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Re: "blockbuster" scientific journals

Many librarians use the ISI impact factors to help make subscription
decisions.  I believe "reading" data will be used to supplement the
"citing" data that the ISI impact factors already attempt to measure.
Journal prices seem to be established on the basis of production costs
plus what the market will bear.  "Reading" data will impact the latter.


Anthony W. Ferguson
Associate University Librarian
Columbia University Libraries
Tel. 212-854-2270
Fax. 212-222-0331


In response to:

>         I find the idea of a publisher actually getting feedback on the
> usage of journals within the collection fascinating.  If the e-journal will
> allow publishers to get a true feel for how much their product is used, how
> will the publishers use this information for pricing.  Will marginal
> publications start "blockbuster" marketing techniques?  The precedent has
> been set with the "pre-release" publicity, "This week's issue of
> Science/Nature/NEJM/whatever" an no one seems to thing this is an
> unacceptable standard for the drumming up of business and credibility 
> for a journal.
>         I wonder if this will harbinger the death of many of the marginal
> specialized journals that spring up like weeds in the medical community. I
> have visions of the ficticious "Annals of Warts", "Archives of Warts",
> "Warts Monthly" and the "International Journal of Warts" comparing usage
> figures like baseball stats.  How will this affect the "publish or perish"
> university world.
>         I think this will have far greater impact on our profession than
> the Thor Tool Decision. We will be keeping score internationally in
> ejournals.  Will our library holdings be based on "cost per usage" and how
> will that effect our managerial decisions in these cruel times of
> downsizing? 
> Chris Drew, M.L.S.	
> Chief Librarian		
> Library Service (142D)	
> VA Medical Center				
> 3350 La Jolla Village Drive
> San Diego, CA 92161
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