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Re: Recent Pricing/Licensing Terms for Society Publications

I agree, limiting use to a single building or site is unacceptable.
Limiting to a single campus is just as unacceptable for us and we wouldn't
subscribe.  The reason most of us get the E versions is because we want to
provide 24-hour/from anywhere access to our users.

As for the huge increase in the E + print, this is not particularly
unusual.  Let's face it, if users at your institution begin having this
available online they will most likely drop their personal subs if they
have any.  The extra amount is to cover their (publishers') investment.
Often, when we add the E with the aggregators for hundreds of thousands $$
worth of subs there is is a surcharge of 10% or more.  If you have $500,
worth of subs, you'll pay $50k extra.  Not a bad deal and sometimes that
surcharge gives you even more titles than you have in print.

Thomas L. Williams, AHIP
Director, Biomedical Libraries and
 Media Production Services
University of South Alabama
College of Medicine
Mobile, Al 36688-0002
tel. (251)460-6885
fax. (251)460-7638

On Sat, 12 Jan 2002, Elsa Althen wrote:

> Hello.  I'm compelled to share my recent concerns about new electronic
> access restrictions or pricing policies on the part of scientific
> societies.
> It strikes me that many society publishers are entering the world of
> electronic publishing later than their commercial counterparts.  Society
> publishers tend to have much bigger personal subcription bases than do
> commercial publishers.  These factors seem to be producing some odd and
> problematic policies vis-a-vis pricing and licensing.
> At our library we subscribe to the journal "Limnology and Oceanography",
> published by ASLO (American Society of Limnology & Oceanography).  I was
> excited to hear that beginning in 2002 ASLO is offering an electronic
> version of their journal.  Even better, was the news that the online
> version was $15.00 cheaper than the print (print only=$365, online
> only=$350 and print+online=$445).  However, I soon learned that one
> condition of their institutional license is that electronic access is
> limited to one physical building.  On a campus such as ours at UW-Madison
> we couldn't agree to this kind of restriction because our users are
> scattered in offices, labs and libraries across an extensive campus.
> I wrote a letter to ASLO's web editor, Paul Kemp, inquiring about this
> restriction.  He replied with a thoughtful letter that conveys the
> society's anxiousness about not losing too large a portion of their
> personal subscriber base.  (I've taken the liberty of attaching Mr. Kemp's
> response in an attachment for those interested in reading it.)
> Even more recently, I learned that the Botanical Society of America (BSA)
> which publishes the American Jounral of Botany (AJB) has set institutional
> subscriptions for 2002 at $895 for print + electronic.  (Print only is
> $295, Online only is $600 and print+electronic is $895).  Seeing that last
> year a $205 institutional print subscription included free trial access to
> the electronic, this year it will cost institutions 436% more for the same
> access!  Again, I believe the impetus for this kind of pricing is fear of
> losing too many personal subcriptions on campuses where the library has
> licensed electronic access.
> I wanted to bring these examples of two scientific societies whose recent
> institutional pricing and/or access policies are detrimental to libraries'
> ability to serve their users.  I have sympathy for the dilemna in which
> society publishers now find themselves.  On the other hand, such recent
> policy decisions (about access restricted to one physical building, or
> exorbitant price increases) beg for more input and feedback from
> librarians.