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> Rick, your arithmetic only works if the cost of the personal and library
> subscription are the same, and if the cost of the personal subscription
> were sufficient to actually pay for more than the true costs. If, as is
> more likely to be the case, the library price in your example were $700,
> the publisher would have to sell 10 more to make the same revenue, and
> would also have to pay for producing 10 more copies.

This is true, of course, for those journals which charge institutions more
than they charge individuals for print subscriptions (some do, many
don't). And my model also doesn't take into account the higher price of
institutional online access; it's based specifically on a print scenario.

> Why the publisher
> does need the personal subscriptions, as I thought we all knew, is the
> associated advertising revenue.

Well, right, and that goes to my basic premise: there's nothing irrational
about a publisher encouraging individual subscriptions at the expense of
institutional ones.  Saying to publishers, "Hey, my library will cancel
its subscription if you don't do business the way I want you to" will not
necessarily make most journal publishers quake in their boots --
especially if what they publish is a highly-regarded, widely-read journal
to which individuals may subscribe at a reasonable price.  Where such is
not the case, the impact of losing a library subscription may be greater,
of course.

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