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Re: Future of the "subscription model?"


If publishers detect a pattern in which subscriptions are 
cancelled and single-article sales are substituted for them, then 
the price of single articles will rise.

Joe Esposito

On Thu, Nov 3, 2011 at 4:17 PM, Rick Anderson 
<rick.anderson@utah.edu> wrote:

>>Rick, when your library cancels the $300,000 worth of
>>subscriptions, I'm guessing that most of that will go back into
>>subscription like-services (paying for the price increases of
>>the subs you do keep, paying for new e-resources - most of which
>>will have some kind of subscription-like component, even if not
>>for actual journals).  Would that be a fair guess? If it is,
>>then the subscription model isn't exactly eroding?
> Good point, Ann. Yes, the $300,000 we "save" by cancelling some
> subscriptions will, in fact, be used up by the annual cost
> increases for those that remain. So when I offer our subscription
> cut as "evidence that libraries... are willing to substantially
> reduce and/or forego the subscription model," I guess what I'm
> saying is that whereas until recently we were willing to shore up
> the subscription model in our library by redirecting money from
> other areas to support it, we're no longer doing so. Instead,
> we're now cutting subscriptions substantially rather than ponying
> up more and more money to preserve the prevalence of that model
> in our library. As this process continues, we'll be purchasing
> dramatically less and less content under the subscription model
> from year to year -- in fact, at this rate we'll have roughly
> half as many subscriptions six years from now as we do today.
> So in a real sense, yes, we'll still be paying for subscriptions
> for the foreseeable future and therefore the model itself will
> still be alive in our library. But it will be constantly
> diminishing as we continue to "substantially reduce and/or
> forego" our subscriptions. At the same time, we're actively
> looking for alternatives to the subscription model and are
> anxious to try out any that look sustainable. Right now, the only
> thing keeping me from cancelling all of our subscriptions
> wholesale is the punitive pricing imposed by publishers for
> access at the article level.
> Chris, I think your follow-up question was basically the same as
> Ann's, but let me know if you need more clarification.
> ---
> Rick Anderson
> Assoc. Dean for Scholarly Resources & Collections
> J. Willard Marriott Library
> University of Utah
> rick.anderson@utah.edu