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Re: New England Journal of Medicine: a response regarding accesspolicy

Kent, your (NEJM's) response is specious at best.  The rationale for all
of us to go with online is the flexibility of access.  Your "new" approach
is very much old news in that it is closer to the model of 10-20 years ago
when we were restricted to one or a few workstations.

This policy will disenfranchise our distant ed folks as well as our
students, clinicians, researchers and others who do their work from their
offices, clinics, or even their homes.  One of the justifications we use
for getting the funding for these expensive online resources is just this
flexibility of access.

If this policy goes into effect and our access is so limited we will,
almost certainly, revert even further and just maintain a print

Leave it to NEJM to move us backward.  This is SO not a good idea.

We understand the need for NEJM to protect its income stream but you might
find this policy coming back to kick you in the finances, where it will
hurt the most.

Thomas L. Williams, AHIP
Director, Biomedical Libraries and
 Media Production Services
University of South Alabama
College of Medicine
Mobile, Al 36688-0002
tel. (251)460-6885
fax. (251)460-7638


> To the Listserv,
> There has been a vocal response to our change from a 2-username access
> model for institutions to a 5-IP access model. I hope this note will
> explain our reasons for this change.
> The 2-username model was implemented years ago, at a time when it was
> unclear how Internet access would evolve, especially at institutions. Our
> guidelines were loose, and this led to widespread use (both on and off
> campus) of the 2 usernames and passwords per print subscription. Usernames
> and passwords were emailed to entire staffs, posted on intranets, and even
> posted openly on the Internet. Over time, this type of access has become
> quite prevalent, and clearly beyond the scope of a standard institutional
> subscription.
> At the same time, both anecdotal and statistical evidence mounted showing
> that subscription cancellation rates around academic institutions with
> this type of access for NEJM was significantly higher than the norm.
> The 5-IP model was chosen as a moderate alternative for the time being. We
> wanted to give the library community as much notice as possible, and have
> worked hard to notify you in a coordinated manner, and before the academic
> year begins in earnest.
> There is presently no option for campus-wide access (except through some
> aggregators). We are evaluating our options for direct site licensing at
> academic institutions. However, given our heritage as a publication
> devoted to meeting the needs of individual subscribers, we are very
> careful when considering changes that may separate us from our readers to
> such an extent.
> That's our reasoning. My hope is that we'll find a unique, innovative, and
> powerful way in the coming months to strike a fair balance. In the
> meantime, I invite your suggestions.
> Sincerely,
> Kent R. Anderson
> Publishing Director, NEJM
> kanderson@nejm.org