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Re: Cost of Electronic Resources

Dianne Nicholson (British Columbia, Okanagan College) raised the topic of
electronic pricing models and Bernie Sloan (Illinois) continued it.  I've
reproduced the part of Bernie's message where he enumerates some of the
pricing models he currently encounters.

It would be helpful to many of us who are either creating licenses or
responding to them, to get a sense of:

1.  What models are "out there?" Identify one or two and describe in a
sentence or two.  Let's make a collection of these, all the way from those
in common usage (such as FTE stsudents) to those that seem new and exotic
(one publisher, for example, is charging based on the number of computers
connected to our domains).

2.  Which ones do you particularly like?  (I *don't like* simultaneous
users except in certain kinds of crics. and only like FTEs for broad
general resources like Encyclopaedia Britannica, where the chance that
many users across departments will partake -- and even then I am not
entirely comfortable with this model.) 

Chime in please.

Ann Okerson

Bernie Sloan wrote:

>Right now I'm opening up discussions with about a half
>dozen different vendors, and I am struck by how no two
>vendors come even half way close to using similar pricing
>models. One uses the price of a paper subscription for the
>institution in question and then adds so much per FTE.
>Another gathers information on the various institutions
>and then assigns each institution to a tier or level, with
>a fixed price for that tier. Another gives credits for paper
>and CD-ROM versions of the database. Another charges
>a flat fee, and then so much per concurrent user. Another
>bases its calculations on book budget and FTE, and then
>assigns each institution to a tier with a fixed price for that
>tier. Yet another asks for a list of institutions and their
>satellite branches. We even charge fees. We recoup a
>certain (small) percentage of processing fees by charging
>back to the users who subscribe to each service. Our
>processing fees are based on a flat fee per institution,
>plus so much per FTE.
>When we can, we favor using FTE as at least one element
>of the pricing structure, using the argument that FTE is a
>good measure of the potential user base. (Note: we only use
>student FTE counts, not faculty/staff). We have discovered
>though, that you can't simply use FTE. In our consortium we
>have a variety of academic libraries, from very small private
>liberal arts colleges, to community colleges, to large research
>institutions. There is a sort of apples-to-oranges effect. That's
>why, in cases where we have had some control over allocating
>database fees and processing costs, we use a combination
>of a flat fee, plus cost per FTE. The net result is a distribution
>of costs that most folks seem to find "fair".
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