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BMC pricing model
- To: <firstname.lastname@example.org>
- Subject: BMC pricing model
- From: "T Scott Plutchak" <email@example.com>
- Date: Tue, 17 Feb 2004 19:03:57 EST
- Reply-to: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Sender: email@example.com
Now that we've all had some time to think about the implications of BMC's new institutional pricing model, I'm curious to hear whether people still think there are sufficient incentives in the new model to justify being an institutional member. While the new model does seem to be a fairer way of assessing costs to institutions, I think it presents problems that may be insurmountable. To the extent that an institution's faculty embrace the BMC journals, the institution is faced with the same dilemma that we're used to under the subscription model -- where is the money to pay the ever-increasing fee going to come from? There has been much discussion, intended to counter the concern that the author-pays model would unduly shift the burden of scholarly publishing to the research-intensive institutions, that authors should be paying the processing charges from their grants. But there isn't a way (at least at this institution) to capture those funds centrally. So an institutional membership fee has to come from the same old sources -- the library budget (so that it is now competing directly with other things that libraries never have enough money for), the indirect cost pool (which is always the subject of the most fierce battles within the institution -- why should the individuals who control those funds be any more willing to spend them on publishing costs than on any other worthwhile initiative?), or other institutional funds (of which there are never enough to go around anyway). I'm led to think that my best option for supporting the BMC journals would be to NOT try to find the funds for an institutional membership, but to continue education efforts on campus and encourage individual researchers to pay the processing charges out of their grants. I can't think of a practical reason to continue the institutional membership. Scott T. Scott Plutchak Director, Lister Hill Library of the Health Sciences University of Alabama at Birmingham firstname.lastname@example.org
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