:51 pm
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    Had you finished your thought/comment unfiltered, I believe I would then be within my rights to charge performance royalties. I’m the only one allowed to say “bend over and take it” in a open library forum – and live to talk about it!

  • September 29, 2006 at 5:08 am
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    Darhling –

    I’m sure some grey haired lady was scratching her head at “dicking us around.”

    And if so – her head would have spun at the conclusion of your original thought.

  • September 29, 2006 at 8:27 am
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    Dorothea,
    We, and by we I mean our Metadata and Web Queens, are working on creating a digital repository for our campus. We are a bit behind the swing, but they are working really hard to being us up to speed. The library is hosting a scholarly communications symposium next week for faculty to create more awareness.

  • September 29, 2006 at 8:28 am
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    Adriel,
    I, of course, gave my speech with my arms waving militantly above my head.

  • September 29, 2006 at 9:31 am
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    And by the way, our grey haired librarians can be just as “up in arms” as dear Jane. I think if we had let her go, there would’ve been some whooping goin’ on!

  • September 29, 2006 at 9:54 am
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    Go you, Jane! And I hope you use OUP as your whipping-boy. That oughta get attention in a hurry.

  • September 29, 2006 at 12:22 pm
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    Strange that you think you need someone to duct tape your mouth. Whenever I offer, you always refuse. I know it would certainly make my life easier. 😉

  • October 2, 2006 at 12:13 pm
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    In any other situation, that would be called extortion, and people would be hauled to jail, or there would be RICO charges filed, or who knows what other criminal indictment. It does make you wonder why we let them get away with it.

  • October 3, 2006 at 8:23 am
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    I have plenty of grey (hidden under these lovely blonde highlights–the wonders of modern science) and I too am up in arms. We ARE being dicked around but we need more than rage to deal with it. Look at how the UC system fought back by engaging its academics in the struggle. We need templates for action on this issue or it will eat us alive.

  • October 3, 2006 at 3:19 pm
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    Watch SPARC (especially the excellent Create Change website), and the SPARC-funded Alliance for Taxpayer Access, and the SPARC Open Access Newsletter, and, um, well — watch SPARC. 🙂

    Interestingly, right now it’s the funders who are driving the open access bus, even though we librarians built the bus to begin with. Government funders are key, and the publishers are lobbying the living daylights out of them to keep open access mandates from progressing.

    We can impact what our governments do. We should. I hate to harp on “where’s ALA?” especially since as a non-member I have no grounds to complain — but ARL has stepped up to the plate, so where *is* ALA/ACRL?

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