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Re: Future of the "subscription model?"
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- Subject: Re: Future of the "subscription model?"
- From: "FrederickFriend" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
- Date: Mon, 7 Nov 2011 19:57:28 EST
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I like Rick Anderson's approach. He knows the direction in which his university's purchasing policy should be heading and he has started to implement that approach, while recognising that the full effect of moving away from subscriptions cannot be realised overnight. The only point on which I think Rick is on the wrong track is in looking towards purchase at the article level as a replacement for lost content. As he points out, that model brings punitive pricing. Much more effective in providing large-scale single-article access will be an open access model, which provides users with the content they need - and no more than they need - at an affordable price for the world-wide academic community. What is holding back the the gradual change to an open access model is that many librarians are not willing to make that initial change Rick has made and start moving away from the subscription model. Rick is looking at a change to 50% of today's subscriptions over a six year period. Most libraries are committing to their current level of subscriptions for the next three or five years without any hope of making the kind of gradual (and beneficial) change the University of Utah has started to make. Fred Friend -----Original Message----- From: Rick Anderson Sent: Thursday, November 03, 2011 11:17 PM To: email@example.com Subject: Re: Future of the "subscription model?" >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 firstname.lastname@example.org
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