There is a discussion going on about this on ERIL-L right now. Here is my response or information about PPV. Note that the discussion on ERIL-L is focused on ILL vs. PPV:

My first post:

"First of all, I’m really surprised to hear that ILL is more rapid than PPV.

Second, we use both approaches but rely heavily on PPV and find that it is instantaneous and far, far cheaper than ILL. An exception to the instantaneous statement is one publisher who doesn’t support an institutional PPV setup (w/tokens, etc.). But even then, the turnaround is likely at most, 24 hrs.

It’s likely that the difference in our experience is due to the focus on physics journals. My comments are for general experience with PPV vs. ILL, not restricted to just physics.”

My second, followup post:

"Let me invoke a conversation that’s going on right now on LIBLICENSE-L about publishers increasing the price of short-term loans for e-books. Because essentially, PPV is a form of DDA, let’s be clear about that.

As one thoughtful commenter in the LIBLICENSE-L thread stated, one of the best things about e-book DDA and short-term loans is the information it gives libraries about where it may not be meeting its users’ needs and therefore adjusting approval and other book-related workflows accordingly. I concur but think that when we’re talking about PPV of journal articles, it’s even more valuable than for e-books.

So what Rick says is true in terms of movement toward PPV undermining traditional rights under First Sale doctrine, this does not take away the benefit of having cold, hard, usage data to inform decisions about journal subscriptions and even journal backfile purchases.

In our case, we’ve been doing this whole PPV thing for almost four years now, with three major publishers, after canceling “big deal” packages with them. Longitudinal data (yeah, I know, it’s still not that long) is helpful in figuring out whether we might want to convert to a subscription for a journal that gets consistent, heavy PPV use. It also helps give us a sense of where our users interests and needs are. It informs decisions we make about backfile purchases. It informs our decisions regarding what is a “core” journal in a particular discipline. One other point worth mentioning is that in our case at least, PPV is not restricted to just journal articles, although that’s the predominant form users make use of.

I’ve said it many times: PPV isn’t for everyone nor should it be. But it works very well for us and I strongly encourage my publisher colleagues to consider it as a flexible option to libraries who need more control over their expenditures. I would dearly like to see more publishers on board with this because in terms of revenue, something is better than nothing. They’ll get nothing if insisting only on subscriptions or bundled subscriptions, from us, anyway. They’ll get some revenue if they support PPV.”

Also note that a SlideShare presentation of our approach is available at I encourage anyone who’s interested in it to sign in/sign up for a SlideShare account in order to download the original file to see animations, etc.


On Jun 2, 2014, at 10:51 AM, Lesher, Marcella <> wrote:

I was wondering if anyone would care to comment on their current experiences with providing library access to pay-per-view journal articles.  I have read Patrick Carr’s and Maria Collin’s very helpful article  "Acquiring Articles through Unmediated, User-Initiated Pay-Per-View Transactions: An Assessment of Current Practices." Serials Review 35, no. 4 (December 2009): 272-277.
We’ve prepaid for some block  downloads of journal articles and have  provided patron driven access for books  but I’m particularly interested in both mediated and unmediated  ppv for journal articles.
Thank you,
Marcella Lesher
Professor/Periodicals Librarian
Blume Library
St. Mary’s University
One Camino Santa Maria
San Antonio, TX  78228
Phone:  210-431-2299 ext. 1322

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Steve Oberg
Assistant Professor of Library Science
Electronic Resources and Serials
Wheaton College (IL)
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