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The De Gruyter Publisher Guarantee: Ensuring Transparency for Libraries and Retailers

October 8, 2014

In the wake of the Swets bankruptcy, the academic publisher De Gruyter has taken the initiative to develop the De Gruyter Publisher Guarantee. The guarantee ensures that journal subscriptions and book series will be delivered and available electronically even if a retailer partnering with De Gruyter goes bankrupt or otherwise suffers financial difficulties. Together with selected retailers, De Gruyter is extending this guarantee to libraries worldwide.

How the guarantee works: De Gruyter will maintain a list of all subscribers who frequently obtain their journal subscriptions in bulk from retailers. In the event of a bankruptcy, De Gruyter will deliver new journal issues directly to libraries on the basis of this list. Furthermore, De Gruyter is requiring retailers to pay at an early date a share of the annual proceeds collected for a journal subscription. With a view to book series, more restrictive payment due dates will ensure earlier identification of booksellers under threat of insolvency.

"Uncertainty among libraries is high in the wake of the Swets bankruptcy. With the De Gruyter Publisher Guarantee we want to ensure transparency and dependability," says Dr. Sven Fund, Managing Director of De Gruyter. "Our collaboration with retailers is important to us; the current crisis will change nothing in this regard. For us, the customer purchase is what counts, not where the purchase is made."

"In the retail trade we need to cooperate closely with publishers in order to offer our customers high-quality services," says Peter Lawson, Chairman of the International Association of Subscription Agents (ASA). "The De Gruyter Publisher Guarantee is the right way forward for future cooperation."

"Both now and in the future, libraries will need capable book retailers, and they rely on functioning relationships between retailers and publishers," says Dirk Pieper, Head of the Department of Media Management at the Bielefeld University Library.
The following retailers and agents are already participating in the De Gruyter initiative: Harrassowitz, EBSCO Information Services, Missing Link, Schweitzer Fachinformationen and Wasmuth. At http://www.degruyter.com/page/965 you can view the current list of participating retailers as well as the agreement between De Gruyter and its partners. All retailers who fulfill the requirements can take part in the De Gruyter Publisher Guarantee.