1 Performance of Subscription Vendors: An Evaluative Study Carried Out at UIRC of GGSIP University Subhash Deshmukh Librarian, University Information Resource Centre (UIRC), Guru Gobind Singh Indraprastha University, Delhi, India Amit Kumar Deval Assistant Librarian, University Information Resource Centre (UIRC), Guru Gobind Singh Indraprastha University, Delhi, India Abstract This paper highlights a unique study carried out at University Information Resource Centre (UIRC) of Guru Gobind Singh Indraprastha University (GGSIPU), Delhi, for gauging the performance of journal subscription vendors. This is an evaluative study based on four defined factors, viz. Factor-: Total number of issues to be supplied by each vendor to the library at the end of a particular month of an year; Factor-2: Total number. of received issues by the library at the end of a particular month of an year; Factor-3: Total number of non-received issues by the library at the end of a particular month of an year; and Factor-4: Total number of expected issues by a library at the end of a particular month of an year. By playing with these four defined factors, observation and analysis are made and on the basis of these analysis, to come up with a generalized set of results, which can be applied to the periodical section of any library, may it be public, academic or special library. It can also be equally applied to both Indian and foreign journals subscription. Keywords: Journals; Periodicals; Serials; Vendors; Performance measurement; UIRC; GGSIP University; Performance evaluation; Agents; Journal suppliers etc. GGSIP University An Introduction Guru Gobind Singh Indraprastha University (hereafter GGSIPU) has been established by Government of NCT of Delhi under the provision of GGSIPU act, 998. The university is recognized by UGC, India under section 2B of UGC act. The university has been awarded the ISO 900:2000 certification by standardization, testing and quality certification directorate, Department of Information Technology, Ministry of Communication and Technology, Government of India. It has been accredited A Grade by NAAC (National Assessment and Accreditation Council). It is an affiliating and teaching university that aims to facilitate and promote studies, research and extension work in emerging areas of higher education with its focus on professional education in the discipline of engineering, technology, architecture, management, medicine, pharmacy, physiotherapy, nursing, education, law, journalism and mass communication etc. and also to achieve excellence in these and related fields and others matters connected therewith or incidental thereto. Within a span of ten years, the university has been able to make its presence felt the world over. It is running more than 70 programmes in 0 university schools of studies and around 90 institutes (Government as well as self-financing), imparting professionals education to more than 47,000 students with an annual intake of about 6,000 students. This all is a brief introduction about GGSIP University, Delhi. To know more about it, please visit at UIRC- A Brief Profile University library is well known by the name of University Information Resource Centre (hereafter abbreviated as UIRC). It was established in September 999, with the prime responsibility to supplement the educational and knowledge needs of the students, researchers and its faculty members. It has been consistently raising itself from strength to strength to fulfill its objectives by incorporating the latest technology and talents in providing most cost-effective and time efficient information services to its bonafide members (Ibid) 2. Some of the unique facts, associated with UIRC, are mentioned below as: a) UIRC has a collection of approximately books and subscribes to 275 print journals. b) UIRC is also supplementing its users needs by providing digital information resources and services, which are available online on 24x7 over the university campus and hostel area.
2 402 ICAL 2009 LIBRARY VENDOR/PUBLISHER INTERFACE c) The circulation statistics of UIRC are also very high, on an average ranging from books/ day. d) UIRC is a fully automated library with OPAC and Web-OPAC and provides access to union catalogue offered by DELNET and INFLIBNET and document delivery service through DELNET. e) UIRC has its own webpage which is ranked 8 th (scoring 53 marks and graded as good) among the library websites/webpages of Indian universities. This is as per the research carried out by Mangala Hirwade of Nagpur University. Moreover, another observation, with respect to content/features of Indian university websites is made by Rajat Chada (Doctoral student, W.W. Wright Education Building, Room 2276,20 North Rose Ave, Bloomington, IN 4740, USA, in university news 46(49), December 08-4, 2008, and as per his statement, The website of GGSIP university, Delhi, has included most of the content/features (8 out of 20). The Indian universities that do not have many of the content/ feature can consider GGSIP university website to decide what content/features need to be included for the process of developing their own website. This is a very brief about UIRC, more can be known by going through the library link of GGSIP university website available at Journal Subscription: Backbone of University Library The journal subscription of any university library is regarded as the backbone of that library. This is more so in the case of higher academic and special libraries. It has also got proved by an observation, that serial literature constitute a major part of all academic libraries collections and typically accounts for more than half of their expenditure on library materials-often a great deal more than half.(krishna Kumar,978) The reason, why such an importance is given to serial literature is because it constitutes the significant means of communication for exchange of scientific communication and that too the information contained is more up-to-date and recent than appearing in books. No doubt, the bulk source literature appears in the form of periodicals, but running of periodical section in a library entails complex operations requiring series of decisions regarding variety of jobs full of problems. The ordering, making payment for subscriptions, receipt of periodicals etc. are steps, which are quite complex especially in large libraries. The irregularity in publication and non-receipt of issues from time to time are other main problems, which badly affect library routines. The number of missing issues can go up to five per cent. All these routines necessitate promptness and utmost alertness on the part of the staff and also the use of effective methods and techniques to achieve the objectives.