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Establishing a Close, Collaborative Partnership Between Publisher and Vendor


In 2014, Unlimited Priorities, specialist consultants for scholarly publisher Accessible Archives (AA), were seeking a provider of COUNTER usage and analytics. Following a recommendation by a Director at NFAIS (now NISO), they contacted Scholarly iQ (SiQ).

Together, AA and SiQ built a working relationship that serves as a valued example of creating a trust centred partnership between a publisher and a selected specialty vendor.

In this article, we explore and share three key components which cemented the close-knit AA and SiQ team. This team ensured continued compliance with the evolving COUNTER standards, exemplary customer support, as already established by Unlimited Priorities, and shared best practices and innovations which would otherwise be unavailable to most scholarly publishers.

Trust in Expertise

AA required a vendor who not only provided COUNTER compliant solutions but also was an expert partner who truly understood and supported the standards and requirements. Established in 2003, SiQ has unrivalled experience in COUNTER services and compliance, staying at the forefront of latest standards and guidelines as well as representing AA interests in the development of the standards. This includes SiQ’s active participation in industry working groups including COUNTER, NISO and CrossRef.

Additionally, SiQ as a committed specialist for the provision of COUNTER reporting and analytics with full control over proprietary solutions, is able to ensure that AA reporting services continue to align with changing COUNTER requirements in a cost effective, scalable model shared across multiple publishers.

SiQ’s knowledge, compliance and product roadmap demonstrated to AA their commitment to delivering solutions that would continue to meet and lead the specific needs of the publishing industry. It also ensures long-term compliance and avoids the threat of hitting a brick wall should a third party application not be able to support any change stipulated by the industry standards.

A current example of this is COUNTER’s upcoming changes for v5.1, where the Item rather than the Title will become the unit of reporting. Through SiQ, AA is already fully compliant for the provision of Item Master Reports meaning AA can be confident in continued compliance following this change. Other publishers will need to check their vendor’s status at the COUNTER Registry and either seek assurances or make plans to change vendor before v5.1 comes into effect at the beginning of 2025.

An Entente Exceptionnelle: Three  Components

Firstly, the foundation for the relationship between SiQ and AA was transparent communication. With open lines of communication, including direct contact with SiQ CEO Gary Van Overborg, both parties aligned to collaborate as partners rather than transactional entities.

This fostered a true partnership, inviting input from both sides whilst valuing the expertise and insights both SiQ and AA brought to the table. Through open channels and an environment of mutual respect and cooperation, SiQ and AA leveraged each other’s strengths for mutual benefit and customer satisfaction.

Secondly, SiQ’s rapid response and dedication to customer support meant that AA could rely on SiQ as closely as an internal team within AA, more akin to a single organisation than an external vendor. The tight working relationship created trust in reliability. A consistent, proven track record of delivering on promises ensured fast resolutions where a less responsive approach would have frustrated and hindered success.

Finally, the commitment between SiQ and AA raised free, open communication about issues, challenges, performance, evaluation and improvement. Bypassing bureaucratic procedures so often enacted by vendors, encouraged direct collaboration, and through this faster issue resolution, product development and end customer satisfaction – a true win–win–win.

Enhanced Experience

Working with over 35 scholarly publishers and supporting over 200,000 librarian users, SiQ has been able to leverage over 20 years’ experience to develop solutions and best practices that enhance service value and experience for both AA and AA’s librarian customers.

For AA one of the key advantages SiQ brought to the partnership was extensive experience in working with similar customers in scholarly publishing. SiQ’s comprehensive understanding of the challenges, pain points and best practices proved invaluable from the very start, including the initial implementation:

“I have been in this industry for a very long time and I can say without qualification, never have I worked with a team that made the implementation of a project as easy as you have – everyone was a pleasure to deal with, you were uniquely sympathetic to our situation, you worked through all of our challenges with us to come to mutually agreeable solutions – this has truly been amazing.
I would be delighted to act as a reference for you at any time – your team is first class all the way – and very patient – helpful when dealing with the ‘slower’ learning school. Thanks so much for everything!!!!”

