The difference between Consortium Manager (CM) and Unsub is apparent in their names: CM helps you manage your existing subscriptions, while Unsub helps you find and unsubscribe to low-value subscriptions, saving you money.
CM covers five steps: Evaluation, Information, Acquisition, Invoicing, and Administration. Unsub only does one of these: Evaluation. But because we’re specialized, Unsub is much more effective for evaluation--so much so that Unsub can save you millions of dollars in subscription costs.
Let's dig deeper into evaluation. To assess subscription value, CM uses the basic Cost-Per-Use approach (CPU), which is a great start. Unsub expands on this considerably:
CM counts up your old usage and cost data to tell you what your CPU has been. Unsub uses that same data to build a complex forecasting model that predicts your costs (including ILL costs), fulfillment, and CPU five years into the future. You can customize the parameters of the model, creating multiple forecasts under different assumptions.
For CM, usage means "downloads." That's fine but it's just one kind of usage. When your faculty cites a journal, or authors a paper in a journal, that's another kind of usage as well. Unsub tracks your faculty's citations and authorships, and includes it as a customizable "weight" along with downloads, giving you a more accurate picture of usage..
CM ignores the impact of Open Access (OA) on usage. In many journals, over half of all usage can be fulfilled by OA, at no cost to you. Unsub accounts for this, showing how OA can allow you to cancel certain subscriptions with very little impact on faculty access.
In short: Unsub reveals massive savings overlooked by simple CPU calculations. Publishers have been overcharging libraries for a long time, and Unsub is the first tool sophisticated enough to reveal this. This Science headline about Unsub really says it all: "This tool is saving universities millions of dollars in journal subscriptions."
So to recap, CM handles a lot of jobs. Which is great! It's a useful tool. Unsub, on the other hand, handles just one job, evaluation. By specializing in evaluation, we're able to do it really well.
Consortium Manager will save you time as you administer your subscriptions. Unsub will save you money as you renegotiate your subscriptions.