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De Gruyter Presents New Model for Digital Content Distribution – Patron Driven Acquisition Offers Libraries Considerable Benefits

October 4, 2012

The idea behind Patron Driven Acquisition (PDA) is simple: to offer users access to all digital content, but only charge for actual use. In partnership with the University of Hagen, Jülich Research Center, and University of Mannheim, De Gruyter recently completed a one-year trial of PDA, an innovative form of distribution that provides users with full content access prior to purchase. Based on the insights of this trial, De Gruyter has developed a new and consistent PDA model, which it is showcasing at the Frankfurt Book Fair.

The trial focused on answering three questions that have concerned libraries and publishers: Is Patron Driven Acquisition an economically sustainable strategy for both publishers and libraries? What metrics for determining PDA fees, such as usage levels or the size of the library, are applicable to the market as a whole? How should the PDA service be structured when offered by a publisher, in contrast to retailers and aggregators? The trial was supervised by Prof. Michael Seadle, Director of the Berlin School for Library and Information Science at the Humboldt University of Berlin.

"PDA is an excellent model for providing academic content to research institutes in a particularly cost-effective way," says Katrin Siems, Vice President of Marketing & Sales at De Gruyter. "During the trial we witnessed an increase in usage statistics for our content, and, based on the trial's insights, have developed a distribution model that is oriented to the needs and concerns of libraries."

Libraries can rent full access to over 450,000 journal articles and book chapters as well as over 15 million database entries. At the end of the rental period the paid fees can then be applied to the purchase of desired content. "The advantages are clear," Katrin Siems explains. "Libraries are able to provide their users with a large volume of content, but have the flexibility to only acquire content that is actually used.

With regard to retailers, Katrin Siems has a positive assessment of the opportunity for cooperation: "It is important for De Gruyter to involve retailers in this model."

For more information please visit: http://www.degruyter.com/page/428