Effect of free access on subscription revenues

From: David Siu <Dsiu_at_PERSEUSPUR.COM>
Date: Mon, 2 Oct 2000 09:40:49 -0400

>Libraries are apparently reluctant to drop journals to which they
have long
>subscribed. Therefore scientific societies can give away IFWA and
not risk
>sharp declines in library subscriptions.

        It strikes me as being slightly irrational for a library to pay for
what it could get for free. Do you think a library might do this because
being online increases reader demand for the print journal? Are people
finding out about articles they might want to read online and then going to
read the print version? If this is the case might it be attributed to
reading habits (a preference for print) that might wane as people habituate
themselves to reading online (even more so than they have today?)

        Florida Entomologist also seems like a fairly inexpensive journal
(library subscriptions are reported to be $50). If the price of a library
subscription were higher, let's say $500 or $1000, might libraries be less
willing to continue subscribing if they could access the journal at no cost
online? I guess I'm wondering if the effect here might be different
depending on the price of the journal.
Received on Mon Jan 24 2000 - 19:17:43 GMT

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