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.
Associate Director for Technical Services
National Agricultural Library
301 504-7294 voice
301 504-6968 fax