[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next][Date Index][Thread Index]

Re: Re[2]: Science Online model and Princeton

Mike Spinella wrote:
>It would be impossible to duplicate in print the ready access and research
>usefulness of Science Online. Nevertheless, if you were to try to
>duplicate only the accessibility, you would quickly recognize that Science
>Online's site-wide subscription prices are far less expensive than either
>the print or the workstation model, on a per user basis.

Well, I can't resist replying online to this explanation of Science Online
pricing. I would be the first to acknowledge added value of electronic
formats: access at the desktop, enhanced search capabilities, etc. etc. We
pay substantially more for access to electronic versions of index/abstract
services because they offer the identical content (including backfile)
together with the benefits you mention.

It's difficult to see how print revenues are threatened, because even
faculty personal subscribers like to have their own back issues easily
available. We could never replace print copies of Science Online with the
electronic version because, as you indicate, it is not archived.

Beyond that, it is ridiculous to compare site cost to that of per-user
print or every individual workstation on campus-- when has anyone ever
suggested that each fte should have a personal library-purchased copy of
any magazine, journal or index? That's what concurrent use is all about. I
think (and hope) that your revenue stream for electronic Science Online
will be seriously constricted until the time that the cost bears a
resemblance to added value. Until then, we can give sincere thanks to
publishers who are making some effort to add electronic access without
annihilating our budgets.

Carole Richter
Electronic Resourcees Coordinator
University of Notre Dame Libraries

>Stayed tuned. I want Princeton and all the rest of you to be able to
>obtain Science Online for your communities. I believe our current pricing
>is fair and reasonable, given what we know -- but I'm not attached to it.
>If we can do better, while maintaining the income we need to provide this
>top quality product, we will.

Fair and reasonable from your perspective I can genuinely accept.  But if
libraries were to contemplate adding this kind of cost for one-year online
access to every comparable important journal, can you begin to visualize
the impact? The pop phrase 'let's don't go there' applies pretty well. I'd
hope that you'd look again at the order-of-magnitude suggestion, and try
to lure in a large market with very very low access cost!

>Since Mike Spinella mentioned Princeton as an adopter of their workstation 
>licensing, I'd better explain our logic.
>No one here thinks this is a good model, for all the reasons that have 
>been stated on this list. Princeton would much rather have a campus 
>license if it were obtainable at what we consider a reasonable price. The 
>institutional price of Science this year is $295, and the campus license 
>for an institution Princeton's size would be $3500.
>Because of the importance of this title, we decided to purchase the $25 
>add-on to each of our 10 print subscriptions, and the journals is 
>available on one designated computer in each of our relevant branch 
>libraries, where it receives significant use.  I do not think of this 8% 
>additional price as an "economy model":  I think of it as a not very 
>satisfactory compromise to meet an unfortunate pricing policy. If the 
>publisher feels compelled to charge non-affordable prices for a campus 
>license, it may be better that the publisher offer an alternative than no 
>alternative at all.
>I do not know what we would consider the maximum acceptable price for a 
>campus license. In my personal view, it would be about an order of 
>magnitude less than the publisher's current price.
>Though I am stating the consensus of our science selectors' decisions, the 
>interpretation is of course only my personal view.
>David Goodman 
>Biology Librarian, Princeton University Library 
>dgoodman@princeton.edu         http://www.princeton.edu/~biolib/ 
>phone: 609-258-3235            fax: 609-258-2627