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I don't disagree, in theory, with anything that Robert says here.  In
practice, however, I'm not sure that the multiples layers of "perhaps"
scenarios that he describes (perhaps a professor or student learns about a
journal because it's available in the library, and perhaps she then
subscribes because she comes to depend on it or like it a lot) actually
translates into so many individual subscriptions that a publisher is
better off encouraging library subscriptions rather than simply
encouraging individual subscriptions.

At my institution, we've found that the journal issues in our Current
Periodicals area get very little use.  (Actual statistic: the average
journal issue gets reshelved less than once -- half of once, actually.)
That tells me that the current journal issues we keep on our library
shelves are probably not doing a very good job of announcing themselves to

(On the other hand, it probably also means that the library's
subscriptions aren't taking much away from publishers in the way of

Rick Anderson
Director of Resource Acquisition
The University Libraries
University of Nevada, Reno        "The only thing worse than a
1664 No. Virginia St.              silly politician analyzing
Reno, NV  89557                    art is a silly artist
PH  (775) 784-6500 x273            analyzing politics."
FX  (775) 784-1328                     -- Jonathan Alter

> -----Original Message-----
> From: owner-liblicense-l@lists.yale.edu
> [mailto:owner-liblicense-l@lists.yale.edu]On Behalf Of M. Robert Fraser
> Sent: Wednesday, October 10, 2001 11:31 AM
> To: liblicense-l@lists.yale.edu
> Subject: Re: NEJM
> This seems to me rather one-sided.  I will beat a drum I have beaten
> before: many library users become aware of a journal first at the
> library.
> They become aware of its value to them from repeated use.  Students may
> subscribe after they leave the institution, if they feel the journal has
> ongoing value for them.  Professors, however, have at least five
> additional reasons for subscribing personally to journals that are also
> available in their institutions:
> 1.  Those who have membership in a professional society typically receive
> the primary journal of that society.
> 2.  Those who publish in a journal are more likely to subscribe for
> themselves.
> 3.  Those who like to acquire "stuff" are likely to acquire journals in
> their field.  They may discover more "journal stuff" in their library.
> 4.  Those who choose not to go to the library to look up a journal article
> when they can have the article on their own shelf are likely to
> subscribe.
> This is more likely if they have found a journal to have continuing use
> for them and they write themselves.  For journals of occasional use, the
> library would suffice.  But if they keep returning to the library for
> information from a particular journal, many will get it for themselves.
> 5.  Some faculty I have known subscribe personally so the journals will be
> more likely to be available to their students using the library.
> Once again, it is not a simple quid pro quo.  There are those who will
> subscribe personally when they find that a journal in the library has more
> than occasional value for them.  And if the library canceled its
> subscription, it is possible, even likely, that there would be those who
> would subscribe, but that is a very short term view.  There are others who
> will not discover the ongoing value of a particular journal unless they
> themselves have time to use it on a continuing basis.  If they never see a
> journal, if they cannot browse its pages, they are far more likely to ILL
> one article to follow out a reference than to subscribe.
> M. Robert Fraser
> The University of Michigan-Dearborn