Home » TCP Executive Board Meeting Minutes 2001-01-12

TCP Executive Board Meeting Minutes 2001-01-12

    • Meeting of the Governing Board, January 12, 2001 Meeting, Washington, D.C.
    • Minutes
    • Attending:
    • Bill Gosling (Chair)
    • Dan Arbour
    • David Ferriero
    • Deanna Marcum
    • Sarah Michalak
    • Brian Schottlaender
    • David Stam
    • John Tuck (for Reg Carr)
    • Bill Walker
    • Guests:
    • Mark Sandler, University of Michigan
    • Hillary Nunn, University of Michigan

Introduction-brief discussion of comment sent in advance of the meeting by Deanna Marcum that the project should determine more clearly if it is “a partnership or a product.” Comment was offered that it is a “partnership to create a product.” The issue was raised whether creating levels of pricing would affect the level of partner participation but examples of other organizations were offered where differential fees for participation has not adversely affected partner participation or voice. Broadening access to the resource was noted as a worthwhile goal.

    • Agenda:
    • Introductions and review of agenda

The Board agreed to consider scheduling future meetings in conjunction with the ARL, in May and October.

    • Update on Partner recruitment

Mark Sandler informed the board that more than forty institutions had joined the TCP, presenting a list of new members along with a list of those actively considering membership. Sarah Michalak suggested that schools in the Big 12 be targeted for membership. Mark agreed that such efforts would be worthwhile, since the TCP already enjoys strong representation in the East and Midwest. The discussion then shifted to the international market, and John Tuck reminded the board that the Contents Working Group in the UK would be meeting with representatives from Chadwyck-Healey on January 18, and that all parties hoped that some agreement could be made to allow all UK institutions access to EEBO images and membership in the TCP.

Dan Arbour reported that the number of institutions interested in EEBO has continued to grow, noting that the TCP has helped Proquest Information and Learning marketing efforts. He noted that the project has helped steer interest toward the complete EEBO corpus rather than to the subsets that Proquest Information and Learning has developed. While there has been some progress in international sales, especially in Wales, Australia, and New Zealand, Dan expressed hope that new pricing models would allow for national licenses and would help in negotiations with the Contents Working Group.

The board also approved in principle the idea of using the EEBO-TCP as a model for encoding other microfiche collections. Mark recounted his proposal to the DLF that the EEBO-TCP model be used to create a single interface for searching multiple digitized collections. The board was enthusiastic about such efforts to help establish standards for future digitization projects.

    • User outreach

To give the board background on outreach to users, Hillary Nunn provided a list of conferences that she and Mark Sandler had been attending in hopes of reaching faculty members. She outlined the ways that EEBO was being used in teaching, and the board approved her efforts, suggesting that IT groups become a focus of such outreach as well. Hillary described the EEBO Undergraduate Essay Contest, sponsored by ProQuest Information and Learning and the TCP, and the board approved. Press releases were also discussed, and David Ferriero stressed that paid advertising would prove effective for reaching faculty members. He also suggested that publicity should highlight EEBO’s potential for those using WebCT and electronic coursepacks. In addition, John Tuck suggested that the EEBO-TCP make an appearance at the European Research Libraries conference in Europe.

 

    • Production update

Hillary then offered an outline of the production process, explaining how the RFP was written and outlining the decision processes that went into the selection of vendors. A brief discussion about selection followed, where the board expressed that the first texts to be encoded should cover a wide array of subjects and time periods so that users might see the breadth of the EEBO corpus; then, selections might be chosen to reflect the depth of knowledge that the corpus offers on particular subjects. They suggested that ProQuest Information and Learning’s data about text usage would serve as a valuable guideline in selection as well. The board also approved the TCP’s working in conjunction with the ESTC to create a tracking database to be used at Michigan and Oxford during the production process.

    • Financial Report and discussion of EEBO-TCP Organization

Bill Gosling reported that contracts had been difficult to push through legal channels at Michigan, but that the involvement of the university┬╣s high level administration would ensure their completion before the February billing cycle. A review of project expenditures then ensued, and Bill requested that a subcommittee for finance be formed so that a standard for budget presentation might be prepared. Brian Schottlaender, Bill Walker, and Deanna Markham agreed to serve on the subcommittee.

