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RE: Heads up: Nature license and confidentiality

> I'm slightly suprised that librarians find anything odd in 
> this.

It's not really that we find secret pricing odd; it's that we 
find it unacceptable (or I do, anyway -- I shouldn't presume to 
speak for everyone else).

> In the print world, the price was the price.  In the digital 
> world, as Peggy says herself, 'we don't all pay the price'; 
> actual prices paid by individual consortia and even individual 
> libraries tend to be the result of often protracted 
> negotiation. Different factors may have a bearing in each case. 
> So making public the price actually negotiated would be most 
> unfair on the vendor, wouldn't it?

I can see why publishers find transparent pricing undesirable, 
but I really don't see how they can claim that it's unfair.  If 
you're going to sell a product or service to the public, then it 
seems to me that the public has a right to know how much it's 
paying.  (If you're selling to a private institution, then you 
may be able to negotiate terms of secrecy into the deal -- but it 
doesn't seem to me that the institution is under any moral 
obligation to agree.  "Fairness" certainly doesn't enter into it. 
I see no logical connection between the fact that prices and 
license terms vary from institution to institution as a matter of 
negotiation and the proposition that they should be kept secret 
as a matter of fairness.)

Rick Anderson
Dir. of Resource Acquisition
University of Nevada, Reno Libraries