Transfer 2.0 and Beyond! An Update
Bazeley, Jennifer W
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e-Journals often get transferred between publishers, whether because of change in commercial ownership (by acquisitions and disposals) or because the owner (frequently a society) takes the opportunity to partner with a different publisher. Many such transfers go smoothly, but in a significant percentage of cases there can be lengthy, inconvenient and often unexplained interruptions in access for the end-user. The UKSG-sponsored Transfer initiative was launched some years ago to better understand these problems and propose guidance on how they could in future be minimized, so that libraries would have confidence in secure and uninterrupted access to the valuable resources they purchase. Based around a cross-sectoral working group, representing leading publishers, librarians, agencies and other intermediaries, Transfer is now increasingly accepted as a source of information and best practice in this area. There are three strands to Transfer’s current activities. First of all, The Transfer Code of Practice, now in an extended Version 2.0, describes Transfer’s objectives and a set of practical steps that can be used by publishers to foster communication and actively work to prevent avoidable or unannounced interruptions in service. Secondly, an emailing service is in place to alert the community to specific journal transfers that have been notified. And finally, we are working to “spread the word” and encourage more publishers to endorse the Code. Publisher endorsement of Transfer is entirely voluntary, but it works! Thirty-six major publishers have so far signed up and others are considering doing so. And frequently throughout the year, there are active notifications of journals “on the move”, helping avoid unpleasant surprises.