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RE: Study Identifies Factors That Could Lead to Cancelled Subscriptions


The folks at the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 
may have some useful data -- I forget the specifics, but they 
have adjusted their embargo period at least once in order to 
manage the cancellation rate.


T. Scott Plutchak

Director, Lister Hill Library of the Health Sciences
University of Alabama at Birmingham

-----Original Message-----
[mailto:owner-liblicense-l@lists.yale.edu] On Behalf Of Sally Morris
(Chief Executive)
Sent: Wednesday, November 29, 2006 4:46 PM
To: liblicense-l@lists.yale.edu
Subject: Re: Study Identifies Factors That Could Lead to Cancelled

I'd say that publishers, given the chance, will work out what 
delay is likely to be sufficient to protect their 
subscriptions/licences from large-scale erosion.  A number of 
different factors will be at work: the subject field (e.g. how 
fast-moving is it?) and the frequency of the journal are both 
likely to have a significant bearing on this.

Do journals see cancellations?  Well, when the British Medical 
Journal made all its content (not just primary research articles) 
freely available immediately, it lost subscriptions. When it 
changed policy, and restricted access to everything except 
primary research articles, it managed to stop and even (I think) 
reverse the trend.  But the BMJ is not typical - its USP is its 
non-research content...

I'd be very interested to hear any (albeit anecdotal) evidence 
from publishers who have, or have not, seen a loss of 
subscriptions when access was opened up at x months - 
particularly those who might have changed the embargo period and 
seen a difference.  I wonder whether OUP has any data?

Sally Morris, Chief Executive
Association of Learned and Professional Society Publishers South House,
The Street, Clapham
Email: sally.morris@alpsp.org

----- Original Message -----
From: "Phil Davis" <pmd8@cornell.edu>
To: <liblicense-l@lists.yale.edu>
Sent: Thursday, November 16, 2006 7:12 AM
Subject: Re: Study Identifies Factors That Could Lead to Cancelled

> While I have no doubt that this study was well done and holds up
> methodologically, I do wonder about its experimental validity. Do
> librarian preferences for cancellation translate into actual
> cancellations?
> If the PRC results were predictive of actual behavior, one would
> expect that subscription-based journals that provided delayed free
> content [1] would see massive library cancellations.  Are these
> publishers, some of whom provide free access after as little as
> 2-months committing subscription hari-kari?  Seems not.
> --Phil Davis
> [1] see hundreds of journals publishing with HighWire Press
> http://highwire.stanford.edu/lists/freeart.dtl
> ----------------------------------------------------------------------
> -
> Philip M. Davis
> PhD Student (and former Science Librarian) Department of Communication
> Cornell University
> email: pmd8@cornell.edu
> work phone: 607 255-0354
> web: http://www.people.cornell.edu/pages/pmd8/