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


Do you have actual data about this topic? Even if you do, how useful is 
it? One of the fears publishers have is about reaching a 'tipping point' 
of acceptance of online-only publishing that would launch a rapid and 
probably irreversible decline in print. That would be OK if online 
revenues were ramped up fast enough to cover the publishing costs, but the 
thing about tipping points is you can't really control their speed, and 
unfortunately, we've probably all read enough now about failing dot-coms 
to realize that online publishing may not be a magic bullet. Maybe Nature 
is overly cautious, but it's not crazy for publishers to worry about the 
downside scenarios.

Thanks for the reassurances, but I'm afraid it will be cold comfort to 
many publishers, especially that hair-raising comment about attrition 
rates of no more than "about twice normal"! Yikes! Do you have any idea 
what that would mean to many publishers?

Mike Spinella


>>> dgoodman@phoenix.Princeton.EDU 09/24/00 10:09PM >>>
I can reassure the publishers of Nature that other journals that have
permitted access without the sort of restriction they propose have not
lost large numbers of subscribers. I believe the rate I've been told is
that the attrition rate increases slightly, to about twice normal at most.

I can also reassure them, on the basis of talks with personal subscribers,
that people take out personal subscriptions because they want personal
copies to read. Not because they want electronic access--they expect the
library to arrange that. It's ironic that Nature, which is the one
publication that most scientists actually do read (in the conventional
sense), should be worried.

David Goodman, Princeton University Biology Library			
dgoodman@princeton.edu            609-258-3235