Re: Institutional versus personal subscriptions ALBERT HENDERSON 07 Jun 2006 21:57 UTC

On 7 Jun 2006 "Belvadi, Melissa" <> wrote:

> Things have changed a LOT in the decades since some of those studies
> were done.
> Even 1997 is very old by comparison with the new document delivery
> technologies and services that libraries have. In 1997, my library had
> about 800 print subscriptions, and that was about it - everything else
> meant a lengthy paper ILL transaction or a trip to another library.
> Today we have over 14,000 titles full text online (that don't show up in
> the budgets as individual title subscriptions), plus with a combination
> of ILL systems like Ariel, Odyssey, and ILLiad, we have turnaround times
> of about 3 business days to get almost every other periodical published

> In today's academic library, particularly when it comes to STM
> (Science/Technology/Medicine) fields, the name of the game isn't
> collection anymore, it's access. And when it comes to serials, I'm
> seeing a long-term trend that ceases to look at annual subscriptions to
> titles as the basic purchasing unit, but rather at individual articles
> as the basic unit. It requires a major paradigm change for serials
> budgeting, and a lot of institutions, including their accrediting
> bodies, haven't figured it out yet, but the serials world has changed
> incredibly rapidly in just the last few years.

	I have no argument with this, much of it was
	pioneered by publishers in the interest of
	dissemination. Some years ago I edited a book
	that surveyed early electronic publication:

	My concerns about funding focus more on	(A) the
	loss of browsable paper copies of niche journals
	and newsletters that specialists read cover to
	cover -- this is likely where grant money is still
	used to work around library cuts, (B) cutbacks
	in publishers' production resulting in the
	rejection of informative papers, (C) increases in
	publishers' backlogs, delaying circulation of new
	information, (D) the difficulty starting new
	specialty journals given the financial hostility
	of the market, (E) the decimation of book budgets
	and collections. I also have concerns about
	publishers skimping on peer review and about the
	preservation of digital information, given the
	likelihood of massive "upgrades" in software and

	Only ten years ago, economist David J Brown warned,
	"none of the new media can survive if there is
	insufficient market." ELECTRONIC PUBLISHING AND
	LIBRARIES, 1996. Today's innovation is likely to
	be restricted to a handful of huge publishers,
	some of whom were known to be unfriendly to new
	specialties 40 years ago.

	Thank you for your comment.


Albert Henderson