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Re: False comparison, re: Article based subscriptions

Ohionet has reported similar results: when one makes a large set of
titles, of whatever quality, easily available, people will use them. It
has long been known in many contexts that the major factor affecting
librarty use is convenience. It does indeed seem that many users will use
any readily accessible electronic journal, ignoring anything not equally
easily accessible to them. This gives us two choices:

1. Make everything easily accessible. 

2. Make the most useful and needed material accessible.

There is of course a third choice, make accessible whatever is easy to
make accessible, and if the users don't work hard enough to avoid the
consequences, that's their problem.

By spending ones money on the easy albeit expensive resources, in pursuit
of the goal to "give them the broadest access you can and let them decide
that they want," one is actually saying, "give them as much material as we
can, regardless of quality, and they won't bother us for the good stuff."

David Goodman
Biology Librarian, and
Co-Chair, Electronic Journals Task Force
Princeton University Library
dgoodman@princeton.edu         http://www.princeton.edu/~biolib/
phone: 609-258-3235            fax: 609-258-2627


Paul M. Gherman wrote:
> Vanderbilt subscribes to about 300 Elsevier titles. We
> found through our participation in PEAK that our users
> accessed a great many articles in journals other than those
> to which we subscribed. It is this reason that convinced us
> to subscribe to Science Direct. I would rather somewhat
> more for access to all their titles, than guess, and guess
> poorly, about what subset of their journals we should
> subscribe to in paper.
> We have done several studies of our paper journal use, and
> we have found a great many titles with very little use. I
> believe libraries do a very poor job of anticipating what
> our users need or want. I say give them the broadest access
> you can and let them decide that they want.
> Paul Gherman
> University Librarian
> Vanderbilt University
> ...........................................................
> David Goodman wrote...
>  If my library had infinite resources, I would like to have available the
> complete set of journals published by Elsevier and also all other academic
> publishers. But my library has finite resources, and I think it most
> useful to my patrons to devote those resources to the best and most used
> journals in the relevant academic fields.
> I suggest that those subscribing to plans such as Science direct are
> buying what is most convenient to buy in bulk, not what is most needed.
> (But then, maybe some of them do have infinite resources. There have been
> those, including some publishers, who have been under the delusion that my
> library does.)
> David Goodman,
> Princeton University
> Biology Library         dgoodman@princeton.edu            609-258-3235
> ___