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We recently have encountered a perplexing situation concerning the
licensing of e-journals from Wiley.  I am interested in knowing if this
situation is unique to NAL or if similar problems have arisen at other
libraries.

 

For several years, NAL has licensed e-journals from Wiley for use both
in the library and across USDA as part of our Digital Desktop for
Agricultural Literature (DigiTop).  The mix of services includes current
subscription, prior years and access to their "early view" service. 

 

Prior to this fiscal year, there was a linkage requiring the maintaining
of current print subscriptions when the electronic version was licensed.
A new contract was negotiated in late FY 2005 for the electronic
content.  That agreement replaces the previous contract which was
expiring and specifically contains no linkage to print subscriptions.
It does set the price for the electronic content as a percentage of the
listed print price but does not require NAL or others in USDA to
maintain print subscriptions. That agreement was signed by Wiley and
USDA.

 

Subsequently, Wiley has not furnished us with an invoice and limited
access to content by restricting range of publishing dates covered to
February, then March, and now to June 2006. This action resulted in USDA
access to the "early view" service being intermittent.  They have
informed us that other units in USDA are canceling their print
subscriptions to titles that are in DigiTop.  Wiley indicates that they
want NAL to reimburse them for these cancelled print subscriptions.  

 

We appear to be at an impasse and may well see all electronic access to
Wiley titles through DigiTop disappear.  If this situation is found to
be a case of a vendor's contractual default, it would have a significant
impact on the ability of USDA, and indeed other federal agencies, to
conduct business with Wiley.  

 

Has any other library experienced similar problems with this vendor?  If
so how was it resolved?  Any experience or suggestions you might have
would be most welcome.

 

 

Christopher Cole

Associate Director for Technical Services

National Agricultural Library

10301 Baltimore Avenue, Room 204

Beltsville, MD 20705-2351

301 504-7294 voice

301 504-6968 fax