Re: Effect of free access on subscription revenues

From: Katherine Porter <Porter_at_LIBRARY.VANDERBILT.EDU>
Date: Tue, 3 Oct 2000 09:08:20 -0600

I'm not sure this is a fair example since Encyclopedia Britannica
isn't a journal, but I think many libraries stopped paid online
subscriptions when the free online version came along. Certainly
has lost the look of a scholarly resource, but the information is
there and the cost is right.

Kitty Porter

> >Libraries are apparently reluctant to drop journals to which
> 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.

Kitty Porter
Stevenson Science & Engineering Library
419 21st Avenue South
Vanderbilt University
Nashville TN 37240
Phone: 615-343-7106
Fax: 615-343-7249
Received on Mon Jan 24 2000 - 19:17:43 GMT

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