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


> Libraries "giving it [NEJM] away for free" does not necessarily equate to
> less subscriptions for NEJM or any other journal.

It doesn't necessarily in theory, but in practice it almost certainly
does. An active life scientist without easy access to a librray copy of
Nature would, I'd imagine, be more likely to shell out $70 for an
individual subscription than one who does have such access.  Again, the
arithmetic is simple: If my institution has 11 Nature subscriptions on
campus, 10 held by individual researchers and one held by the library, and
the library cancels its subscription, the publisher breaks even if only
one additional researcher subscribes on his own.  If two or more subscribe
on their own due to the library's cancellation, the publisher comes out
ahead.  (This becomes a less likely scenario as the journal gets more
expensive, of course.)

I'm not presenting this as a desirable arrangement.  I'm just pointing out
that a publisher acts rationally when it encourages individual
subscriptions rather than shared subscriptions.  It seems to me that this
is self-evident, but then, this list is nothing if not a forum for the
fierce denial of that which is self-evident.

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