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September 14, 2012
Walking Away From the ACS
Here's a look at the scientific journal situation from the viewpoint of the people who have to shell out the money for institutional subscriptions. This librarian (from SUNY-Potsdam) ended up deciding that the American Chemical Society journal package just cost too much, especially for an institution of her size:
We also learned that their base price and pricing model, when applied to much larger institutions, did not produce the same unsustainable pricing – I cannot provide numbers, as they are marked SUNY Confidential, but I can easily say that what our ARL peers pay for ACS in support of their doctoral programs is, in my estimation, in no way fair or reflective of the usage, FTE, or budgets of those institutions as compared to the pricing offered my institution for my usage, FTE, and budgets. It seems to me that the tiered increases may be fair and be reflective, but the problem lies with the base price underlying their pricing model. That base price is unsustainable for small institutions. And, unfortunately, the ACS sales team is not currently interested in negotiating on that fact. In response to any suggestions of ways that SUNY or campuses might collaborate or negotiate to reach a place where we could sustain our subscriptions – one which might well be applied to other campuses, other consortia by ACS – we were repeatedly told “but that’s not our pricing model.”
Wouldn't want to upset the pricing model, that's for sure. The slow earthquake in scientific publishing continues to rumble on.
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