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Pricing policies by non-profits for online journals

The Botanical Society of America is currently reassessing its pricing
policies for the online American Journal of Botany.  After an overly long
period of trial access, we are seeking financial support for the online
journal, as we have been operating it at a loss.  We are convinced that
the online version of our journal represents an extremely valuable
product.  It is expensive to maintain at its current quality, but are very
concerned that if we charge a competitive price that many clients will be
unable to afford the online journal.

We currently are charging $600 per year for online adoption, but out of a
sense of academic responsibility, we are considering revising our pricing
to allow adoption by as many academic libraries as possible.

Since questions have arisen on this listserv about online pricing
strategies for non-profit organizations, I decided to post my request for
input here.  I intend to conduct a survey of librarian concerns about this
issue within the next several weeks and intend to call 10 to 15 persons.
I am particularly interested in talking with librarians involved with
making journal decisions. The questions will deal with the utility of the
online journal and how to price it so that adoption is facilitated. I
anticipate that the call will be 5-15 minutes long.  If you are interested
in participating, please e-mail me with your name, affiliation, phone
number and a convenient time when I could call.  Comments by email will
also be welcomed.  The information that we collect will be useful to the
Society in making future policy.  We anticipate that this may result in a
change in pricing strategy that could take effect during the current year.

We hope to develop a synergistic relationship with academic librarians
that is consistent with all of our missions.  Until we have completed that
assessment, the online version of the American Journal of Botany will
continue to be made available without charge.

Thank you for your time,    -Scott Russell, for Botanical Society of America

Scott D. Russell, Professor of Botany    srussell@ou.edu
Department of Botany & Microbiology
University of Oklahoma
Norman OK  73019-0245   USA
Phone:  1-405-325-6234     FAX:    1-405-325-7619