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RE: Loyalty fee

I don't think this is a common practice.  It is certainly the 
case that libraries that are 'early adopters' of a product will 
often benefit from better pricing than those who purchase later 
on, for example when taking advantage of a prepublication or 
early release offer, but these situations are usually clearly 
framed as special time-limited offers intended to incentivize 
early investment in an unproven product.

JSTOR offers better pricing to its charter participants, for 
example, because those institutions took a risk in supporting 
JSTOR when it was a new venture.  More similar to the case you 
describe, I'm aware of one instance in which a journal publisher 
has denied to later consortial participants the terms that it 
offered to earlier participants, but in my experience this is 
outside the norm and far less justifiable. To impose such a 
distinction on a mature product and call it a 'loyalty fee' is a 
rather unfortunate (if not subtly manipulative) characterization 
more suitable to commodity purchasing than to complex information 
resources IMO.

Ivy Anderson
Director of Collections
California Digital Library
University of California, Office of the President

-----Original Message-----
From: owner-liblicense-l@lists.yale.edu
[mailto:owner-liblicense-l@lists.yale.edu] On Behalf Of Selma Aslan
Sent: Monday, July 11, 2011 6:56 PM
To: Liblicense
Subject: Loyalty fee

Hi All,

Looking at the cost sharing model used for a particular product 
within a particular consortium it is identified that considerable 
variations exist among amounts paid by institutions of similar 
nature. When this was queried the explanation was loyalty fee, 
i.e., being an older member of the consortium. The difference 
grows over the years and adjustment has become inevitable. But of 
course this should be done without causing disturbance.

My questions are (a) is loyalty fee a common practice?-- I have 
not come across it in any written source yet and would love to be 
directed. --, (b) If yes, what would be regarded as an acceptable 


Selma Aslan