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Re: BMC pricing model

I concur with Joe.

Though I work in a business environment, our model of usage access can be
used as a paradigm for the global access model for universities and/or
research communities. My group is responsible for purchasing all research
materials for our internal clients as well as global members of our firm.  
We have several contracts - some based on head count, some on per seat
models, and others on a Global access basis. The per seat costs are rather
self explanatory... each individual responsible for purchasing their own
content. A head count model is a discounted rate based on a use
approximation. Our global access model (which is the basis of this
discussion) is a series of research literature open to all of our firm
worldwide (over 100,000 employees). Though an altruistic move on behalf of
the US firm, this move to Global access is often a struggle because it is
either desired or required that all of our accountants have access to such
said materials world wide, but when the bill comes, everyone looks away.  
This cost often exceeds our funds by millions and it rests on our
shoulders every year to go door to door in each country looking for
contributions to help fund the access that they receive thanks to our
dedicated staff of librarians *sorry for the shameless plug*. Needless to
say, we often get stuck with the bill.

Now you ask, what does this have to do with our model of global access?
Well, in the era of modern technology, people want and expect things for
free. With the increased cost of publications, universal access will
require a sizable amount of money which will need to be paid up-front by a
coalition of libraries or universities, and it will be up to the payor to
charge back each contributing country for their share of the information.

This leads me to other questions - who decides how much each country will
contribute?  What about under-funded research facilities and universities?
will they be denied access? Then it will not truly be global access. But
if they are included and cannot pay, who will be responsible for paying
for those who cannot pay for themselves? University libraries are usually
(at least the University I used to work for) barely breaking even between
the cost of on-line and print resources. And though eliminating the amount
of print materials you have will eliminate some cost and leave additional
funds to allocate to other things, I feel universities would be better
suited to use the additional fund to acquire additional resources for
their immediate audience.

Tho, no one would deny that in theory the Universal or Open Access model
is the desired route for humanitarian and social reasons, I feel in
practice this model is not as well suited.

Krista Comet
Ernst & Young, Center for Business Knowledge
ECMS Administrator, External Business Information Acquisition
Phone: (216) 583-3887
Fax: (216) 583-2068
Email: krista.comet@ey.com


"Joseph J. Esposito" <espositoj@worldnet.att.net>
To:  <liblicense-l@lists.yale.edu>
Subject:  Re: BMC pricing model

I think the problem is that we (or the research community or academic
publishers or academic librarians or whoever or whatever) are trying to
solve too many problems at one time.  One problem is the spiralling cost
of academic publications; another is the restricted access to many
publications.  These are two problems, not one.  Many people seem to
believe that open access will reduce total expenditures.  I just don't get
it; the opposite would appear to be true.  From the point of view of the
civic good, it is hard to argue against open (or universal) access.  The
question is who is to pay for this universal good.  By analogy, is anyone
truly against universal health care=3F Isn't that argument simply about
money (how much and whose)=3F

To put this another way, let's take all the profit earned by publishers of
academic materials, and on top of this let's eliminate all costs
associated with hardcopy (minuscule though these are), and then we can
spread this bonanza across all the academic institutions in the world.  
It would be interesting to know the approximate size of the bonanza, but I
do know that the aggregate number will be surprisingly small, not nearly
enough for all institutions to purchase every publication.  Universal
access is beyond the reach of the current academic economy.  I wish it
were otherwise.

Joe Esposito