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Re: Future of the "subscription model?"

A few comments on Rick and Hob's comments:

>Publishers can't make as much money selling only the articles 
>that people want as they can selling articles in 12-month 
>bundles [Rick].

They can and I suspect will make the money they wish to make by 
moving the cost for a PPV up until they reach their threshold. 
Unbundling articles from the issue/number format should be 
cheaper for them in set up.  I see no downside for publishers 

>Do the publishers take on the responsibility for determining 
>value and only publishing articles THEY expect to be the "best" 
>or most valuable to academics? [Hob]

This is what peer review does now. The assumption now is that the 
value is scholarly. Hob suggests another motivation will be added 
for an article's market-value.  Are those that different? 
Almost any scholar in any field will say that too much of little 
value is published.

> My concern, I suppose, would be if the article based approach 
> to purchasing content resulted in a significant reduction in 
> how much research actually gets published.  What impact might 
> this have on the ability of faculty to get published and on 
> research as a whole? [Hob]

Faculty on the whole, and particularly young faculty, are 
amazingly inventive and will create venues to offer up their 
scholarship.  Little could fuel OA, IR, or preprint models better 
than if faculty realize there were too few venues for their 
publishing and they create their own.

More and more traditional, high-price publishers are the 1911 
livery stable owner patting Ol' Dobbins' neck as the Model T's 
roll by*.  The fiscal crisis will give librarians wide latitude 
with their campus to walk away from old models.


John P. Abbott, MS MSLS
Associate Professor & Coordinator, Collection Management
University Library
Appalachian State University