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> I'm beginning to wonder if patrons frustrated by the lack of access will
> obtain personal subscriptions on their own.  Libraries essentially have
> their hands tied in this situation and can't be blamed for not providing
> network access.  Individual subscriptions with password access would allow
> patrons to get the information at the same time increasing the number of
> subscriptions and revenue.  Any thoughts on this?

I think the scenario you describe is the one preferred by all journal
publishers.  If you published a journal, wouldn't you much rather have
1,000 subscriptions than one?  In this as in all other matters, we can
expect the publisher to try to act rationally and maximize its revenues.  
(Yes, NEJM is a non-profit, but even non-profits try to bring in as much
money as they reasonably can in order to support their programs.)

It's not that simple, of course.  Institutions pay more for campus-wide
online access than they do for a single paper subscription, which makes
sense.  So the question is whether NEJM would have made more money by
offering site-wide access than it will by making that access unavailable
and forcing those who want online access to purchase it themselves.  If 50
people from the campus community choose to buy their own access, and the
site license would have cost less than 50x a single subscription, NEJM
wins. Otherwise, it loses.

Rick Anderson
Director of Resource Acquisition
The University Libraries
University of Nevada, Reno        "Beware the cynic as well as
1664 No. Virginia St.                    the huckster."
Reno, NV  89557                         -- Ted Marchese
PH  (775) 784-6500 x273
FX  (775) 784-1328