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Elsevier comments on TRLN memo

Following the posting of the TRLN (Triangle Research Library Network) memo
to various listservs on January 14, Elsevier would like to respond to
several issues raised in it.

Elsevier has offered TRLN, and other customers facing budgetary
constraints this year, an agreement consistent with the company's global
sales policies. This includes not only access at the consortia level at
very favorable rates but also a cost containment guarantee within a
multi-year framework.  For almost five years now, Elsevier has kept its
promise of maintaining lower price increases than in the past years.  The
annual increases, moreover, have actually been lower than the industry
average so this guarantee can be assured in multi-year contracts.

It is quite true that Elsevier offers significant and major discounts
(more than 85%) for subscription to content beyond an institution's
historical holdings as part of ScienceDirect's "complete" license option.  
However, Elsevier does not insist that customers purchase this discounted
additional content.  To say that Elsevier requires customers to sign up
for "bundled" deals is simply not true.  No one forces customers to
subscribe to content they do not want or need.  Volume discounts, which
are always only an offer, are now standard business practice in virtually
every industry and are expected by most customers.

Finally, customers always have the option to access their selected set of
titles as part of the "limited" agreement but in exchange they do
relinquish their favorable discount status.  By choosing a "limited"
agreement, customers choose for greater title flexibility (and a smaller
number of subscribed titles) and lose the reduced per-title cost they may
have enjoyed in the past for additional content as a "complete" customer.

Frank Vrancken Peeters
Managing Director, Sales
Science & Technology