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RE: puzzled by self-archiving thread

As a publisher, I feel that usage and cost (along with faculty 
recommendations) seem very sensible criteria when deciding what 
journals to renew. What troubles me is what criteria are used for 
acquiring new journals? Are faculty recommendations the sole 
criterion? (It seems they must be, given the pressure on 
librarians to cancel subs.)

Journals that are innovative in terms of approach or topic take 
time to establish -- especially if they are interdisciplinary. 
There is a great deal of dialogue within academia about the value 
of interdisciplinary research but, from a publisher's 
perspective, this is risky business. I can't see renewal policies 
based solely on usage and cost as good for this sort of research 
over the longer term.

I would welcome comments!

Kathryn Earle
Managing Director
Berg Publishers

-----Original Message-----
From: Rick Anderson [mailto:rickand@unr.edu]
Sent: 27 December 2006 01:33
To: liblicense-l@lists.yale.edu
Subject: RE: puzzled by self-archiving thread

> I plead ignorance here, and welcome instruction from you 
> librarians, but as a publisher of 11 journals in the 
> humanities, it bothers me to think that cancellations could 
> occur just because of usage statistics alone.

It's not that we care only about usage and cost -- it's that 
fiscal reality forces us to make difficult decisions based on 
imperfect and incomplete data.  Spiraling journal prices and (for 
many of us) effectively static budgets mean that we can't afford 
to keep buying everything this year that we bought last year. So 
something has to go -- but what will it be?  We can't just keep a 
subscription because the journal is good and worthwhile; the 
world is full of good and worthwhile things that we can't afford. 
In the short term, we can protect current subscriptions by buying 
fewer books, but that's no long-term strategy.

Eventually, we have to pick subscriptions to cancel.  If we don't 
make our cancellation decisions based on usage and cost, what 
criteria should we use?  I don't ask that question facetiously -- 
I'd be honestly interested to know, from a publisher's 
perspective, what other criteria _would_ make sense.

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