(ibid) 4 Print Journal Subscription at UIRC Generally, Indian libraries subscribe to periodicals through vendors or subscription agents. Orders are also placed with sole agents, when those are appointed by foreign publishers. Only in few cases, libraries subscribe directly by placing orders with the publishers themselves (Ibid) 5 This is also the case with GGSIP university library, we prefer to subscribe our journal literature through vendors only, and as such limited numbers of vendors are empanelled keeping in view the standing, reputation and field of specialization of the vendor as well as the kind and quality of services, the vendor is likely to provide (Kidd and Rees-Jones, 2000). For the year 2008, the total numbers of print journals subscribed by UIRC are 275, foreign and Indian titles accounting for 32 and 43 respectively, priced approximately Rupees 90 lakh. The school wise list of subscribed journals is placed at UIRC web page of GGSIP university website. The statistics of yearly growth of print journals in UIRC can be represented in tabular as well as in graphical form as below. Table : Table depicting growth of print journals at UIRC. Sl. No. Year No. of Print Journals Subscribed by UIRC
3 LIBRARY VENDOR/PUBLISHER INTERFACE SUBHASH DESHMUKH AND AMIT KUMAR DEVAL 403 Growth of Print Journals No. of Journals (2000) Year No. of Journals Evaluation of Vendor s Performance The important task for the collection manager is to determine which subscription agent, or agents, will supply journals at the best price with the most appropriate supporting services (Russell, 2000). All other factors may be compromised up to a certain extent, but it is only the quality of services, provided by agents which can t be comprised. One can evolve dozens of ways and means by which the efficiency of services provided by agents can be analyzed and one such criterion in evaluating the performance of agent is the focal point of this paper. Need and Purpose of this Study Following factors prompted the need and purpose, to carry out this study: ) Irregularity in the supply of journals issued by the vendors. 2) Substantial delay in the receipt of print issues. 3) To make a complete track over the service provided by vendors, whether it is satisfactory or not. 4) Serial control, as discussed above, is a very complex process and in most cases, it is a problem area, this study is carried out in order to tackle it successfully. 5) This study will act as a platform, for taking relevant actions, against vendors as per terms and condition of agreement, therefore any service inadequacy. 6) Through this study, the procedure of serial subscription and control become much more mature and transparent. 7) This study organized to suggest fool-proof methods to locate the missing issues quickly and effectively. 8) To ascertain and locate an agent with higher reputation, as a service provider in a particular area (Jenkins and Morley, 999) 9) Charting out service benchmarks for the next subscription year, on the basis of performance during the current subscription period.. 0) To make strict demand on the vendor, for the timely supply of issues to the library, for timely dissemination of published information to the faculty/ researchers.. Scope of the Study The study is focused on the print journals, which are subscribed by UIRC and the data pertain to end of October The study is brought up to the issue level of each journal, so that clear and perfect picture may be drawn on the basis of result of the study. Limitations of the Study The study is limited, to the following points: ) Only the prints journals are considered for the study. 2) The journals subscribed by UIRC are a part of this study and therefore, a small number of journals are there for study, which, range from in numbers. 3) Vendor who are empanelled on UIRC list, are a part of this study and hence, the vendors of only particular region are considered. 4) Only one year data are taken into account. 5) In this study, vendor services with respect to supply of issues are emphasized. 6) This study is restricted to GGSIP university library. 7) The data for this study is taken at a particular time. Methodology Used for Study The objective of this study is not to hurt the sentiments of any of the vendor empanelled with UIRC for journal subscription and therefore the vendor firm name is not disclosed and the vendor s are renamed by an alphabets A, B, C, D and E as there are only 5 vendor s empanelled with UIRC at present. For making the study successful, the supply of issues of journals subscribed at UIRC, are observed silently and the data with respect to the receipt of issues by the library are noted down vendor-wise in a tabular
4 404 ICAL 2009 LIBRARY VENDOR/PUBLISHER INTERFACE form. By applying statistical and mathematical tools, data is analyzed and on the basis of this analyzed data, vendors are ranked. High ranking represent high performance by the vendor and which is directly proportionate to the quality of services. On the basis of this study, it is tried to develop the formula for calculating the performance of the vendors. Observation and Analysis The observation and analysis of the study is done on the basis of following four defined factors: Factor-: Total number of issues to be supplied by each vendor at the end of a particular month of a year. Performance of Vendor = received by the library subscribed by the library X 00 The relationship of this formula with that of the performance is directly proportional in nature i.e. to say that, if the value came out to be high that means the performance of a vendor is high. Value α α Performance Observation 2 For observation no. 2, factor one and factor three is Table : Performance of vendors