President, Unlimited Priorities LLC

Once implemented, mutual confidence reinforced and COUNTER compliance covered, AA were able to benefit from SiQ’s trusted advice to tailor best practices, custom reports and insights and use the flexibility of SiQ’s technologies to drive further evidence-based decisions from trusted, transparent data. The combination of established experience in understanding publisher challenges and opportunities across both SiQ and AA teams working closely together fostered growth and development for both organisations.

For librarians, the AA COUNTER reporting portal provides seamless access to their own COUNTER usage data in an increasingly intuitive and engaging environment. With optimised performance, help wizards, comprehensive documentation, free monthly librarian training sessions and in-built quick wins to pivot between COUNTER Standard and Master Reports, the AA COUNTER reporting service makes it easier for AA customers to access and manage their usage data.

“After giving myself a crash course and learning how the process worked I came to appreciate how straightforward the Scholarly iQ site is, especially compared to others I had to work with. In fact, my first successful SUSHI download was from Scholarly iQ.
I have used the Scholarly iQ site with other providers and have been pleased. I also appreciated the quick support I received from both Accessible Archives and Unlimited Priorities in response to my questions.”

Electronic Resources Manager, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee Libraries

Additionally, SiQ’s direct customer support has provided AA with the confidence that their librarian customers are treated with the same exemplary service and response times as they would expect from the Unlimited Priorities team. Prompt and helpful assistance from SiQ further builds trust in AA’s commitment to their own customer satisfaction, contributing to a positive subscriber experience and reinforcing loyalty to AA.

“I’m truly impressed! Usually I fire off these emails and (because of time differences) expect a reply back next day. Not only have you replied, but you’ve fixed the problem, within a couple of hours! You’re all wonderful … thanks very much!”

Cataloguer, Collection Services, Massey University Library

The SiQ team was to be an extension of the AA customer service, so a mutual value of customer focus and extreme responsiveness was a keystone of communicating a seamless, singular customer-led service.


Building a close, collaborative partnership between publisher and vendor requires an open trust-centred working relationship whereby both organisations align to not only mutually benefit but also bring advantages to end users. By leveraging specialist, dedicated services from vendors committed to and invested in the provision of these services, publishers like AA can ensure long-term solutions matching their evolving needs, receive and deliver exceptional customer service and benefit from the experience and expertise of a team which would otherwise be unavailable for a single publisher.

Ultimately the SiQ–AA relationship enhanced collaboration, improved performance, drove innovation and leveraged collective strengths to deliver a better service and experience for all parties. Whether you are a publisher or vendor we encourage you to consider how well-matched and trusted your valued business relationships are, and how they may better support each other.

About Accessible Archives, Inc®

Accessible Archives employs a team of digital technology and conversion specialists to deliver vast quantities of archived historical information, previously only available in microform, hard copy, or image-only formats. Our databases, containing diverse primary source materials such as leading books, newspapers, and periodicals, reflect a broad range of perspectives across 18th-, 19th-, and early 20th-century America.

About Unlimited Priorities LLC®

Unlimited Priorities LLC utilizes its highly skilled group of professionals to provide a variety of support services to small and medium-sized companies in the information industry. The Archival Initiatives Division (AID) offers practical consultative services to libraries, historical societies, and associations. AID provides advice and assistance in archival content selection, rights ownership, project management, workflow analysis, production, distribution of converted content and interaction with commercial entities. By coordinating a library’s project requirements with commercial firms’ interests, Unlimited Priorities creates an atmosphere of mutual cooperation while organizing a successful process at a reasonable cost.

About Scholarly iQ

Celebrating 20 years, SiQ provides unrivalled expertise for trusted usage analytics. SiQ’s fast, easy, platform independent implementation delivers valued data insights to customer, sales, editorial, marketing and partner stakeholders. Questions about COUNTER, Open Access, Impact, Data or wider Business Intelligence? Trust SiQ to have you covered.

