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RE: Eliminating references in medical books

I've been looking at the Elsevier titles. I'm at a general 
academic library so we buy very few of these medical titles but 
those in medical libraries should know there are currently 279 
titles represented in Expert Consult. I don't know if all of them 
abandoned references in their print counterparts. Of those, 35 
have a different presentation. They are sold or also sold as 
'Expert Consult Premium Edition: Enhanced Online Features and 
Print.' Catalogers should know that these are no longer static 
representations of the print version. They will now become 
continuing resources because these will be enhanced with

#Regular updates: These summaries of recent journal articles or 
other late-breaking literature allow you to easily keep current 
with all of the newest developments in your field.

# Full image library online: This includes all of the book's 
images, organized by chapter, in a user-friendly format - 
allowing you to search for what you want and then either save any 
images into a virtual 'Light Box' or straight into a PowerPoint 

# Videos: Key procedures are demonstrated in both animations and 
video, with audio voiceovers, so you can really see key 
techniques and hear them explained step by step.

# Drug database: access drug information by indications, 
contraindications, and adverse reactions. Powered by Gold 
Standard - the leading developer of drug information.

# Self-assessment questions: Standard exam-type questions 
facilitate board review or offer a convenient refresher on the 
latest knowledge

Knowing what you purchase, own and have access to will be even 
harder - and will libraries be able to purchase them in the 
enhanced version? Many of these are the old standards from Mosby 
and W.B. Saunders that medical libraries always had to have - 
maybe that's the question. Where is the MLA on this?

We will be watching the Elsevier titles for our general academic 
library and considering carefully how we want to buy the content. 
If anyone wants a copy of the list as of today, please contact me 
off line and I will share it. I have it in Excel.

Linda Hulbert, Associate Director Collection Management and 
O'Shaughnessy-Frey Library #5004
University of Saint Thomas
2115 Summit Avenue
St. Paul, MN 55105

-----Original Message-----
From: owner-liblicense-l@lists.yale.edu 
[mailto:owner-liblicense-l@lists.yale.edu] On Behalf Of T Scott 
Sent: Wednesday, September 01, 2010 4:22 PM
To: liblicense-l@lists.yale.edu
Subject: RE: Eliminating references in medical books

I agree with Mark that this is disturbing, although my slant on 
it is slightly different from his. After some time spent browsing 
the Expert Consult site, I come away with the conclusion that the 
publisher views the physical book as an 'extra' -- they are 
primarily interested in selling access to the electronic version, 
which, in addition to providing the references, provides access 
to a number of additional 'enhanced features.'  You get fully 
searchable text and, depending on the title, may have an image 
library, videos, self-assessment questions, etc.  You can build 
your own 'online library of all your favourite medical titles'.

Seen from this angle, the physical book is just a 'transitional 
object', intended to give the purchaser of the online version 
something that they are a little more comfortable with, until 
they can gradually be weaned away from needing a hard copy 
artifact at all.  I think I can understand some of the marketing 
strategy.  And they've got a long list of titles due to come out 
over the course of the next year.

Viewed in this way, perhaps it doesn't violate Mark's basic 
principle of scientific communication any more than a news story 
does.  The latest NYT story about a hot NEJM article doesn't 
supply the references either -- you have to go to the original 
publication in order to do that.  In the case of the Expert 
Consult titles, the 'original publication' is the electronic 
version, not the hard copy book.  The hard copy isn't 'crippled' 
-- it's just a shadow.  Ephemera.

Unfortunately, unlike the circumstance in my tenuous analogy, 
nobody but the individual purchaser can go to the original 
publication.  There's no library version, no site licensed 
version, no way for the casual reader who might find value in the 
content to get the full publication.  It can't be shared, can't 
be borrowed, can't really become part of the full scholarly 

But from a marketing standpoint, perhaps those things are 
irrelevant -- this is option #3 from Rick Anderson's article 
referenced earlier in the week.  Find a way to market directly to 
students and faculty.


T. Scott Plutchak
Director, Lister Hill Library of the Health Sciences University 
of Alabama at Birmingham tscott@uab.edu