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RE: Yes, it's time (RE: Is it time to stop printing journals?)

What this thread shows is that different output media suit 
different types of publication.  Consumer magazines are 
predominantly printed products because of advertising and because 
readers use them in all sorts of different situations where print 
is simply the best medium for the purpose. And academic libraries 
don't figure, because consumer magazines are not designed 
primarily for libraries!

What consumer magazine publishers do is provide web sites that 
are not facsimiles of the magazine, as are most learned journals 
online, but contain different, complementary, content. 
Publishers are exploiting the brand represented by the magazine 
title to create new material - some free and some paid-for - that 
preserves and augments circulation, on which the advertising 
revenue is based.

Business-to-business magazine publishers like McGraw-Hill, Reed 
Business Information etc, have gone further by creating 
subscription-based information services that exploit the magazine 
title as a brand, use the journalistic resources of the magazine, 
and extend the range and depth of content.  Reed Business 
Information has been successful at this, and now one third of its 
revenue comes from online publishing, without damaging the 
circulations of its print titles.  Now that re-purposing is smart 
publishing, that should deliver some lessons about the future of 
the learned journal.

John Cox

Managing Director
John Cox Associates Ltd
Rookwood, Bradden
TOWCESTER, Northants NN12 8ED
United Kingdom
E-mail: John.E.Cox@btinternet.com
Web: www.johncoxassociates.com

-----Original Message-----
[mailto:owner-liblicense-l@lists.yale.edu] On Behalf Of Joseph Esposito
Sent: 02 May 2007 21:55
To: liblicense-l@lists.yale.edu
Subject: Re: Yes, it's time (RE: Is it time to stop printing journals?)

I doubt consumer publishers would be surprised by how quickly the 
change has taken place.  I doubt anything surprises a consumer 
publisher any more.  The spend their mornings reading the NYTimes 
online, turning first to the obituaries of the music business.

Insofar as consumer magazine publishers repurpose content for 
library sales (often through aggregators such as Gale and EBSCO), 
they are not acting in their capacity of consumer publishers, by 
definition. In their core consumer markets the switch to fully 
digital editions is problematic because the advertising revenue, 
which drives the business, does not follow.  And when the 
advertising does move online, it doesn't necessarily go to the 
online magazines.

This, the problematic career of advertising dollars, is in part 
because Google is the snake that eats its own tail.  An 
advertiser can choose to advertise on a target site (e.g., Time 
magazine online) or it can advertise by purchasing search engine 
keywords, thus advertising on the index rather than the target 
content.  There is a paradox here.  Google increases traffic to 
indexed Web sites, but it also takes away the advertising dollars 
that otherwise may have appeared on those sites.  Nor does Google 
underwrite the creation of the target content.  At some point 
that target content may not be Time or the NY Times but a motley 
collection of amateur blogs, social networks, and wikis.  Now 
read the breaking news from Iraq, brought to you by your 
16-year-old and her cool friends.  Students of media will recall 
the story of Life magazine, beloved by its millions of readers, 
neglected by advertisers, who migrated to the larger audiences 
watching "I Love Lucy."

I am not making these comments because I don't love Google, 
because I do in fact love Google--and am typing this post on 
Gmail.  What I would hope is that everyone concerned with media, 
from blogs to academic research journals, view digital media as a 
strange world with its own physics, one awaiting its Einstein. 
Until someone helps us understand the speed of eyeballs and the 
curvature of links, water will flow up and tomorrow will come 

Joe Esposito

On 5/1/07, adam hodgkin <adam.hodgkin@gmail.com> wrote:
> On 5/1/07, David Goodman <dgoodman@princeton.edu> wrote:
>> But there are such services--and Proquest and Ebsco and Wilson
>> and others have been providing it very successfully for a
>> number of years now.\\
> Indeed, there are such services, but they are usually (?)
> repurposed and without the illustrative material and the ads.
> They are very useful for what they do -- which is basically to
> provide a text-database version of the magazines. They are
> probably more useful to libraries which dont need to have the
> full magazine (ie the magazine including the ads, diagrams and
> pictures), but fashion or design school library is not going to
> limit its magazine collection to text sans-illustrations. Though
> for some analytic and academic purposes it is useful and may be
> sufficient just to have a version of the text, minus
> illustrations and ads.
> Similarly 15 years ago there was quite widespread support for
> full-text versions of scientific periodicals which excluded
> illustrative material. Such databases had their uses then, but we
> would not have raised the possibility that one could therefore
> stop printing the actual journal.
> I was rather thinking that digital versions of magazines could
> replace and displace the print versions, which will only be a
> real option when the digital version includes ALL that the
> magazine contains. The print version becomes at least moot, when
> the digital version covers all the printable content.This seems
> to have been accepted in STM libraries and the institutions they
> serve: many consumer magazine publishers would be surprised at
> how quickly that change has taken place.
> Adam Hodgkin