Content Management Best Practices
The timing of changes is of the highest importance when we speak of content management. Specific windows for change ensure that content is available for adoption in the right channels when it needs to be, and that content that is in use is not removed prematurely, cutting off student access.
The defined windows for adding content, distribution rights, and pricing are:
By Mid-September for Spring Term
By Mid-March for Fall Term
The defined window for removing content from distribution, either through rights removal, distribution set changes, or moving it out of distribution, is after the add/drop period is over. Add/Drop periods will vary by school and academic calendar.
As you know, adoptions happen in a window well in advance of term starts, starting in April for Fall semesters and October for Spring semesters. In order to ensure that your content is available for instructors to adopt, we recommend that your assets are loaded in Manage ahead of these timelines, with a status of “In Inventory”, with the appropriate Sales Rights and Pricing assigned.
In keeping with the adoption timelines above, any pricing updates should be made by Mid-September for Spring adoptions and Mid-March for fall. In order to ensure your titles are visible and adoptable in all available channels, ensure that Inclusive Access pricing and Digital List pricing are both assigned.
Distribution rights should be applied before the adoption window. There are two ways to grant rights to content:
Manual – a distributor has distribution rights to the product in Manage and will retain the distribution rights until a system user removes distribution rights or the content goes out of distribution. Removing Distribution rights should only be attempted after add/drop periods are over, to ensure students maintain access to purchased content.
Distribution sets – these sets are often referred to as the national catalog. If a distributor uses national catalogs to adopt their content and the content falls out of the catalog based on changes to sales rights or channel settings, the distributor will also lose the distribution rights. Changes to sales rights or channel settings should also be done after add/drop periods are over.
Removing Content from Distribution
Content that needs to move to a non-distributable status should first be moved to Limited Distribution with an Off-sale date a minimum of 30 days into the future.
A Status of Limited Distribution allows for automated messaging alerting current users of the the title that the content will not longer be available for future adoption. At the 30-day mark, the content will automatically move to a status of Out of Distribution.
Users who already have an active license will still maintain access to the content after it has moved Out of Distribution for the duration of their license. Off-Sale Dates should be scheduled after add/drop periods end, to ensure students have been issued licenses and prevent an interruption in a student’s access to the content.
The only time that a reseller would retain access to a title after the Off-Sale Date is when the rights to the content have been locked for the reseller. In that case, the locked distributor remains access to the title for 365 days after the off-sale date, during which the title will remain in Limited Distribution.
When adding an updated edition in Manage, its best practice to provide the previous edition’s ISBN in the new Asset’s metadata. This connects the old edition to the new and increases the discoverability of the new edition.
If an older edition is being removed from catalogs and being replaced by newer editions, it’s best to follow the ideal windows mentioned above, so current users don’t lose access to content.