The E-BASS25 project, funded by Jisc as part of the Digital Infrastructure Programme in 2012/13, was led by Royal Holloway University of London on behalf of the M25 Consortium of Academic Libraries. Specific named partners were:  Kingston University, Science Museum (on behalf of the Museum Librarians and Archivists Group), JISC Collections and Sero Consulting Limited.

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E-BASS25 Patron-Driven Acquisition (PDA) e-book purchasing models by E-BASS25 is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.
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Aims of E-BASS25

The aim of EBASS25 was to deliver a series of linked reports and guidelines forming a navigation tool for consortia seeking to embark on collaborative purchasing of e-books with particular reference to the Patron Driven Acquisitions approach (PDA). The project carried out a wider review of the e-books landscape to contextualise the PDA approach, reviewed PDA options and other relevant models and considered consortial uses of the patron driven approach in the UK and elsewhere. The project also investigated how consortial PDA purchasing can fit with national initiatives, for instance model licences, and purchasing consortia agreements.

The project success factors were therefore that:

  • We will have a clear idea of the current e-books and more specifically the PDA landscape in the UK
  • We will know what issues consortia face when seeking to procure e-books at present
  • Members of the M25 Consortium and the wider community will have clearer guidance on the challenges and considerations relating to the consortial acquisition of e-books using a PDA model

This toolkit presents the EBASS25 outputs in a web framework of relevance to any UK institution or consortium. It is that established UK consortia such as M25 and MLAG can ensure that the guidance is shared with and remains relevant to their members and user communities.

1. E-book Landscape and Context Review

This work package assessed the current range of e-book business models, including PDA, paying specific attention to business models applicable to and/or previously used by consortia. It reviewed the impact of the wider e-book landscape on library e-book provision, including digitization (e.g. Google Books and Hathi Trust), emerging technology trends (e.g. mobile readers) and developments in the publishing industry (e.g. from Amazon and Apple). It also considered whether PDA is a long-term sustainable model.

Deliverables: Report including PDA exemplars and trends

2. Introductory Video

The review identified four differentiated models that offered particular opportunities and benefits, depending on circumstances. The project produced an animated video to introduce those models.

Deliverables: Video and script

3. Supplier Dialogue

This work package drew on the use cases above to develop the business requirements of a consortial model for PDA, addressing key issues such as value for money and financial sustainability, financial management (e.g. equitable distribution of costs between members), content selection (e.g. meeting diverse content needs of consortium members) and exit strategies. Based on this understanding, JISC Collections engaged in discussions with a range of aggregators and publishers addressing such as minimum thresholds of investment and commitment required from consortia entering into a PDA supply deal with suppliers.

Deliverables: Report on supplier feedback

4. Procurement Guidelines

This work package engaged with procurement professionals from university purchasing consortia (e.g. SUPC, LUPC) and JISC Collections to identify the most efficient procurement routes for setting up a consortia e-books agreement, including existing framework agreements such as the Joint Consortia Book Agreement. It did not seek to provide legal advice, but rather to identify issues to be addressed by consortia when contracting and options available to UK consortia.

Deliverables: Guidelines on procurement options

5. Systems Integration Guidelines

This work package identified the technical issues to be addressed in implementing a PDA agreement and how library systems can be exploited to maximise the staff time efficiency savings that PDA offers. It considered how PDA can be most effectively managed by both traditional library systems within member institutions and by emerging ‘above campus’ systems such as KB+ and webscale discovery systems. T

Deliverables: Report and recommendations

6. Institutional Survey

Feedback from the initial EBASS25 community workshop ( attended by over 20 M25 institutions, recommended that the project should undertake a survey to gather opinions of institutional managers on PDA options and associated e-book and consortial considerations in order to determine the action plan that the project might recommend to the M25 group.

Deliverables: Survey analysis and instrument