dgoodman at Princeton.EDU
Fri Oct 20 09:59:59 PDT 2000
I agree with Charles that the pricing scedule is relatively unfair for the
insitutions with the larger numbers of students. We like such arrangments at
Princeton because we have less than 9000 people counting students, faculty,
and staff. When publishers charge a high flat rate, then it hurts places like
us and relatively benefits the largest schools. What we all really need is
drastically lower prices for distributing second rate material (like the
xxx.lanl listserv); then we will have money for the good journals--and books.
I have actually checked about half of our faculty with personal subscriptions
and they intend to continue them. Nature to my mind is a journal best in
paper format. I think there are very few where that's the case, like 1% of the
total we get.
At Princeton we have made the decision that we will maintain duplicate copies
of titles like Nature and Science as long as we have evidence that they are
being heavily used in paper format. We cancelled one of our PNAS's because it
became clear that it wasn't. When that happens to any of our 5 Natures we will
do the same
In general of course we prefer to keep as many unique titles as we can afford,
and have cancelled about 95% of the duplicates we had as recently as 3 years
ago. But since *one* expensive not-very-important not-very-much-used title
like Mutation Research at $8934 can pay for a lot of Natures', we're flexible.
We cancelled Mutation Research at the end of 1999.
Current issues haven't been asked for since.
The worst of the problem with the Nature plan of course, is that although we
may differ on whether the title is worth paying for electronicaly, I think and
hope that all of us agree that one-half the title isn't worth paying for at
all. I consider this a matter of principle, and I literally wouldnt do it if
it cost 2 cents.
Charles Smith wrote:
> I appreciate David's comments, but still believe the number of paper subscriptions would decrease. One additional reason is one he alludes to below: that many institutions carry multiple subscriptions to the journal (while I was at the University of Illinois they carried six or seven, I believe): I hardly think it likely that most institutions
> will continue to carry all of their individual paper subscriptions once they go electronic. And I'm not so sure that the average faculty member at an institution large enough to have many departmental libraries wouldn't think twice about continuing to carry a $400. subscription if he or she knew: (a) there was an electronic version available
> that carried at least *most* of the content of the paper version, and (b) there was still a paper copy available for less than a five minute walk.
> I would also suggest that the pricing schedule, based as it is on FTE units, is not particularly fair to institutions such as ours which are regional service entities with no doctoral programs. I daresay the paper copies at Princeton are used more frequently than ours are despite the FTE student difference--which brings up a point: Princeton
> actually has more FTE faculty units than we do, and nearly twice as many again doctoral students than that: a full three times as many research "units" as we have (plus the fact that research efforts here proceed at a slower pace than in Ivy League schools). Beyond that, almost all of our 3,000 masters degree students are in the teaching
> education program--I daresay few of them are reading "Nature" as compared with Princeton's 1,000 or so masters program students. There are some other possible considerations as well, but I think I have made my point. It would not surprise me to find out that the "per-FTE" usage of "Nature" at Princeton is perhaps five to ten times what it is
> here (and we actually have a very large-sized sciences and applied sciences program at our institution: about 38 percent of our total student body).
> --Charles Smith, Ph.D., Science Librarian, Western Kentucky University
> David Goodman wrote:
> > Princeton still has several library paper subscriptions and a
> > smaller student body--Nature's quote to us would represent about a 40%
> > surcharge over the cost of print. Their quote for the specialty journals
> > would represent a 25% surcharge. I consider the price high, but we would
> > pay it if they provided the full content. We have NEVER knowingly paid
> > money for the electronic version of a journal where the electronic
> > provides less than the paper, or appears more slowly.
> > The delay is 12 issues, of the weekly, which = 3 months, not 12 months.
> > This is bad enough. Science, whose surcharges are at a roughly similar
> > rate, at least makes all of the content accessible.
> > The similarity in their situation is noteworthy. A
> > large portion of the revenue of both journals comes from display
> > advertising. The rate they get for this depends upon the number of PRINT
> > subscribers--advertisers, rightly or wrongly, will not count electronic.
> > This includes both the library and regular personal rate subscriptions, on
> > which they presumably make a profit and the student rate subscribers,
> > whose revenue just about probably covers the cost of distribution.
> > It is fairly clear at least in my institution that the full rate faculty
> > subscribers will not cancel their subscriptions if the library has it
> > electronically for these two titles. They generally subscribe because
> > they want personal PRINT copies, for themselves and their labs. This is
> > not so clear for the student-rate subscribers, but again, I think it will
> > be true.
> > I have for several years been in extensive contact with the publishers of
> > both journals. I have told them, repeatedly, that they are such good
> > titles that they need not be as concerned about the future as they seem to
> > be--it is the third rate titles that should worry. And maybe even the
> > second rate ones.
> > David Goodman, Princeton University Biology Library
> > dgoodman at princeton.edu 609-258-3235
> > On Thu, 19 Oct 2000, Charles Smith wrote:
> > > Eileen:
> > >
> > > I just finished investigating the possibility of such a subscription the other day. For my institution, with about 13,500 FTE students, the cost quoted was just over $6000. per year. A few months ago I also investigated networking "Science;" the price I was quoted there was something over $4000., as I recall. Neither price can be
> > > supported within our current budget situation, unfortunately. Once I got the basic quotes, I did not investigate further regarding details.
> > >
> > > I suppose these prices are not excessive, all things considered (remember, there are many individual subscriptions to these titles by faculty): institutional networking will undoubtedly cost both titles a considerable number of individual subscriptions.
> > >
> > > I might note that by contrast, PNAS costs only a couple of hundred dollars a year more to receive electronically--a real bargain, considering its importance and mass (some 15,000 pages of print per year).
> > >
> > > --Charles H. Smith, Western Kentucky University
> > >
> > > Eileen Mathias wrote:
> > >
> > > > Do any of you have institutional subscriptions to Nature magazine yet? I have heard negative things (12-issue delay in online version), and can not get a handle on fees. According to their web page, you must contact them and negotiate a fee depending on size of the institution. Any negative/positive experiences? Is pricing excessive?
> > > >
> > > > Eileen Mathias
> > > >
> > > > Eileen C. Mathias
> > > > Information Services Librarian &
> > > > Coordinator, Albert M Greenfield Digital
> > > > Imaging Center for Collections
> > > > Ewell Sale Stewart Library
> > > > The Academy of Natural Sciences
> > > > 1900 Benjamin Franklin Parkway
> > > > Philadelphia, PA 19103
> > > > 215-299-1140
> > > > 215-299-1144 FAX
> > > > mathias at acnatsci.org
> > >
> > >
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