Over the past couple weeks, I've shared two simple shifts organizations can make within their literature search and access workflows to achieve big cost savings: reallocating resources and halting blind purchases.
In today's post, I'll share another cost-saving strategy. This time, we'll jump to the end of the literature acquisition workflow to focus on the hidden costs of complex accounting processes. Because as your finance team surely knows, the work associated with literature acquisition doesn’t end once a user successfully obtains a full-text journal article. There's still a lot of work to be done on the back end.
At many organizations, for example, end users order articles directly through the publisher using a purchasing card. Accounting teams spend a lot of time collecting and reconciling those receipts, then documenting and submitting them for approval.
Organizations also need to make sure all users are acquiring content in an appropriate way. That means ensuring that researchers aren’t using pirate sites (which are known to compromise user credentials) or inappropriately using university subscriptions. Researchers also need to be aware that content hosted on institutional repositories is often not the Version of Record (VoR), and therefore unsuitable for uses like regulatory submissions. All of these methods of acquiring content could put the organization at risk. And even if content is acquired legally, ensuring compliance is still hard to get right. It requires a deep understanding of the specific requirements for legal access and distribution—based on variables like how the content is acquired, re-used, stored, and shared.
The level of expertise—not to mention the long list of manual tasks mentioned above—can use up a lot of workforce each month, putting a strain on resources. Organizations that process a high number of monthly transactions, for instance, may need to dedicate a couple full-time staff just to handle literature access functions.
How To Get More Done, Faster, for Less Money
Making a simple shift to automated processes can help you speed your backend workflows while relieving your finance teams from painstaking manual tasks. Instead of wasting time chasing down transaction receipts from end users, an automated document retrieval solution will provide a single monthly invoice—for all publishers and all transactions across your organization. The invoice can include department codes and billing references, which can dramatically streamline internal reporting. And rather than putting the burden of approval and licensing compliance on your staff, an automated solution will ensure you always get the appropriate version for your intended use. It all adds up to a savings on cost, time, and improvement in compliance efficiency.
How Much Savings Are We Talking About? Although every organization is different, those that employ the three simple shifts I've described in this 3-part blog series can expect an average 20% reduction in their overall literature access spending. To see a breakdown of savings tailored to your organization's size and setup, use our new ROI Calculator.
You can read more on this topic here: The ROI of Document Delivery.