The board considered whether members who wanted to pay their membership all at once should be entitled to a discount, and the finance subcommittee agreed to investigate how much the price could be adjusted in such situations. The board did not approve a pricing model that used library budgets as the basis for membership costs, suggesting instead that Carnegie classifications might allow for a more acceptable model for pricing. John Tuck pointed out that pricing based on the size of budgets is seen as the norm in the UK and suggested that such a structure be approved for the UK, but the board reached no agreement on the matter.

    • Next Steps

Bill Gosling restated the action steps that emerged from the day’s discussion:

 

    • Near term:
    • Devise several models that would provide fair pricing for institutions of different sizes
    • Investigate pricing models for institutions beyond the United States
    • Settle contracts among participating institutions
    • Explore the effects of offering discount for institutions that pay membership as lump sum (Brian, Bill, and Deanna)
    • Develop advertising for scholarly journals
    • Long term:
    • Consider grant funding opportunities
    • Develop and propose initiative with DLF to apply EEBO-TCP model to other text digitization projects.

November 13, 2001

    • EEBO-TCP Advisory Board Meeting / November 13, 2001 / Washington, D.C.
    • Minutes
    • Attending:
    • Bill Gosling (Chair)
    • John Tuck (for Reg Carr)
    • Carole Moore
    • Dan Arbour
    • Abby Smith (for Deanna Marcum)
    • Sarah Michalak, Betty Bengtson
    • David Stam, Austin McLean (guest)
    • Mark Sandler (guest)

Introduction-brief discussion of comment sent in advance of the meeting by Deanna Marcum that the project should determine more clearly if it is “a partnership or a product.” Comment was offered that it is a “partnership to create a product.” The issue was raised whether creating levels of pricing would affect the level of partner participation but examples of other organizations were offered where differential fees for participation has not adversely affected partner participation or voice. Broadening access to the resource was noted as a worthwhile goal.

    • Agenda:
    • Item 1: Contracts.

Bill provided a progress report on the development of contractual documents in support of the project. In light of the previous discussion, he noted the difficulties of getting counsel to understand the “cooperative’ and “partnering” aspects of the project. Dan indicated that ProQuest was supportive of the current drafts and John, while recognizing the need for legal review at Oxford, thought the drafts would be acceptable in the main. Betty noted that she thought there were adequate protections for partners if the project somehow unraveled. The Board then gave specific attention to the draft Partnership agreement. There were questions as to whether the JISC would sign a single agreement for all U.K. represented institutions or whether each participating institution would sign. The Board recommended that specific mention of pricing or a fee schedule be moved out of the agreement to an appended form. It was further suggested that point two relating to payment of invoices be broken out into two items: one related to the amount due and one related to the schedule of payments. There was discussion of how we would best reflect the intention of the EEBO-TCP that partners as a group have a voice in shaping the project. Abby noted (“as a lawyer”) that standard practice would be to omit such references from a contract although they might well exist in the practice of the project. Sarah noted that the language of section 8 might be broadened to include unanticipated forms or distributing the content beyond “links.” The general sense of the Board was that the documents adequately represented the project and the interests of the Partners and that Michigan, Oxford and CLIR should proceed to finalize the agreements.

    • Item 2: Sales and recruitment

Dan provided an overview of the status of sales from the ProQuest perspective. He noted that the tiered pricing introduced by ProQuest in the spring has made it possible for four or five smaller institutions to sign on for the image product. He noted that EEBO sales are very strong relative to other products and that part of the credit for that belongs to the text partnership. He then noted the tight economy and the difficulties facing discretionary acquisitions like EEBO. Despite the obvious limitations, he was optimistic that progress would be made in the coming year, both in the U.S. market and abroad. Based on their recent trip to Asia and England, Austin and Mark described reactions to the project in Japan, Hong Kong and Australia. The Board was updated on the progress of the JISC nationwide purchase effort for the U.K. and John noted the relatively strong showing of support for the Text Creation Partnership. Mark suggested that the primary TCP efforts should be committed to bringing the JISC discussions to a successful conclusion, recruiting partner commitments from the group of institutions that already have access to EEBO images, and getting searchable text available. Dan strongly recommended that the TCP make trial access available to interested institutions.

