We are starting to see the first signs of federated access being used as a core decision point in business planning. In this uncertain market, publishers and institutions are having to make decisions about the best possible way to maximise their markets and maximise their spending power.
We’ve recently been helping institutions review their resource lists against federation compliant publishers, and several have mentioned that they are willing to cancel subscriptions to non-compliant publishers. Regrettably, this is often the smaller publishers who perhaps have not had the chance to be able to fully exploit the new technology. I know it is difficult for librarians to even consider cancelling subscriptions to the larger publishers…but there are two major publishers whose names may start with W and I and a major aggregator whose name may also start with I who are still dragging their feet about meeting the customer requirement for federated access. It would be interesting to see what their reaction might be if faced with cancellations because of lack of compliance.
On the aggregator front, we are starting to see signs of the smaller publishers moving away from aggregators because of non-compliance with federated access. I think this is a sensible reaction – don’t let your platform provider dictate your requirements in a market where you might lose custom based on slow-uptake of technologies.
Federated access is definitely the new black and a must have in your technical wardrobe if you want to be taken seriously at the scholarly publishing party.