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Electronic only, was, Comparing Publishers Online

Under the right conditions, I certainly consider getting electronic only.
For example, I have done this for the journals from Rockefeller Univ.
Press, where there is a substantial cost savings, and with those from the
American Physiological Society, where there is only a small savings, but
the subject area is not central to our interests.  This library recently
joined Academic Press's IDEAL and the selectors chose to continue the
print copies for only a very few of the titles.

Concerns about stability do not necessarily refer to the company as a
whole For example, a company might in the future concentrate on some other
part of the publishing business and find impractical the maintanance of
access to journals that it would no longer be publishing.

Besides stability, I look at the quality of the ejournal service, the type
of use of the journal (I would not at this time want to cease print for
journals where the print unbound issues are browsed siginificantly), and
the cost savings.

I consider the OCLC guarantee as very satisfactory, and I would certainly
consider doing getting electronic only for my current Karger titles at,
say, a 25% savings; I would probably use the money to get some of the many
Karger titles I do not presently get. This benefits us all: it does not
decrease the publishers' revenue, it lowers his costs slightly, and it
increases the amount of material the library can offer.

David Goodman 
Biology Librarian, and
Co-Chair, Electronic Journals Task Force
Princeton University Library 
dgoodman@princeton.edu         http://www.princeton.edu/~biolib/
phone: 609-258-3235            fax: 609-258-2627