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I am not disagreeing with any of the library respondents and especially
not David. I do not think any publisher knows the answer either. However
there are journals, which I cannot name because the information was
privileged, that do make their money out of advertising rather than
subscriptions. There are not many but they do exist. For those journals
the number of subscribers that they can demonstrate to auditing bodies is
very important indeed.

Anthony Watkinson
14, Park Street,
England OX20 1RW
phone +44 1993 811561 and fax +44 1993  810067

----- Original Message -----
From: David Goodman <dgoodman@Princeton.EDU>
To: <liblicense-l@lists.yale.edu>
Sent: Saturday, October 06, 2001 3:12 AM
Subject: Re: NEJM

> 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. Why the publisher
> does need the personal subscriptions, as I thought we all knew, is the
> associated advertising revenue.  But the high priced library subscriptions
> is where the profit comes from. The art is in balancing these sources of
> income. There's no universal formula, and we've seen that a variety of
> approaches are acceptable. But not all.
> Rick Anderson wrote:
>>> 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, Ren