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Re: Future of the "subscription model?"
- To: "email@example.com" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
- Subject: Re: Future of the "subscription model?"
- From: Rick Anderson <email@example.com>
- Date: Fri, 11 Nov 2011 19:35:07 EST
- Reply-to: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Sender: email@example.com
>Libraries need to grasp that the more Big Publishing dominates >the market, the more demanding it will become, and for that >reason it is in the interests of libraries to do what they can >to support smaller publishers, to encourage diversity in the >supplier base. Believe me, librarians grasp these things perfectly well. The problem is that subscribing to journals isn't like buying cars. With rare and well-funded exceptions, we don't select journals by going out into a competitive marketplace and trying to find the best product for the best price we can get. The journals we subscribe to are the journals our faculty members tell us they need in order to do their work. If we respond by saying "But that journal is from Megapublisher X, and we're already giving that publisher 35% of our serials budget. In order to encourage diversity in the marketplace, we need to spend more of our money with other, smaller publishers -- many of which offer journals just as good as the one you're requesting," their rejoinder will be "Are you crazy? The journal I'm requesting is the core journal in my field. I don't care who publishes it; as things stand now, I can't hire faculty in my department because when they find out the library doesn't subscribe to that journal they withdraw from consideration." (That, by the way, is a virtually direct quote from one of the associate deans on my campus.) This isn't the fault of publishers, by the way. It's simply the way the information marketplace works. Copyright is a monopoly right, and that means that each journal article is a nonsubstitutable commodity. You get it from the copyright holder, or you don't get it (or anything functionally like it) at all. --- Rick Anderson Assoc. Dean for Scholarly Resources & Collections J. Willard Marriott Library University of Utah firstname.lastname@example.org