In the article "We are all in this together", the International Network for the Availability of Scientific Publications (INASP) is looking at different library consortia cost sharing models. The author is Emma Farrow, Programme Officer in Library Development at INASP.
Shared subscription costs on online journals
Library consortia are collaborations between libraries with goals ranging from collaborative licensing, purchase of electronic information resources, peer exchanges, to training. According to Farrow the creation of these consortia has been a succesful way to help institutions to get access to electronic information resources and online journals - especially in developing countries - since they enable institutions to pool resources (e.g. sharing subscription costs) and speak with a single voice.
Consortium = collaboration + networking + resources
It speaks for itself that there is no single, universal cost sharing model. Each member institution will have specific needs and budgets, circumstances and size can vary greatly. All these aspects need to be taken in examination, but as Farrow states:
"In the end, a consortium is as much about collaboration and networking as it is about resources. Through a clear costsharing model and strong communication among members, a consortium can thrive."
The following library consortia cost sharing models are evaluated and illustrated:
Equal share: The total e-resources subscription cost is equally divided between all the member institutions.
Example: Consortium of Academic & Research Libraries in Ghana (CARLIGH)
Type of institution: The nature of the institution determines its share of the e-resources invoice.
Example: Kenya Library and Information Services Consortium (KLISC)
Size of institution: The size of the user population determines the share.
Example: Consortium of Tanzania University Libraries (COTUL)
Ability to pay: Based on available budget.
Example: Bangladesh INASP-PERI Consortium (BIPC)
- Actual usage: Payment is based on the amount e-resources have been used.
Centralised funding: E-resources are centrally funded at government level.
Example: Pakistan’s National Digital Library Programme (NDLP)