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Agreements and associated dates


#1

I’m working on revisions to the Agreements listing (search/filter) wireframe, last discussed in the document: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1S9CtUHhKIhVWxQiB6p5-9dSfJCH7Pj-LhP_8SUN1_Wk. A number of date fields relating to agreements have been mentioned by users so I thought it worth having a discussion around them. I’ve asked a few questions but any thoughts you have about dates and their use in the context of agreements are very welcome.

Agreement start date

  • How important is the start date when managing agreements?
  • What would you use it for in the agreement listing (e.g. sorting?).
  • Do all agreements have a start date?

Date last updated

  • Should this be the date the agreement record was updated or the date any aspect of the agreement was updated e.g. the licence document?

These three are all related to an agreement ending or coming up for renewal.

Agreement end date

  • How do you use the end date and is it more important than the two dates below?

Cancellation deadline

  • Is this deadline always set by the provider?
  • What proportion of agreements have a cancellation deadline?

Internal content review date - an internal decision deadline which is set prior to cancellation. It could be tied into workflow eventually.

  • Will all agreements have an internal content review date?

Will you make use of all these dates or are there some which some institutions will not need?

A key requirement is to be able to show Agreements which are coming up for review or renewal. When you are managing renewals, which date(s) do you use and how do you use them?

My aim is to finalise which agreement dates are needed and how they will be used in the ERM app. At the moment I’m thinking mostly about what you would find most useful as filters and in column sorts, but as dates will play an important part in workflow, reporting/analysis and specific ERM tasks it’s worth considering them in the wider sense. Thanks!


#2

Thoughts on dates from Chalmers:

Agreement start date - Yes, agreement start date is important, even though it varies in importance between different agreements. Subscriptions (for example our BIBSAM-consortium agreements that usually run for three years) are easy to search and filter on start dates. If there is no start date we set one to know when we acquired a resource.
Date last updated – when the agreement was updated, probably, but this doesn’t feel like an important date to keep track of.

Cancellation deadline and agreement end date - The cancellation deadline is set by the provider in all cases we could think of now. Subscriptions have a cancellation deadline, other types of agreements might not have one. Regarding the agreement end date, we might use the cancellation deadline more in workflows but the end date is very useful to see and be able to filter by.

Internal content review date - Maybe the internal content review date is something we choose to have for a limited number of agreements that we would like to look more closely at. It’s easy to drown in notices about agreement end dates in the autumn when everything should be review before the new year.

Maybe the date last updated will not be needed, the other ones feels relevant.


License and Agreement start and end dates
#3

How important is the start date when managing agreements?"

Extremely important. You have to define precisely when the agreement starts, i.e. whether it starts 1st August or at the beginning of a year. You may purchase an agreement and access from 1st January of next year on, because you then get trial access as a gesture of goodwill until start date of your agreement.
Alternatively there may be agreements via multiple years instead of 12 month within a calendar year.

Date last updated - should this be the date the agreement record was updated or the date any aspect of the agreement was updated e.g. the licence document?

In my opinion, it should be the date any aspect of the agreement was updated.

Do all agreements have a start date?

Yes.

How do you use the end date and is it more important than the two dates below?

All of them are important. Cancellation deadline is in most cases 31st August or 30th September, since then you definitely have to have cancelled the order.
The end date differs and is independent of cancellation deadline. It may be the end of the year or even beyond that (that depends on subscription period).

If you cannot decide on cancellation or renewal until cancellation deadline, you can place your agreement on hold (which means, automatic renewal is cancelled). There will be internal deadlines for decision making then.

Is this deadline always set by the provider?

The deadline is set by the publisher respectively licensor (depends on contract) or is set by provider.

What proportion of agreements have a cancellation deadline?

All agreements with costs have a cancellation deadline.

Will all agreements have an internal content review date?

Yes (may vary …)

Will you make use of all these dates or are there some which some institutions will not need?

In my opinion, you would use all of them.

A key requirement is to be able to show Agreements which are coming up for review or renewal. When you are managing renewals, which date(s) do you use and how do you use them?

Internal deadlines are used to remind me to pay attention and take necessary steps in workflow, i.e. contact people whose decision is needed. They remind me until when decisions have to be made to renew or cancel in time.


#4

I agree in all points with @martinaschildt.

For the end dates, I’d propose yet another one: access end date.
In some cases, an agreement ends by the end of the year, but you may still have access to the content for another month or two.


#5

=> I had a chat with our licence manager and he was unsure about the kind of “update”. He thinks it is a question of definition: The annual renewal, an amendment or a content expansion?


#6

I think when we say “Date last updated” we are referring to an edit (update) of the record in Folio. Gill’s question (as I understand it) is whether we should:

a) only amend the “Date last updated” when there is a direct edit of the Agreement record
OR
b) amend the “Date last updated” when there is an edit of other items that might be attached to the Agreement record (e.g. an edit of a related License record).

Note - in neither case would this necessarily be about an actual change to the agreement - just that someone had made an edit in Folio (which might be to update a note, correct a typo, etc.)


#7

Thanks Martina

Extremely important. You have to define precisely when the agreement starts, i.e. whether it starts 1st August or at the beginning of a year. You may purchase an agreement and access from 1st January of next year on, because you then get trial access as a gesture of goodwill until start date of your agreement.
Alternatively there may be agreements via multiple years instead of 12 month within a calendar year.

This raises a good point. I’m not sure currently whether the use case you describe here is for one or two agreements. The question is, should trials always have a separate agreement or is “trial” just a status of an agreement? This might be one for discussion in our next sub-SIG call.

If you cannot decide on cancellation or renewal until cancellation deadline, you can place your agreement on hold (which means, automatic renewal is cancelled). There will be internal deadlines for decision making then.

There is a field on an agreement called “Renewal priority” with the options:

  • Definitely renew
  • For review
  • Definitely cancel

Do you think another option is needed to reflect your use case?


License and Agreement start and end dates
#8

Three responses were received by email, see this document: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1ReKfFQCzyr9-uG4EhyrWeXGZiVVi0RlzBWq54vDnA78

Thanks all for your responses. Summarising the possible dates we need to record for an agreement, we have (so far!):

  • Agreement start date
  • Agreement end date
  • Cancellation deadline
  • Internal content review date
  • Trial start date
  • Trial end date
  • Access start date
  • Access end date
  • Date last updated (auto-generated when an aspect of an agreement is saved)

Will be a good topic for review in a upcoming ERM sub-SIG call.


#9

Hey Gill!

The question is, should trials always have a separate agreement or is “trial” just a status of an agreement?

To my mind and in the above case, “trial” is a status of an agreement.

Do you think another option is needed to reflect your use case?

Another option would be good, i.e. on hold. This status seems to be set manually and is used when your agreement isn’t automatically renewed. It should be searchable because you would then create lists to check all agreements which are on hold.


Trials and agreements
#10

Associated dates are important because they drive functionality, e.g. patrons can check in discovery whether or not a certain volume of a journal is available. Agreement and licence dates may hand their start and end dates down to the indivdual resources (journals), but unfortunately this does not work reliably. The same goes for dates provided by the KBs. I have tried to compile some examples (from our Taylor & Francis holdings) as well as some thoughts about date terms and definitions (hopefully adding to https://docs.google.com/document/d/1vue-mbcULpZivWu69a7nAZEdC-H2yXPQqSblbL_0J6U/edit )

:star: Examples for agreement and associated dates and terms