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BC ELN Resource Forum & Ranking Survey Frequently Asked Questions

General Questions

Who can participate in the Resource Forum and Ranking Survey?

Can BC ELN get my library a better price on a resource we already license?

Why canít I nominate products that other consortia license?

Can BC ELN pursue licenses for highly specialized subject resources?

Questions about the Resource Forum

Is the Resources Forum open to suggestions all year round?

Does BC ELN provide product suggestions?

Questions about the Ranking Survey

Why is the Ranking Survey only conducted once a year?

Can BC ELN evaluate resources and/or provide recommendations for libraries?

Do certain library types (e.g. urban institutions, larger universities), influence the rankings more heavily than others?

Should I vote based on what my library already has, or based on what my library wants?


Who can participate in the Resource Forum and Ranking Survey?

All librarians and library staff at BC ELN partner libraries are encouraged to submit suggestions that meet the nomination criteria to the resource forum. Each partner library will be asked to submit ONE ranking survey for 2014.


Can BC ELN get my library a better price on a resource we already license?

It depends:

Why canít I nominate products that other consortia license?

Consortial licensing works by leveraging the number of licensees to achieve better pricing for all. Several consortia licensing the same resource results in a splintering of buying power, and BC ELN likely wonít get the numbers required to achieve truly favourable pricing.

View products licensed by other BC and Canadian consortia:

Electronic Health Library of BC
Council of Prairie and Pacific University Libraries
Consortia Canada


Can BC ELN pursue licenses for highly specialized subject resources?

Vendors are unlikely to provide favourable pricing for the small number of BC institutions that might be seeking a highly specialized or niche resource. Consortia Canada, which has the capacity to leverage national numbers, is better suited to seeking consortial pricing on these resources.

BC ELNís strength is its focus on licensing electronic resources which serve broader post-secondary sector needs at low costs. These resources may be traditional (e.g. journal databases) or non-traditional (e.g. image databases). This strategy enables institutions to devote savings to licensing the specialized content of value for their unique programs.


Is the Resources Forum open to suggestions all year round?

Yes. Based on feedback from the 2014 Licensing Activities Survey, the Resources Forum is now open to suggestions all year long.


Does BC ELN provide resource suggestions?

Absolutely. BC ELN Office staff regularly speak to vendors and have an awareness of relevant resources that could be of benefit to the consortium. In these cases the BC ELN Office will suggest resources to the forum. Suggestions do not indicate ďa stamp of approvalĒ from BC ELN; libraries should evaluate each suggested resource individually. See Evaluating Electronic Resources.


Why is the Ranking Survey only conducted once a year?

Libraries do not have budgetary capacity for unlimited licensing of resources. In addition, conducting the Annual Ranking Survey and investigating new resources for licensing are time-intensive tasks that can only be conducted once a year.


Can BC ELN evaluate resources and/or provide recommendations for libraries?

BC ELNís role is to facilitate and coordinate the new resource selection process, gather information, and act on the direction of partner libraries. Unfortunately the BC ELN Office does not have the capacity nor the expertise to evaluate all suggested resources, and it wouldnít wish to be seen as favoring one resource or vendor over another. Itís the role of partner libraries to conduct independent resource evaluations in advance of joining or renewing a license. For more information, please see Evaluating Electronic Resources.


Do certain library types (e.g. urban institutions, larger universities), influence the rankings more heavily than others?

No. Each library vote (i.e. choice of three highest-priority resources) has equal weight in the process. When ranking selections, libraries should all consider which resources would bring the most value to the entire consortium.


Should I vote based on what my library already has, or based on what my library wants?

BC ELNís recent survey about licensing activities indicated that libraries had some questions about how to best demonstrate preferences in the ranking survey. For example, if a library desired a resource but had no money in its budget to actually license the item, how should it vote?

In order to distinguish desire for a resource from potential ability to license, BC ELN is now asking each partner library to:

a. choose its top three preferences - 1 high, 1 medium, 1 low - regardless of whether the institution has funds to pursue the license (libraries should make selections that reflect BC ELNís mission and are most likely to benefit the entire consortium);

b. tell us if your institution currently has licenses for any of the voted-for resources; and

c. tell us if your library would be likely to license the resource through BC ELN within the year (i.e. your library has the funds and the intent Ė indicating yes does not commit your institution to licensing the resources)


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