    • Item 3: Pricing

The Board considered and acted on several pricing proposals for the Text Creation Partnership. First, the Board reviewed a proposed schedule of tiered pricing for institutions of different size and character within North America. Sarah noted that in a tight economy, we should act to maximize the market. Carole added that we’ve already moved in this direction with the JISC offer and that it seems responsible to extend access ads broadly as possible. Abby suggested that different pricing would not necessarily undermine participation or the equal consideration of Partner input by the Board and others. Bill noted that lower pricing for smaller institutions would not change our efforts and ability to attract comprehensive research institutions at the $50,000 level. The Board unanimously approved the concept of tiered pricing. Next, a proposal on international pricing was considered. The complexity of setting prices for world markets was discussed. The Board unanimously approved a proposal to set international prices at 1/2 of the ProQuest pricing offer for images.

Third, the Board considered a proposal for special pricing for certain content providers to the project. There was recognition of the content contribution of these institutions as well as the expertise they could bring to the project as holders of the original texts. The Board approved the proposed pricing for six institutions. David then encouraged us to think more broadly about how we approach other independent research libraries and special repositories.

A fourth pricing proposal was presented that called for increased partner pricing to begin January 2003. Betty indicated that this is a familiar practice in the library market and could stimulate some participation. Others noted that it aiming this at the exclusively at larger libraries might engender some negative feelings. Bill suggested that we table the issue until spring to see the effect of making the text available to partner institutions.

    • Item 4: Production

Mark indicated that keyboarding accuracy was improving and throughput was regularizing to some extent. The Board reviewed rates of texts returned from keyboarding firms that met project specifications and the average costs of keyboarding. John indicated that Oxford has posted two reviewer positions and hoped to have staff on board by January. Mark indicated that Michigan was trying to hire a third reviewer. If Oxford and Michigan are successful in filling these positions, it is expected that 200 texts per month could be reviewed by January or February of 2002.

In conjunction with the discussion of production, the Board offered several suggestions about selection of texts. They encouraged convening a group of faculty for consultation or reviving the task force that conceived the original plan for text selection. It was also suggested that professional associations could offer valuable input on priorities for selection. The general point of the Board discussion was that the appearance of several hundred titles will help the community focus on shaping the corpus from here on.

    • Item 5. System Development

Austin offered a review of ProQuest enhancement of the image product including new help functions, a revised interface, TIFF to GIF conversion, usage summaries, etc. With regard to text, he indicated that ProQuest hoped to have a searchable text interface in place by summer 2002. Mark indicated that Michigan will mount text with an interim interface but that the project had gained much useful information about desirable interface feature from a faculty/librarian session hosted at Northwestern University this past summer. Abby and others thought we might seek funding from the Mellon foundation or others for the development of improved tools for accessing and analyzing humanities textfiles.

    • Item 6: Budget

The project budget was reviewed and the board was generally comfortable with the distribution of expenditures across production, marketing, and project administration. Betty suggested that we show projected revenues over the next three to five years based on existing commitments. She thought it would also be useful to project expenditures over several years. The Board thought it would be useful to see monthly reports on production and expenditures for the next year.

    • Item 7: Outreach

Marketing and outreach strategies were discussed. The Board saw value in existing activities including website maintenance, sending out project newsletters, speaking at conferences, publishing reviews, etc. Suggestions for additional activities included targeting scholarly societies, seeking out faculty to enter items on ListServs, working with ELS, RBMS, and other relevant library groups, and contacting relevant research centers and institutes. Austin indicated that ProQuest would continue to offer a 10% discount on image sales to libraries participating in the text partnership.

    • Item 8: Board Organization

The Board agreed to meet at Oxford on September 18, 2002. That meeting will correspond with a celebration of the 400th anniversary of the Bodleian and Board members are encouraged to stay on in Oxford for a conference scheduled on the Sept 19 and 20.

The Board agreed that a spring meeting would be desirable and Mark should work with Bill to find a suitable time and place.

The Board indicated that quarterly progress reports on the project would be beneficial to keep them up to date on developments. They suggested that these reports should include mention of institutions that we are working with because Board members might be able to communicate with colleagues at these institutions to give fuller background on the project.

Bill thanked the Board for a very productive work session and the meeting adjourned at 3:20.