with respect to received of issues of journals Sl.No. Vendor Total no. of No. of received Ratio of received/ issues issues subscribed issues. A nd 2. B rd 3. C th 4. D th 5. E st Total Factor-2: Total number of received issues by the library at the end of a particular month of a year. Factor -3: Total number of non-received issues of the library at the end of a particular month of a year. Factor-4: Total number of issues expected by a library at the end of a particular month of a year. know the total no. of issues and the no. of non-received issues by the library, then the formula that will apply shall be: nonreceived by the library Performance of Vendor = X 00 subscribed by the library Table 2: Performance of vendors with respect to non-received of issues of journals Sl.No. Vendor Total no. of No. of received Ratio of received/ issues issues subscribed issues. A nd 2. B rd 3. C th 4. D th 5. E st Total Observation For observation no., factor one and factor two is know the total no. of issues and the no. of received issues by the library, then the formula that will apply shall be: The relationship of this formula with that of the performance is inversely proportional in nature i.e. to say that, if the value comes out to be high that means the performance of a vendor is low. Value α α
5 LIBRARY VENDOR/PUBLISHER INTERFACE SUBHASH DESHMUKH AND AMIT KUMAR DEVAL 405 Observation 3 For observation no. 3, factor two and factor three is Value α Observation 4 α Table 3: Performance of vendors with respect to received/non-received of issues of journals Sl.No. Vendor Total no. of No. of received Ratio of received/ issues issues subscribed issues. A nd 2. B rd 3. C th 4. D th 5. E st Total know the total no. of received and non-received issues of the journal by the library, then the formula that will apply shall be: received by the library Performance of Vendor = X 00 nonreceived by the library The relationship that exists between the value and performance will be like this, if the value comes out to be high then that means the performance of a vendor is high. Value α α Performance For observation no. 4, factor two and factor four is know the total no. of received issues and the no. of expected issues at the end of any particular month, by the library, then the formula that will apply shall be: nonreceived by the library Performance of Vendor = X 00 received by the library The relationship that exists here between the value and performance will be like this, if the value came Table 4: Performance of vendors with respect to received/expected issues of journals Sl.No. Vendor Expected No. of received Ratio of received/ no. of issues issues expected issues. A nd 2. B rd 3. C th 4. D th 5. E st Total If in this formula, if we reverse the position of numerator and denominator, like this: Total no. of recd. issues Performance of Vendor = X 00 Total no. of exptd. issues then the relationship will also get reversed, i.e. to say the value, if comes out to be high then that means the performance of a vendor is low. out to be high that means the performance of a vendor is high. Observation 5 Value α α Performance For observation no. 5, factor three and factor four is
6 406 ICAL 2009 LIBRARY VENDOR/PUBLISHER INTERFACE Table 5: Performance of vendors with respect to non-received/expected issues of journals Sl.No. Vendor Expected No. of non-received Ratio of non-received/ no. of issues issues expected issues. A nd 2. B rd 3. C th 4. D th 5. E st Total know the total no. of non-received issues and the no. of expected issues at the end of any particular month, by the library, then the formula that will apply shall be: Total no. of non-recd. issues Performance of Vendor = X 00 Total no. of exptd. issues The relationship that exists here between the value and performance will be like this, if the value comes out to be high that means the performance of a vendor is low. Value α α On the basis of above study, above mentioned formulas can easily be derived, for gauging the individual performance of vendors and also for gauging the out put of periodical section with respect to their collection development. Result of the Study The result on the basis of above observation and analysis may be read as: Out of the five vendors empanelled with UIRC, the performance of E will be calculated as highest, followed by A as second highest, B as the third highest. C is ranked as fourth in the list, followed by D as the fifth and the last in performance ranking of vendors. Advantage of the Study ) With the help of this study, the performance of individual vendor can be gauged accurately and perfectly and the quality of support service provided by the vendor can be ascertained. If the performance ranking is high, that means the quality of service provided by the vendor is also high and hence one can defend his / her decision of empanelling such a vendor. 2) This study can act as a platform for the journal subscription in the forthcoming years with the vendors, based on their performance. 3) The study can easily be deployed for both Indian and Foreign journal subscription. Conclusion In conclusion, it may be remarked that, the above study is one of its kind to evaluate or to gauge the performance of a vendor for journal subscription, more studies of such kind, keeping other factors like cost as the focal point, may be devised for ascertaining the performance of journal subscription vendor, so that the periodical subscription and control may be managed efficiently, effectively and successfully. References. Admission Brochure 2009 of GGSIP University. 2. Ibid. 3. Krishna Kumar (978), Library Manual, New Delhi: Vikas publishing house Pvt. Ltd., Ibid., p Ibid., p Kidd, Tony and Rees-Jones, Lyndsay (Eds.) (2000), The Serials Management Handbook: A Practical Guide to Print and Electronic Serials Management, London: Library Association Publishing., Russell, Rosemary (Eds.) (2000), Making Sense of Standards and Technologies for Serials Management: A Guide to Practice and Future Developments for Librarians, Publishers and Systems Developers, London: Library Association Publishing, Jenkins, Clare and Morley, Mary (Eds.) (999). Collection Management in Academic Libraries, 2 nd Edition, Hampshire: Gower Publishing Limited, 4.