UKSG Negotiation Skills for Librarians

Workshop Summary

Electronic publishing continues to bring major changes to the provision of teaching and research information, hugely impacting the role and responsibilities of information professionals.  One critical difference is the shift from ownership to access of electronic products, particularly in relation to journals, a shift which has given rise to a wide and evolving range of pricing models and purchase options.

This in turn means the concept of the ‘list price’ for digital journals has become meaningless as institutions and consortia select the content they need and publishers and their representatives tailor deals to meet these requirements.  When making these deals, publishers often seek to maximise their income whilst libraries/consortia typically strive to maximise access whilst controlling their costs, a dynamic which means negotiation has become a fundamental part of the acquisition process.

The digital arena presents many challenges but also considerable opportunities.  The key for information professionals is to gain a good understanding of these new dynamics and to develop the skills and confidence which will enable them to gain the best from each negotiation.  It follows that libraries/consortia whose staff have strong negotiation skills will have considerable advantage in this challenging environment.

Who Should Attend

The workshop has been written for serials and acquisitions librarians involved in e-resource purchasing primarily in academic institutions.  Some of the learning is relevant to librarians working in corporations.  The workshop focuses mainly on journals and other serially published content (although some of the learning will be transferable to eBook and database acquisition).  Written at an introductory-intermediate level, the workshop is aimed at those new to negotiations and those with some negotiations experience who are seeking a ‘refresher’ and/or additional tips, skills and knowledge.  Librarians who are being trained to undertake purchasing roles will also benefit from attending.  More experienced negotiators are welcome as their knowledge, skills and experience will enhance the learning of the group but the course is primarily designed for those new or somewhat new to publisher negotiations.

What You Will Learn

Overall, participants will:

  • Gain a good understanding of some of the key issues surrounding publisher negotiations, together with practical negotiation skills and knowledge which they will be able to use immediately in their professional lives.

Specifically, participants will:

  • Learn four principles of successful negotiation of online information resources
  • Learn seven key habits for successful negotiation of online information resources
  • Gain insight into the role of mindset and personal resilience in negotiations and negotiation outcomes
  • Gain practical experience of evaluating and resolving a range of e-resource negotiation problems
  • Have had the opportunity to share their negotiations experience and negotiation challenges encountered in their own work.


NB: UKSG reserves the right to alter or vary the programme due to events or circumstances beyond its reasonable control without being obliged to refund monies.


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