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Demand or Patron Driven Acquisition

Demand or Patron Driven Acquisition (PDA) is a hot topic in today’s library world. The need is driven by stagnant or dwindling library budgets, libraries – predominately in the US, and now internationally– publishers have been exploring new ways to offer their patrons – i.e. library users – access to the broadest range of high-quality content for research and teaching in an affordable way.

Taking advantage of the growing availability of academic content in digital form, a number of retailers and publishers over the last few years have been developing increasingly popular models for supporting the needs of libraries and their customers or consumers with the content they need at a price that can be afforded in today’s budget constrained economy.

Patron Driven Acquisition Models

These models permit libraries to purchase e-books only when library users have requested them within a given, predicted, frequency. Usually, the budget for this type of acquisition is set in advance so as to give the institutions some control over and knowledge of their anticipated costs.

Instead of having to stock the library with products or content thought to be of interest to consumers, which can cost up to a million or more a year. This model permits libraries to budget much less and only purchase what is demanded by consumers.

Today several of our customer publishers have rolled out this model using Klopotek O2C (Order to Cash) in both Europe and the USA. The modules have been specifically adapted with workflow that supports several PDA or DDA models.

While the economic advantages of PDA or DDA are beyond question, since it can reduce a required budget from hundreds of thousands to tens of thousands, some systemic problems have arisen in utilizing the model. Critics of Patron Driven Acquisition argue that the model only favors the transitory and contemporaneous informational interests of individual users and therefore fails to provide adequate support for the deliberate growth of a library’s digital holdings. Indeed, libraries still consider building their collections to be a part of their core mission in the digital world, as was the case for printed books in the past, however, the cost and customer service capabilities of these models cannot be ignored.

Examples of the business models supported automatically by Klopotek are an Account Driven Model where a Library purchases a contingent amount of product using a proforma invoice, this order enables the content to be accessed twice for free. The third time content is accessed, it is automatically released for unlimited usage and an invoice to the library is triggered which also increases the library‘s inventory. Thus, the sales benchmark is solely how often the content is downloaded by the reader.

The number of available e-books would be greater than the number read. If required the library receives e-mail notification that it‘s budget is almost exhausted and they can then place another proforma order to top up the required budget for eBooks.

Another model supported is one that requires an upfront payment on account

For an upfront payment, the library receives restricted access to the selected subject group of contend, for example, $1 per user for access to the publishers complete collection for a given timeframe, which would typically be a year. The readers can then access the subject group during the agreed time, and the Publisher‘s portal handles the traffic between the library and the publisher, it tracks how often material is accessed during the

period and calculates the cost. For example 1200 readers have downloaded material. The library must make an additional payment or can opt for unlimited access or ownership. The portal statistics are what drives the calculation.

The number of e-books available for download can vary. The Library receives a credit or additional charges based on actual usage. At the end of the agreed period, the library can buy the e-books and receives credit for the usage fees already paid. Additional business models are being created all the time, and so it’s essential to support the business with systems that can flexibly and comprehensively provide the required functionality. This functionality crosses all areas of the required business mode, from web connectivity to rights and royalties. An effective web framework of web services is essential, since most of these business models require real-time access to metadata concerning product and pricing.

In the example above, it can be seen that the business model is effectively supported by ecommerce options for the different formats made available by the model and also the rich bibliographical metadata that informs the consumer about the options available.

Fundamentally, such complex business models deliver real results in terms of revenue and business goals but can only be truly cost effective when supported by systems that offer an integrated and seamless approach from the web front end to the backend support necessary as Klopotek’s solution offers.

Get in touch with us

For any additional information please contact Steve Waldron, VP Business Development, s.waldron(at)klopotek.com.

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