[Eril-l] estimating hosting fees

Heather Shipman heather.shipman at cornell.edu
Fri Aug 4 08:39:24 PDT 2017

Hi, Mark,

We had a similar question ~5 years ago, but in the context of creating a fund to pay specifically for maintenance/ hosting fees; we weren't looking for a percentage, but instead for a dollar amount - how much money we needed to set aside in that fund.

In that context, our Voyager LMS already held the data we needed - all the invoices we had paid from the year before. Somewhere in that big pile of data was the smaller subset of invoices that paid specifically for hosting fees.

We can access the Voyager tables through Microsoft Access queries; if I remember correctly (I'm traveling at the moment, and I'm not sure I saved the relevant file long-term anyway), I set up a query that searched for all invoices that fit the following criteria:

  1.  Paid in the previous fiscal year;

  2.  Paid with an electronic resources fund;

(We add a -01 suffix to the regular fund numbers to indicate that it's paying for an e-resource. If we didn't do this, I probably could have looked at the order location and chosen the E-Resources Unit's, or looked at the MFHD location serv,remo that we apply to all e-resources - the point was just to be pulling invoices for e-resources, not physical ones, and the fund number was, by design, the easiest.)

  3.  Paid to one of the vendors our Electronic Resources Librarian identified as those who charged us hosting fees. There were about a dozen of them - ProQuest, Gale, etc.

(We assume we forgot some - but we also assume that if we forgot them, then we must not have paid them a significant amount of money. If we had, we'd've had an outraged conversation at time of invoice, and when the ERL made the list on the chalkboard, someone would have pointed to it, added the vendor name, and re-told the story.)

That was still a lot of invoices; the next query grabbed associated notes fields and looked for the words *aintenance* or *osting* or *fee* or somesuch - initial letters cut off because I can never remember which fields are case-sensitive and which aren't. Notes fields are terribly free-text, so I scrolled through the list to eyeball what these notes actually said, manually tossed out false positives, and had a list of invoices I knew were hosting fees and how much we'd paid for them.

It wouldn't be all of them, because the free-text problem also means we might not have added a note at all, or the note might have had a typo or a synonym. So I eyeballed all the notes on the other invoices, too, and manually added any I found to the list (at this stage, still in the format of a table within the Access file).

(Embarrassed disclaimer: copy/pasting things into tables manually is terrible practice - if you can at all build the things you're trying to include/exclude into the queries themselves instead, you should, because if you have to start from the beginning, either due to a mistake or because you want to do the same queries next year, all that manual work gets overwritten and you have to re-do it. This was a one-time job and I couldn't think of a way out of it.)

>From the set of invoices that hadn't been put on the Hosting Fees List, I think I grouped them by... probably by bib... and looked for the maximum invoice price paid and the minimum invoice price paid. The idea was that the hosting fee might be paid on the same line item as the purchase price, or it might night, but they should at least be attached to the same bib - and the hosting fee should be much, much less than the purchase price. So on a bib that had, for example, a $20,000 max invoice and a $200 min invoice, the $200 was probably a hosting fee. I probably added a column that calculated the ratio of max/min, so I could sort the table in a way that floated the biggest differences to the top; I probably looked up the purchase order(s) in Voyager Acquisitions to verify whether it was a hosting fee or a small content purchase or something. (Grouped by bib, the list of things that needed looked at manually becomes much smaller, since one bib would have lots of invoices attached - especially the bibs that floated to the top.)

I can't remember/think of any other ways to separate out a potential hosting fee from a probable purchase price, so I probably stopped there.

For our project, I added up all the fees and gave the number to our ERL; we rounded up and gave a nice round number to our Collections Development/Accounting folks, and used that as the amount to put in the hosting fee fund. Since then, I assume that Accounting/CD has been looking at how much that fund has spent/not spent to determine how much money to put in the next year.

For a percentage, I guess you might group by bib, get the min/max ratio for each bib - then average that number over all bibs from the same vendor? That assumes that you've already been buying things with hosting fees from the vendors of interest, though.

Hope this helps, albeit probably belatedly for your project (sorry),

Heather Shipman

E-Resources Acquisition Specialist

110 Olin Library

Cornell University Library

heather.shipman at cornell.edu

From: Eril-l <eril-l-bounces at lists.eril-l.org> on behalf of Mark Winek <mdw65 at georgetown.edu>
Sent: Monday, July 10, 2017 1:23:15 PM
To: eril-l at lists.eril-l.org
Subject: [Eril-l] estimating hosting fees

Dear Collective Wisdom,

Some colleagues are completing a large impact statement for a new initiative. They have identified many primary source collections that are available for purchase as electronic collections. In relation to this, they have asked for a general percentage of the purchase price that can be expected for ongoing hosting and maintenance fees after purchase.

Of course, the collections come from different vendors with different hosting fee policies. It's impossible to contact each vendor to ask for the specific hosting fee.

Has anyone been asked this question before? What was your answer and what supporting evidence do you have? I can make an 'educated' guess, but I'm interested in how others have faced this issue.

Thank you!

Mark D. Winek
Unit Head, Electronic Resources & Serials
Georgetown University
Joseph Mark Lauinger Memorial Library

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