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Re: Proposed Haworth Press e-journal Policies

I am writing as a former publisher to pick up on one point that Patrick
Callahan makes. I think he does not fully understand the overall economics
of the situation when he writes "we should encourage publishers to offer
discounts for electronic only that reflect their reduced printing and
distribution charges".

I do applaud the action of those publishers such as Blackwell Science who
offer electronic only at a reduced price. They have made a brave decision.
Librarians should however by now be aware of the economics of the whole
situation from the supply side.

If the journal is in both print and electronic form which I take it is
what we are concerned with here, electronic availability represents
significant additional costs not just because of the extra cost of
preparing the electronic files but also and more important the
infrastructural costs - the server, the management, the extra staff skills
etc. etc. Libraries are of course very aware of these infrastructural
costs from their end. I think it has been a nasty shock to both sectors.

If anyone wants to see back-up information on publishers' costs they
should look at the ICSU Press site (see www.bodley.ox.ac.uk/icsu/). The
International Council of Scientific Unions held a workshop in Oxford in
April dealing with the cost question specifically and most of the
proceedings containing some pretty detailed information from some
non-profits is available free on that site.

Only a relatively small part of the costs of the print version
(distribution and printing) are lost when the journal is bought in an
electronic form only and the mix of sale (electronic or print or both) has
to change very much in favour of electronic only before the overall
decreased income is matched by overall decreased costs. This is easier to
show on a graph than in words. At present (so I am told) those publishers
who have offered electronic only at a reduced rate have had little take
up. But then we get on to archiving again..... 

-----Original Message-----
From: Callahan Patrick <callahap@stjohns.edu> 
To:'liblicense-l@lists.yale.edu' <liblicense-l@lists.yale.edu> 
Date: 19 October 1998 21:23 
Subject: RE: Proposed Haworth Press e-journal Policies

>I find the Haworth "Guidelines" objectionable in almost every respect.
>While by no means unusual, the requirement to subscribe to the print in
>order to get electronic access is not one that libraries should encourage.
>Rather than a 10% surcharge for print + electronic, we should encourage
>publishers to offer discounts for electronic only that reflect their
>reduced printing and distribution charges. Particularly bad in the Haworth
>license is that the 10% surcharge only entitles the institution to 3 IP
>addresses.  Besides not being a very good deal, those of us with networks
>with dynamic IP addresses cannot easily comply with the restriction.
>Finally, the prohibition on downloading is potentially troublesome.
>Since the guidelines are so vague on this point, it is difficult to tell
>precisely what Haworth has in mind. However, if they intend to prohibit
>downloading of individual articles, that is problematic.  As it stands, I
>would not buy this license.
>Patrick Callahan
>Assistant Dean for Collections and Technical Services
>St. John's University
>Jamaica, NY