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Re: Question about open access and print

Hang on, David.  Perhaps I did not explain this well so let me 
make clear what I am doing:

Participants at the conference, as their conference contribution, 
submit a paper to N&M.  Some of these contain new results and are 
peer-reviewed in the usual way for research papers.  Some are 
essentially invited reviews which are usually reviewed only by 
the editors in chief.  Both of these types of papers have the 
same status as any paper of the particular type that we publish.

After all are published, it is our intention to also publish, for 
the convenience of those who want it, a 'collected papers' 
volume.  This is a standard genre that usually involves classic 
papers or papers on a particular subject that have been published 
in a variety of journals or over a period of time, or for that 
matter is basically no different than journals that have a print 
and an online version.  That's it.

If your library never buys such books, or never buys such books 
when the collected papers are available on line, that is the 
answer to my question.  Perhaps the situation is new, that is, 
traditionally 'collected papers' are only published if they are 
classics.  One of the things that is new, is that for books, 
Amazon may ask an author to put their book on-line explaining 
that contrary to what one might expect, sales increase if the 
books is available on-line.  Other examples include Institute of 
Medicine publications which are available from their website but 
one can purchase a print-on-demand volume.

This has everything to do with OA.  The second part of my 
question got truncated but it is whether a library would 
subscribe to a print edition if there was free access to their 
on-line edition. The most important examples are probably Nature 
and Science (or for some people, New England Journal of Medicine 
or whatever) which are available through subscription in most 
university libraries and therefore members of the university have 
online access and do not need to have personal subscriptions. 
But reason not the need.  I subscribe to Nature and Science 
because I browse the articles and the book or journal format 
still has many desirable features compared to downloaded MSS.

So, the question I am asking is if, rather than being available 
only to subscribers, if Nature and Science were open access and 
I, of course, would not cancel my subscription, would a library 
cancel their subscription?  I had always assumed they would not 
-- the subscription provides a service and convenience -- but 
then I hadn't asked.  If, in fact, libraries would not subscribe 
to print version if the electronic version is available free, 
this brings the OA revolution into sharp focus.  One of the 
visions for the future is then a more or less paperless library 
with only monitors.  Maybe this is obvious but, like I say, I 
didn't think that's what we are talking about.

Regards, RF
Richard D. Feinman, Professor of Biochemistry