By Wendy Sarubbi | January 7, 2013 3:17 pm

Academic medical school library directors from across Florida met on December 19-20 at the UCF College of Medicine to discuss ways to work together during a time of great change in the packaging and delivery of electronic books, journals and other key medical information resources.

The Florida Consortium of Academic Libraries of Medicine (FCALM) gathered to discuss electronic resources that the group licenses in common and to identify methods which will yield the most cost savings for everyone.  Library directors and key members of their staffs traveled to Central Florida from Florida’s eight medical schools:  the University of Central Florida, the University of Florida, the University of South Florida, Florida State University, Florida International University, Florida Atlantic University, Nova Southeastern University and the University of Miami.

“It’s about how we can collaborate and communicate best with all of our partners, while meeting the unique needs of our home institutions,” said Barbara Shearer, director of Florida State University’s Maguire Medical Library and chair of FCALM.  “To do this, we are focusing on understanding the methods used by publishers and vendors in establishing license fees, aiming to clarify pricing formulas and providing transparency in arriving at agreements.”

FCALM members have already realized significant cost savings by working together with publishers who provided group discount pricing. They are working to collaborate and publish “open access” educational resources that can be shared among all Florida medical schools.  One suggestion discussed at the December meeting is the creation of a State of Florida Colleges of Medicine open access journal or series of journals of research. According to Shearer, a publishing group made up of Florida colleges of medicine, supporting all Florida academic institutions, ensures that intellectual content created in the state meets the needs of Florida’s population.

The group will continue to meet regularly to discuss new initiatives that will further the educational missions of Florida medical schools.

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