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RE: Thoughts around journal pricing?

Hi Tom,

Our journal subscriptions for 2010 are already paid for and have 
been for quite some time, we generally pay well in advance to 
receive the optimum discount.  If we find out that a title is 
increasing substantially ahead of time we may or may not cancel 
that title before the renewal.  What we will receive throughout 
the year are "supplemental invoices" for the majority of our 
titles that reflect price increases.  We will then make decision 
on renewals for 2011 on a case by case basis as the supplemental 
invoices arrive.

Currently we are investigating accessing association journals 
online via the association's web site and have already replaced a 
lot of these titles this way.  This is for the most part very 
cost effective, we often receive expanded access and expend less 
resources.  Previously our library had invested moderately in 
electronic collections.  Coming from a corporate library, a 
relatively virtual environment, where I had previously 
substituted substantial portions of their print collection in 
favor of materials available electronically, (sometimes reducing 
print libraries to less than 10% of their original space 
allocation), there are a myriad of opportunities for reallocation 
of available resources.

The most important question was how we accomplish this while 
assuring the university community that we are investing in 
sustainable electronic materials?

Our first step here was to review the needs of the university. 
We looked at what departments were already invested in electronic 
access; Psychology, Business, Chemistry & Physics, Biology & 
Environmental Sciences were at the forefront.  We also looked at 
what programs we were offering that could benefit substantially 
from a 24 hour electronic library, Education, Health Sciences, 
and again Business, were those with students in multiple 
locations with substantial online enrollment.  Intentionally left 
out of the project were some of the other departments where 
electronic access was not a suitable option, (basically anything 
where images were important visually or contextually).

At the onset I have to state that I am opposed to discontinuing 
any print materials where the electronic collection was provided 
by a for-profit publisher or aggregator.  These collections are 
too static, with titles being sold and re-sold and sometimes just 
dropping off the platforms due to publisher pricing.  This left 
not-for-profit organizations, like ITHAKA/JSTOR, and also 
professional associations.  However, I am wary of relying too 
heavily on ITHAKA/JSTOR for one stop shopping.  I have had a lot 
of experience working with electronic materials from member based 
professional associations like the AICPA and FASB in my previous 
position and know their commitment to providing access to their 
members.  I also feel assured that even if an association were to 
fail, continued access to their publications to their membership 
could be provided through appropriate licensing language. 
Moreover, association publications are less likely to become 
available through an aggregator.  Our decision was ultimately to 
review our serials for those titles which were provided by 
associations to see how much we could save, and then to 
supplement these association back-files for these disciplines 
with titles available on JSTOR or Project Muse as necessary and 
possible some substantial publisher databases.


-----Original Message-----
From: owner-liblicense-l@lists.yale.edu
[mailto:owner-liblicense-l@lists.yale.edu] On Behalf Of Thomas Vale
Sent: Tuesday, October 27, 2009 5:38 PM
To: liblicense-l@lists.yale.edu
Subject: Thoughts around journal pricing?

Hi guys,

I hope everyone's keeping well. I'm doing a bit of research in 
trying to understand library budgets and journals etc. One of the 
things that continually amazes me is the extent to which "paid" 
journals work vs open access (a topic which has been well 
addressed during the Open access week here in Cambridge).

That aside, I did wonder if anyone had any thoughts about 
journals and pricing. It seems to me that despite the economic 
downturn effecting library budgets, some of the biggest 
publishers are still looking for significant price increases both 
on print and electronic (the best I've heard of is flat 
pricing...). Is that right? If so how can libraries respond?

Any thoughts/viewpoints would be much appreciated.