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RE: Preferred pricing model for journals

David Summers sends the following message:

From: "Summers, David" <d.summers@lancaster.ac.uk>
To: "'ALPSP'" <sec-gen@alpsp.org.uk>,
        Liblicense <liblicense-l@lists.yale.edu>
Subject: RE: Preferred pricing model for journals
Date: Fri, 12 Nov 1999 11:31:07 -0000


Sorry to add a cynical note but I can't help thinking that the publishers
have been told (directly or indirectly) but may not wish to hear.

Firstly, HE Libraries struggle annually to renew their subscription lists
and have to make cuts on a reasonably regular basis.  Secondly, many of us
have devolved a lot of our funds and decision-making to faculty and
departmental level and find the policy of top-slicing to finance deals
based on a publisher's full multi-disciplinary list administratively
inconvenient and unpopular with departments.

Pricing policies involving percentile add-ons for cross-access, or bundled
print and electronic, result in publishers competing with one another for
a larger slice of an ever smaller cake.

Why is it still rare to see a pricing model which reflects the fact that
most HE libraries (a) select journals on a title-by-title basis and (b)
regularly have to cut subscriptions?

Given a choice of format most of our departmental colleagues still prefer
hard-copy.  Given a choice between cancellation and conversion to
e-format, most would welcome electronic journals with open arms.  I am not
unfamiliar with the publishers' argument that e-journals are not so much
cheaper to produce than paper journals and at least 70% (?) of a journal's
cost is paid out before the printing process begins.  I merely suggest
that if publishers do not offer their customers an attractive option to
convert to a cheaper format they will lose some of them altogether.

David Summers

David Summers
Deputy Librarian
Lancaster University Library

Tel. 01524 - 592534
Fax 01524 - 65719
email:   D.Summers@lancaster.ac.uk

> -----Original Message-----
> From:	ALPSP [SMTP:sec-gen@alpsp.org.uk]
> Sent:	Thursday, November 11, 1999 6:50 PM
> To:	LIS-serials; Liblicense
> Subject:	Preferred pricing model for journals
> I have been interested to follow various threads about alternative
> selling/pricing models for electronic journals.  What I would very much like
> to know is whether there is any consensus out there in the marketplace about
> what your true preference is for a selling/pricing model?   I cannot help
> thinking that if publishers get a clear and consistent message about this
> (and, of course, it is commercially feasible!) they are more likely to
> respond than otherwise.  So tell us, please!
> Sally Morris
> Secretary-General, Association of Learned and Professional Society
> Publishers