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Re: Consortia pricing

John, it is very good of you and the Association to ask for input on
pricing of the electronic version of your Bibliography (and I am sorry if
we are not overwhelmingly rushing to respond -- silence implies consent,
one supposes).

The OhioLink representatives (Dannelly and Sanville) proposed an approach
that will work for a large statewide consortium comprising diverse kinds
of institutions, many of whom would not normally have subscribed to the
Bibliography, and suggested that each consortium is indeed different and
you will (contrary to your desires or staffing size) need to negotiate
differently with different types of consortia.  Perhaps staffing up to
arrange numerous different arrangements with different consortia is a
problem for small or not-for-profit publishers and keeps them, in fact,
from dealing with consortia at all. 

That said, we are different to Ohiolink.  Our group, NERL, is a collection
of 17 similar-type libraries, a collection of Association of Research
Library members in the northeast region.  Thus, we are all fairly large
and comprehensive and most if not all are likely to be your customers.  In
that case, the proposal you make of an across-the-board discount for the
members of the group seems fair and reasonable.  I'd not suggest using FTE
counts, recommending them as more appropriate for general reference-type
resources (such as Britannica or Lexis-Nexis UNIVerse).  In your case the
resource is more specialized and FTE count probably has little
relationship to need and use.  For example, Yale, which has perhaps 1/4 of
the headcount of a large state university system, may get about as much
use out of the Bibliography as the larger school. 

As to diversity, you might want to post a general model or two for
consortial pricing and then ask consortia to contact you if they wish to
propose an alternative arrangement. 

Thanks for the opportunity to comment.

Ann Okerson

> WE have tentatively decided to use the same four categories of
> institutional size that JSTOR employs, with an annual price of $1,200 to
> $500.  In talking with knowledgeable people, however, I am told that we
> will immediately hear from various consortia seeking special prices.  They
> might be a whole state university system with many campuses, or an
> organization of otherwise unconnected institutions.
> My question is, if we do decide to cooperate with consortia, how should we
> set the prices?  I would much rather have a rule than get into individual
> negotiations, but what kind of rule. 
> Offhand I see two approaches.  One is to add up what each campus would pay
> separately, and then apply a discount (say, 10 percent).  Another would be
> to establish a price per student head that goes down as the number goes
> up, and add these numbers across all the campuses. 
> In either case, I am assuming we would require that (1) the payment would
> have to come from one source, not each campus, and (2) one source is
> responsible for telling us all the eligible IP addresses and informing us
> of changes. 
> I should add that the AAS is not intending to make money out of this
> enterprise, though it is imperative that we get enough revenue to cover
> the substantial cost of compiling this bibliography into the future.  I
> hope that our goals and those of academic librarians overlap enough to
> offset the normally tense relationship between electronic providers and
> those who purchase their services.
> Many thanks for your consideration,
> John Campbell
> ____________________________________________________________________________
> >From John Campbell, Prof. of Political Science, University of Michigan,
> and Secretary-Treasurer, Association for Asian Studies. Tel 313 998 7558. 
> NOTE NEW FAX AND MAILING ADDRESS:  313 998 7982; and Corner House, 
> 202 S Thayer St, Ann Arbor MI 48104-1608. 
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