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Unlimited Priorities LLC Has Been Retained to Manage the Merger of Accessible Archives Inc. and Coherent Digital LLC

Coherent Digital LLC has retained Unlimited Priorities LLC to manage the merger of the two companies’ content and technology in much the same way as Unlimited Priorities has managed Accessible Archives for the last decades – as the sales, marketing, technology, and product development . Continue Reading →

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Unlimited Priorities Announces Big Ten Academic Alliance Acquisition of Accessible Archives’ New African American and Women’s History Collections

Big Ten Academic Alliance Unlimited Priorities working closely with the Big Ten Academic Alliance’s Library Initiatives Division and Accessible Archives announces the BTAA acquisition of new essential primary source content for their member libraries. The content includes: African American Newspapers in the South, 1870-1926 and The Woman’s Tribune, 1882-1909.

Iris L. Hanney, president of Unlimited Priorities, exclusive sales, marketing, and technology representative for Accessible Archives, believes that “delivering this vast amount of Accessible Archives content to the entire BTAA community offers exciting new teaching and research opportunities for all users.” Continue Reading →

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Happy New Year

2022 will be a year to reflect on for many of us.

As we approach the new year – We must ask ourselves – Are we grateful enough? We think not.

We appreciate every moving part that keeps Unlimited Priorities a striving healthy family.

We look forward to continuing our best in the coming new year!

Happy New Year from Iris Hanney and Bob Lester!

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Many many thanks for all your generosity!

Many many thanks for all your generosity – we raised a grand total of $8,940 all electronically in these crazy times we live in!  This is absolutely fantastic!!!

Thank you from the bottom of our hearts

– John and Iris Hanney & the Pups!!!!

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Unlimited Priorities announces Sabinet/Gale African periodicals partnership

Unlimited Priorities, an information publishing company, coordinated with Sabinet, a leader in the South African information industry, and Gale, a Cengage company, global pioneer in research and learning resources, to provide American academic institutions access to Sabinet’s comprehensive collection of scholarly journals emanating from the African continent.

Until now there has been a critical lack of legitimate content from African countries in American institutions. This collection fills the need with over 367 current and 230 retrospective full text journals.  Subject areas covered are business and finance; education; labor; law; medicine and health; religion; science, technology and agriculture; social sciences and humanities. The databases will be available in 2021. Continue Reading →

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The Unlimited Priorities Team: We are Here

In a time of so much uncertainty, we recognize that you have many things on your mind. It is human nature to look for a sense of reassurance as well as support — Unlimited Priorities can provide the support services you need by utilizing our highly skilled group of professionals with their wealth of knowledge and expertise to help you solve problems and achieve your goals. We recognize that your business, library, or organization is unique, requiring customized and locally-based solutions.

Adjusting to working from home, isolated from colleagues is an all-new experience for many. Unlimited Priorities has worked from our home offices for decades – if we can be of help – a phone call – someone to vent to – someone to ask advice from – anything we can do – we are here.

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Happy Holidays from the Hanney’s and The Pups!

Happy Holidays from the Hanney’s and The Pups!

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Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library Hits Major Milestone

This week, country music legend Dolly Parton celebrated a big milestone: 100 million books. That’s right, books. Parton’s nonprofit, Imagination Library, mails free books to children from birth to age 5 across the country, and this week, she celebrated the program’s remarkable growth in a special ceremony at the Library of Congress.

Librarian of Congress, Carla Hayden and Dolly Parton

Librarian of Congress, Carla Hayden and Dolly Parton

In 1995, Dolly Parton launched an exciting new effort, Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library, to benefit the children of her home county in East Tennessee, USA. Dolly’s vision was to foster a love of reading among her county’s preschool children and their families. The new program gave each child a specially selected book each month. By mailing high quality, age-appropriate books directly to their homes, Dolly wanted children to be excited about books and to feel the magic that books can create. Moreover, she could ensure that every child would have books, regardless of their family’s income. Continue Reading →

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National Library Week is Here!

April 9-15 is National Library Week, a time to highlight the changing role of libraries, librarians and library workers.

Libraries TransformLibraries are more about doing than borrowing – more about connecting than simply plugging in – and your local librarian is your expert guide.

Whether you want to get involved in your community, find a job, start a business, or build your digital literacy skills, your library is the key to your transformation.

Visit your nearest library during National Library Week, or visit ILoveLibraries.org.

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