Re: ALPSP statement on BOAI

From: David Goodman <dgoodman_at_PHOENIX.PRINCETON.EDU>
Date: Sun, 21 Apr 2002 17:58:35 -0400

What will prove or disprove the case is not your study, or anyone's,
but the market. If people value the features, they will pay for them.
And it is really that simple, assuming there are no artificial constraints,
such as excessively rigid tenure requirements and other
administrative interference.

The possible responses to competition from less expensive
suppliers are to increase value, lower costs and prices, accept a much
smaller part of the market, or make use of anti-competitive measures.
In this case, the alternative suppliers are
intrinsically so much less expensive, that it seems doubtful whether you
can increase value or lower costs enough to compete, however much I wish
you could. But my opinion, or other peoples' opinions, regardless of how
carefully collected, decide nothing. What they do is decisive.

If my patrons want expensive publications, rather than less expensive
provision of the same material, they will continue to use the many we
have. I will determine the use by my routine measurements, and those who
supply the funds will, as in the past, allocate the money to buy them. If the
patrons cease to want them, they will stop using them. I will similarly
determine the lack of use, and, being responsible within my sphere for not
wasting my institution's funds, I will not request the money to buy them.

We all know that ongoing measurements
already show an almost total nonuse of conventional publications, print or
electronic, in one of the science subject areas.

Dr. David Goodman
Research Librarian and
Biological Sciences Bibliographer
Princeton University Library 609-258-7785
Received on Mon Apr 22 2002 - 03:19:03 BST

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