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Elsevier's Approach to Pricing

As many of you know, many positive changes have been made to Elsevier
Science policies (including pricing policies) in the last few months.  In
addition, the positive feedback we have received from our ScienceDirect
customers has been very promising in terms of validating our goal to
enhance the dissemination of scientific information.

In view of our increased efforts to focus on our customers' needs, we are
troubled by the recent comments made in the liblicense-l forum.  Several
of the comments lead us to believe that there is a basic misunderstanding
of our policies.  Simply put, the perception voiced by a few individuals
is not the reality.

Though it is extremely difficult to address these concerns in this type of
forum, we would like to set the record straight on a few items.

1. Elsevier Science recognizes that each institution is unique.

2. Pricing alternatives do exist for the delivery of electronic content
through the SD platform.  These alternatives are based on such
considerations as each institution's service level goals, user needs
(including programs of study), and funding for electronic resources.

3. With the goal of helping institutions find a solution to the problem of
limited (rationed) availability of scientific information, we provide for
the possibility (not the force feeding) of access to our entire database
of over 1,100 journals, if that option is desired by a customer.

4. Combined print and electronic information delivery is available for
only a small increase in cost over the price of print and is based on the
customer's existing print collection.  Electronic-only subscriptions are
available for less than the cost of the print subscription.

5. ScienceDirect customers with access to the entire Elsevier Science
journal collection report that the usage of titles previously unsubscribed
to account for a surprisingly large proportion of the total usage of
Elsevier material.  This indicates quite clearly that the availability of
additional material is a significant value to our customers.  Contrary to
comments made in this forum, there is no requirement that a customer
accept this particular option.

6. Elsevier Science is actively pursuing the enhancement of our electronic
products and platforms and expects that in the future there will be
targeted products available to meet the specific needs of different types
of libraries and user communities.

At this time it is important that we learn from the feedback of librarians
and researchers who, based on their experiences with ScienceDirect, are
beginning to identify a new set of requirements for the second generation
of electronic services.  As a result, we expect new products and
accompanying new pricing options to emerge. The business model of today
must be viewed as transitional in nature.

Neil Posner
Vice President - Pricing
Elsevier Science
n.posner@elsevier.com <mailto:k.hunter@elsevier.com>