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RE: Wellcome Trust report

And speaking of marketplaces: in some cases there are more customers for
print than just libraries.  Carol Tenopir, in her presentation at the
Society for Scholarly Publishing meeting last week, reported that there is
still strong demand for print from individual subscribers in certain
disciplines such as clinical medicine.

Consider a medical society with 10,000 members and 2,000 library
subscribers.  If the members want print, even just to browse and discard,
the publisher is going to continue to provide print copies regardless of
the purchasing habits of the libraries.

The trickier problem (obviously) is when the number of libraries and
individuals wanting print copies drops to levels where it becomes
significantly more expensive to produce per copy.  Then the choices about
how to allocate costs are harder.

Evan Owens 

(as a private individual, not on behalf of my employer)

-----Original Message-----
From: Joseph J. Esposito [mailto:espositoj@worldnet.att.net] 
Sent: Wednesday, June 09, 2004 8:37 PM
To: liblicense-l@lists.yale.edu
Subject: Re: Wellcome Trust report

There are literally thousands of publishers of various stripes that would
give their right arms to drop print, but their customers won't let them.
Believe me, print is a pain in the neck; it's almost as much trouble as
negotiating with 25-year-old tattooed and body-pierced developers.  The
problem with eliminating print is, as Sally says, that it's a binary game:
all or nothing.  The fixed costs of print don't get reduced one penny when
one customer opts for electronics.  And think of the relatively poor
success of the electronic-only journals (compared to journals that also
have the print option, that is).  This is not a case of publishers ramming
something down the throat of librarians but of a marketplace that has not
yet got religion.

Yrs in spirit.

Joe Esposito