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Re: Cost of Electronic Resources

Hi John-

Here are a few quick comments; I'm sure other people will have more.

Personally, I fail to see the logic of charging more for multi-user access
within the same building, for example, for 10 or even 40 workstations
accessing the cdrom product from within the library building. Why should
it cost more?  The publisher isn't losing sales that they may have
otherwise made. Any single item (such as a single volume of a printed
journal) can and is used multiple times and by multiple people in the
library. Why would the convenience of having _simultaneous_ multiple uses
increase the cost to the library? That extra convenience is often an
attractive selling point which can sway a selection decision- we may
purchase a cdrom product rather than a print version because of it. But
often we will not buy the cdrom product unless the additional cost for
networking the product is minimal.

Two scenarios immediately come to my mind. One, a networked product is
only _potentially_ used by multiple simultaneous users. Often, a product
with limited use is networked to avoid queueing on a machine having many
different products. Two, libraries often need to provide training to
groups of students in how to use a particular product- that may be the
_only_ time muliple simultaneous access is needed. 

When the networking moves outside a single building other considerations
may apply. For instance, with consortia the publisher may well be losing
sales it may have otherwise made. But this is not typically true for
network access to multiple buildings on the _same campus_, or even
electronic access via internet for a single campus community. 

Of course there are many other considerations, and I will be surprised if
I don't get flooded with email from people who disagree with me. But I
would like to ask you and other publishers: just what is your
justification for charging more for multiple simultaneous access?
particularly within the same building? 

Note that the content of the product is immaterial to this discussion. I
am only talking about a policy which places a higher cost for the same
item when used in a different way. 

Keith Ostertag, Network Applications Librarian
Memorial Library, SUNY- Cortland
607-753-2528		fax: 607-753-5669


Forwarded message:
Date: Tue, 04 Feb 97 12:50:21 EST
From: "john" <>
Subject: Re[2]: Cost of Electronic Resources

     First, thank you for setting up these discussions.  From a publisher's 
     perspective, it's interesting and helpful to hear the concerns of the 
     library community.
     Like other publishers, we're also struggling with developing an 
     adequate pricing model for libraries and institutions.  
     At American Psychiatric Press we publish a CD-ROM containing the full 
     text of 10 psychiatric journals and 12 texts, updated quarterly with 
     the new issues of journals and any new editions of the texts.  All of 
     our circulation has been to individuals, but some libraries have begun 
     purchasing the product.
     Our current pricing structure for libraries is as follows:
     One non-networked terminal in the library -- $2,000; 2-8 networked 
     terminals -- $3,000; 9+ networked terminals -- $4,000.
     As our circulation is primarily to individuals, we've not had a lot of 
     input from libraries on this pricing structure.  Is this an adequate 
     pricing structure?  Does it overlook issues important to librarians 
     and consortia?  Any feedback on this would be of great help.
     We are also planning to offer the contents of the Elecronic Library 
     online.  As we have not yet set any fees for this service, we are open 
     to your suggestions.
     John McDuffie
     American Psychiatric Press, Inc.
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