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RE: Nature Journals: User Name and Password (Super ID Access)

> Surely, profit -- or loss -- of a publisher should not be the concern of a
> librarian or subscriber <...>

Chuck Hamaker yells at me when I say stuff like this in a public forum,
but I can't resist: Actually, I think it's very much in the best interest
of libraries to help ensure that publishers and vendors stay profitable.  
When libraries act with only their short-term economic interests in view
(by, say, forming consortia for the specific purpose of driving prices as
low as possible) they find that (surprise!) small and medium-sized vendors
are driven out of the marketplace, leaving only very large, deep-pocketed
firms -- witness the recent consolidation among academic booksellers.  
Then we complain about vendor mergers.  Personally, I really wish YBP and
Academic had been more profitable; then maybe they'd still be independent
entities in the marketplace, helping us keep Blackwell's and B&T honest.

The best interests of libraries and their users are not well served by a
blindness to basic economic principles.  (I'm not saying, of course, that
we should never negotiate prices; we have to spend wisely.  But the blind
and headlong pursuit of discount can have unintended consequences.)

Rick Anderson
Electronic Resources/Serials Coordinator
The University Libraries
University of Nevada, Reno
1664 No. Virginia St.
Reno, NV  89557
PH  (775) 784-6500 x273
FX  (775) 784-1328