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Re: EJournal Aggregation

I'd like to add my support to Andrew's position. I think the development
of a model license agreement (or models) would serve as an excellent
communications tool, discussion point. Clout and forcing vendors, or vice
versa, completely aside. 

Jim Kuhlman
Univ. of Alabama

- - - - - - - Forwarded Message Follows - - - - - - -

I guess I have to jump in here and explain a little about why I suggested
what I did. 

> > . . .Standardization in licencing will probably not happen
> > in our professional lifetime. That is dreaming, really. Expecting
> > publishers to jump onto the bandwagon with aggregators is equally
> > delusional. Librarians do not have the economic clout to pressure this to
> > happen, especially since libraries are cutting back on subscriptions. 

My eyes skipped over the part about aggregators and publishers.  Except
for HighWire, I am not aware of any electronic aggregator who handles the
publications of different publishers.  I would be glad to hear about more. 
Every other case I know of, the Institute of Physics, and the American
Chemical Society, the publisher is assuming control for it's own
electronic edition. 

My proposal on a model license is not about pressure, it's about
education.  The disparity of terms that I have seen from various vendors
indicates to me that they don't really know what will work for a licensing
terms so they are casting about for a solution.  Libraries need to work
with the publishers in order to standardize the situation and bring order
out of the chaos.  The current situation does nobody any good. 

> From my understanding of the economics of journal publishing, libraries
> cutting back on subscriptions should *increase* their clout.  Institutions
> are charged higher rates largely because of the inelasticity of library
> demand.  If libraries become more sensitive to price changes,
> institutional demand becomes more elastic, and publishers have reduced
> freedom to raise subscription rates. 
> The actual impact of the models discussed on this listserv on the
> economics of scholarly publishing is obviously unsettled.  But I question
> the assertion that libraries don't have the economic clout to influence
> the models. 

I do not think the argument needs to revolve around the issue of economic
clout to be productive.  In fact, I think that nothing would be more
unproductive than to argue about clout.  A discussion whose purpose is to
educate publishers about what librarians need in a license is necessary. 
A gathering of librarians so they could define what the sticking points of
current licenses are would also be useful in itself.  The very fact that
this group exists proves how important licensing issues are. 

Andrew Wohrley

Andrew Wohrley
Science & Technology Department
Auburn University Libraries
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