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RE: pricing questions: perspective from a publisher

The comments from Mary Anne Liebert strike a warm cord from our library's
perspective.  We subscribe in print to less than 10% of Elsevier's
journals, as an example, but Elsevier persists in pricing offers to us
based on access to all of ScienceDirect.  I am pleased that they
understand the value of their journals overall, and that they consider
this large database to be of great value to the information needs of the
world.  However, our needs are much more selective, as is reflected by
both past subscription practices and interlibrary loans combined.  Our
users are not so ignorant of what they could/should be reading to have
missed this huge wealth of journals that is offered via ScienceDirect.  
We continue to request an offer that allows us to procure and provide to
our users access to the small corner of Elsevier journals that we need for

Elsevier is not the only publisher to follow this direction of mass
offerings to electronic journals, so I am not making these comments to
point out an issue unique to them, rather I use them as an example as the
recent line of discussions here has largely focused on ScienceDirect and
the new models for e-journal publishing.

Mainly, it is important that publishers offer choices and a variety of
plans for acquiring the information they publish. No two libraries have
the same needs nor the same funding, which combined allows libraries to
acquire journals, articles and all the other levels of information we
provide to our users.

Give us choices, develop your acquisitions menus with alternatives and I
believe you will see libraries as users coming to partake of the resources
offered.  We may never reach a time where purchasing articles is the main
model used, but the PEAK experiment has shown us that with innovation and
re-thinking the process of distribution of information we will succeed in
finding the balance of both pricing and coverage that will allow libraries
and users to ensure access in the electronic medium.

Joanna Tousley-Escalante

*	Head Technical Services Unit
*	Vienna International Centre Library
*	Vienna, Austria
*	j.tousley@iaea.org