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RE: Future of the "subscription model?"

Editorial boards already try to determine the most "valuable"
articles.  It is hard to imagine an editorial board that wants to
publish articles with limited appeal to its discipline and a low
probability of being cited.  Many biomedical journals ask
reviewers to rate a manuscript's priority or novelty and reject
those that simply rehash previously published findings.  It is
difficult for an editorial board to determine which manuscripts
are going to be "hot" and which will be of little interest.

Richard Dodenhoff
Journals Director

American Society for Pharmacology & Experimental Therapeutics
9650 Rockville Pike, Bethesda, MD 20814
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-----Original Message-----
From: owner-liblicense-l@lists.yale.edu
[mailto:owner-liblicense-l@lists.yale.edu] On Behalf Of Brooks, Robert
Sent: Wednesday, October 26, 2011 6:42 PM
To: liblicense-l@lists.yale.edu
Subject: RE: Future of the "subscription model?"

Rick's post does remind me of his remarks at the Charleston
Conference last year.  I think the "pay for what you need"
approach to electronic journals is a rational one for a library
to take, particularly during difficult financial times.  My
question to the readers of this list revolves around the effect
this would have on scholarly communication, and I hope you will
humor me as I think this through.

Traditionally, "value" or "impact" of an article is determined by
the academy, yes?  Publishers present a collection of articles in
the form of a journal which libraries subscribe to and make
accessible to their patrons.  Academics filter through these
articles, choosing to use certain articles in their research and
passing over others.  By virtue of the citation, some articles
then become more "valuable" than others.  How does this work in
the environment Rick describes?  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?  Do
libraries determine value by only buying the individual articles
THEY believe will be used by their patrons?

My hunch, though, is that the expectation would be for publishers
to continue to produce a full range of articles and for libraries
to keep providing access at least to the abstracts for a full
range of articles, and instituting some type of PDA model to
purchase the full text for "valuable" articles using tokens or a
similar purchasing model.  This makes a certain amount of sense
to me, however the challenge would be that the price for the
"valuable" articles would inevitably have to subsidize the cost
of publishing the less valuable articles, correct?  Is this model
preferable to libraries?

I recognize the dilemma and the numerous challenges currently
facing libraries.  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?

What solutions can we collaborate on that address Rick's point of
view and also promote scholarly publishing and communication?

Hob Brooks
Senior Library Sales Manager
SAGE Publications
(805) 410-0907