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paper on libraries and publishers

A paper on the changing roles of libraries and publishers is available in
several formats (text, .tex, .ps, .pdf) at


An abstract is enclosed below.  Comments are invited.

Andrew Odlyzko


         Competition and cooperation:  Libraries and publishers
          in the transition to electronic scholarly journals

                           Andrew Odlyzko
                        AT&T Labs - Research

                          January 19, 1999

The conversion of scholarly journals to digital format is proceeding
rapidly, especially for those from large commercial and learned
society publishers.  This conversion offers the best hope for survival
for such publishers.  The infamous "journal crisis" is more of a
library cost crisis than a publisher pricing problem, with internal
library costs much higher than the amount spent on purchasing books
and journals.  Therefore publishers may be able to retain or even
increase their revenues and profits, while at the same time providing
a superior service.  To do this, they will have to take over many of
the function of libraries, and they can do that only in the digital
domain.  This paper examines publishers' strategies, how they are
likely to evolve, and how they will affect libraries.