Part 2 – Librarians are generally positive about publishers

In part 1 we looked at the background to the JISC TechDis / Right to Read Alliance survey

69 different publishers were mentioned in the feedback, of which 60 were commended for responsiveness.Many of the bigger publishers received multiple positive mentions from different respondees – for example OUP and Sage had 23 and 16 positive mentions respectively with no negative mentions.Of the 60 publishers with one or more positive mentions, 39 were only positive, 21 received a balance of positive and negative comment.Only 9 publishers received only negative mentions.These included both small and large publishers.

The tone of the comments was both professional and positive, with librarians often recognising the constraints on publishers (“large publishing conglomerates such as [Name] may have to refer disability requests to an overseas office …..This can slow down the response time”). Comments were sometimes positive, even if the request was unfulfilled, so long as communication was prompt.

The positive mentions were about easy contact, prompt responses, simple processes, accessible PDFs and fair licensing models.Unsuprisingly, the things that attracted negative comments tended to be the opposite but there is also a ‘market awareness’ developing amongst some librarians who recognise the big discrepancies between the services they can receive from different publishers. This is an important trend because in many subject areas excellent textbooks exist from a range of different publishing houses so if one publisher is guaranteed to give a negative experience there are plenty of others you can recommend for the reading lists.So what are the negatives that librarians identified?These are explored in the next post.



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