[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next][Date Index][Thread Index]

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


Why are you tarring Science with the same brush as Nature? Science IS out
there with a full service site-wide institutional subscription, and our
editors are putting a lot of time and effort into making it a truly
dynamic product, not just an online 'copy' of the print. I think a
minimally honest discussion here would at least acknowledge that Science
is trying to serve institutions' needs and that we are out there taking
the risks, however small you think they are, of providing the added
benefits of online publishing to our readers. Geez!

We're not worried about losing *readers* by publishing online. Science's 
website is hugely popular. Take a look at our BPA audits of the site 
usage. As far as I know, we are the only scientific website being audited 
by the same bureau that audits our print circulation (or any other 
independent bureau). And we're really proud of the usage the site is 
receiving.  It's the subscription base that concerns us. If anything, 
Science has even more readers today than it did before going online - and 
it was already the most widely read print scientific publication in the 

But there is a difference - an important difference - between readers and
those subscribers who pay to enable the journal to be published. From
where you sit, it may seem quite simple and obvious how to manage this
transitional period, but to anyone who understands publishing economics
and has some responsibility for the financial stability of a journal, the
current situation is simultaneously thrilling and worrisome. Only someone
who didn't really care about these journals - or simply didn't understand
their economics - would be cavalier about it.

Mike Spinella


>>> cahamake@email.uncc.edu 09/26/00 06:37PM >>>
On one level Rick is right. I do believe worrying about profit and loss of
a publisher aren't the business librarians are in.

However Nature, as a brand name is exactly the wrong kind of publisher to
be afraid of true site licensing for institutions. Nature is more than a
publication, it's an institution.

Just because Time and Newsweek are online doesn't mean they don't sell
individual issues and subscriptions.

Nature and Science are the Time and Newsweek (well maybe the Atlantic
Monthly??) of the scientific world. I listened to AAAS' editors discuss
their fears of widespread online access two years ago at a SSP Top
Management Roundtable in New York. They were talking to small
organizations who published journals as part of their membership support.
Talk about fearful! But in fact many organizations have made the "switch"
very successfully. ACM is the great example of course, but there are many
others. All Nature and Science are doing is showing that they have lost
touch with the real needs of the people who should be reading these
publications. (and aren't at the moment, think undergrads, and many grad
students who are about to the point of if it isn't online it doesn't
exist). That is the audience Nature and Science are in the process of
losing, and if that doesn't keep their editors up night worrying, then
maybe they need to get into a different business!

Chuck Hamaker 
UNC Charlotte (shouting loud enough Rick??)