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Re: Heads up: Nature license and confidentiality

Rick, If you prefer, we can have this discussion off-line - my actual preference would be over a drink or three...

Is there any place in your thinking for what one might call a " loyalty " programme. Let's use Elsevier as an example [there are others of course]. Let's say a university spends in excess of [US $X Million] a year on their journals as well as Scopus, Compendex, Embase, DiscoveryGate etc. etc. Then this publisher produces their archive. In your mind is a university wrong if it wants aggressively to negotiate the price based on their rather large commitment to a given publisher? Do you really think they should pay the same price as everyone else?

Just curious.

Warren Holder
Electronic Resources Co-ordinator
University of Toronto Libraries
Toronto, Ontario CANADA M5S 1A5

Rick Anderson wrote:

I'm slightly suprised that librarians find anything odd in
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