INASP’s principles of responsible engagement for publishers
INASP works with publishers to enable affordable and sustainable access to online resources to meet the research needs of developing countries so that they are better equipped to solve their development challenges. Access to the latest information is essential for any strong research and knowledge system.
We have developed a set of principles to guide and assist publishers who are committed to supporting development through providing on-going access to online research information resources.
Make an effort to understand the country context
- try to understand the consortium’s needs, which institutions are members of the consortium, and what are the national research priorities
- increasing student numbers may not be matched by increased facilities, for the library in particular
- look beyond the capital city as connectivity is often very different away from the capital
- many countries are affected by frequent power cuts
“In Malawi the biggest challenge is connectivity. The fibre optic network is just coming in from the sea coast. However the costs have not yet decreased enough, so institutions are still struggling to have adequate bandwidth for access to e-resources.” Patrick Mapulanga
Respect a country’s wish to negotiate as a consortium or purchasing club
- looking for alternative routes or withdrawing access during negotiations can damage relationships and reputations
- there is greater long term strength in working through the consortium than through individual institutions
Avoid making sudden changes
- explain plans early
- give consortia time to prepare. A three to five-year plan for engagement is likely to be more effective
Think medium to long term on pricing
- budgets won’t have increased just because consortia are able and willing to deal directly
Be realistic about sales expectations
- where increases are needed, make these affordable, incremental and predictable
These principles have been discussed in blogs here and here. For further information about INASP’s principles and to continue the discussion of how these can be applied, contact Anne Powell firstname.lastname@example.org.