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RE: Bundling E & P? (was Sage titles)

I think that some of the problem is that there is yet so much about
electronic anything that is unresolved ... issues such as archiving (done
locally, maintained by a publisher in perpetuity, etc.) access (IP
recognition, remote access, user-prompted IDs) licensing (just *what* is a
site and why should the price be affected by FTE), etc. that the print
model represents something that is comfortable and assured. Electronic
access as yet remains "iffy" at best because of the issues cited above,
and I think that librarians (and perhaps I speak only for myself here) are
wary of electronic only versions until there is the same standardization
and assurance about these version as there is with print. Yet, most of us
represent institutions which simply cannot afford the luxury of redundant
access to information (even though the electronic versions may be
searchable without the use of an indexing or citating source), thus the
price issues of the print and electronic combinations present one sort of
problem. Electronic only represents yet another plethora of problems.

In asking what we want, you reflect the world of publishers who are
enlightened: I have proposed to several friends that there ought to be
round-table conference where sympathetic publishers and librarians could
share their ideas, needs, thoughts, and come to some sort of consensus ...
I think that if such an event were held with no special agendas other than
trying to standardize electronic publication issues in terms which are
acceptable to both publishers and librarians, then we would leap
light-years ahead of the morass in which we currently find ourselves and
could possibly save much grief, anguish, and conflict for everyone!!

I'm sure that it is frustrating for publishers to try to evolve a model
which works: it is equally frustrating for librarians to have to deal with
each unique publisher-generated model!! So, the short answer to your
question, "What do we want?" is, something that is cost-effective,
standardized, and sure. I think that many of us would be willing to help
with the evolution of such a model.

P Picerno


Sally Morris writes:

I am confused.  From all I hear, librarians dislike having print and
electronic versions of a journal 'bundled' (ie sold as an indissoluble
package) and want the option of buying electronic only.  Yet when
publishers make the transition to selling the 2 versions separately, there
is an outcry.  (It seems a reasonable strategy to include electronic for
every print subscriber at the beginning, just so that the publisher can
begin to learn how customers react.)

What do you really want?

Sally Morris, Secretary-General
Association of Learned and Professional Society Publishers
South House, The Street, Clapham, Worthing, West Sussex BN13 3UU, UK

Phone:  01903 871686 Fax:  01903 871457 E-mail:  sec-gen@alpsp.org.uk
ALPSP Website  http://www.alpsp.org.uk