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Subject:

Re: FW: Price Increase of the EMBO Journal for 2004 (A reply to the open letter from SPARC Europe)

From:

Terry Bucknell <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

An informal open list set up by the UK Serials Group <[log in to unmask]>

Date:

Fri, 23 Jan 2004 12:58:17 +0000

Content-Type:

text/plain

Parts/Attachments:

Parts/Attachments

text/plain (160 lines)

Bernd-Christoph et al,

Thanks for forwarding this to the list.

We have only ever had a single subscription to EMBO Journal, so in no way
does our 175% price increase restore a former situation of multiple
subscriptions.

I noticed that when I visited Nature last year I got a pop window along the
lines of 'Your institution subscribes to Nature online, and this entitles
you to a 50% discount of a personal print subscription'

Would anyone at NPG be willing to comment on whether this attempt to use an
institutional subscription as a marketing opportunity was successful?

We have looked at the cost-per-download of EMBO Journal compared to other
HighWire journals. And under the new pricing model its value for money will
be significantly worse than other titles that get used a similar amount.

Very generous of EMBO to offer a bundled subscription to Journal and
Reports, but like to be able to CHOOSE if we want that, and we'd like the
CHOICE of a print-only subscription too!


Terry Bucknell
Electronic Resources Manager
Harold Cohen Library
University of Liverpool
PO Box 123 Liverpool L69 3DA

Tel: +44 (0)151 794 5408  Fax: +44 (0)151 794 5417
Email: [log in to unmask]

--On 23 January 2004 13:34 +0100 [log in to unmask] wrote:

> Forwarding from David Prosser, SPARC Europe ...
>
> -----Original Message-----
> Date: Fri, 23 Jan 2004 11:20:01 -0000
> From: "David Prosser" <[log in to unmask]>
>
> Dear All
>
> Please find attached the response that SPARC Europe has received from
> Professor Frank Gannon to the open letter we sent regarding the bundling
> together of The EMBO Journal and EMBO Reports, and the subsequent price
> increase (which for many institutions has been around 100%).
>
> Best wishes
>
> David
>
> David C Prosser PhD
> Director
> SPARC Europe
>
> E-mail:  [log in to unmask]
> Tel:       +44 (0) 1865 284 451
> Mobile:  +44 (0) 7974 673 888
> http://www.sparceurope.org
>
> -- Attachment (copy and paste from original
> Winword File, SPARC_LetFG04.01.14.doc) --
>
> Subject:  A reply to the open letter from SPARC Europe
>
> I read with interest and concern your open letter related to The EMBO
> Journal and EMBOreports. I would like to take this opportunity to
> balance some elements of your message.  The open letter refers to:
>
>   (a) the increase in the price of The EMBO Journal
>   (b) the coupling of the sales of The EMBO Journal and EMBO reports
>   (c) the desirability of a move to open access publishing.
>
> The increases in price that you refer to arises from a shift to a site
> licence model that provides access to the electronic version of the
> journals to all on a site.  EMBO has been one of the last groups to move
> to this particular pricing structure but the logic of doing so has
> become inescapable.   The reality is that at individual institutions,
> multiple subscriptions for The EMBO Journal have been (not surprisingly)
> dropped by libraries because complete institutional electronic access
> has been available for the price of a single subscription.   Most of the
> smallest institutions will pay less than 5% more for their site licence
> than they did under the subscription model.     However, if a larger
> institution previously reduced the number of its subscriptions, and now
> falls into a higher size/price bracket, then the price will obviously
> increase.  For very large institutions, this price change may indeed be
> a dramatic one.   In fact, just as dramatic as the price reduction at an
> earlier stage.  However, I think that a fairer situation has been
> reached through the change to the site licence.  I can affirm that,
> apart from corrections for inflation rate, the increase in 2004 is not
> planned to be repeated in the future years. I trust that once this
> realignment has taken place, then the widely accepted good value of The
> EMBO Journal will be again the predominant message which will be sent by
> librarians to each other.  I should also point out that EMBO continues
> to make its journals available freely to all after 1 year and that they
> are immediately freely available to scientists in the poorest countries
> of the world.
>
> The obligatory coupling of the purchase of The EMBO Journal and
> EMBOreports is more problematic, I accept.  The reality is that
> EMBOreports is a top class publication as evidenced not least by the
> fact that its initial impact factor was 6.0 and now is 7.7.  You will
> recognise that achieving such a high impact factor immediately shows the
> quality of EMBOreports.  Those who have not yet looked at EMBOreports
> perhaps should do so to see that this is not just a journal that
> publishes focussed scientific papers, but also one that contains much
> background information about science and society and topics of very
> general interest to not only the molecular biology community but all
> scientists.  The combination of The EMBO Journal and EMBOreports is
> complementary with comments, reviews and short papers in one journal and
> full papers in the other.  This warrants their sale as a combination.
> We also monitor the visits to the EMBOreports site and the traffic there
> is extremely high.    Indeed the increase in traffic on all sections of
> the EMBOreports site in the last year has been remarkable.  Many parts
> of EMBOreports were freely accessible following its launch.  The
> subscription uptake for EMBOreports on the other hand, has remained
> resolutely disappointing despite all the other indicators of success.
> Our analysis is that the scientific community would be well served by
> having greater physical and electronic access to EMBOreports.  As the
> standard "sales procedures" had not been sufficient, we have attempted
> to increase availability by selling it in combination with The EMBO
> Journal at a price that, for most  institutions on the lowest price
> tier, is less than 5% more than  for the two journals combined last
> year.   All librarians will be provided with information on the use by
> their institution of EMBOreports during 2004 and again we are confident
> that this will show that the community is indeed very pleased to have
> much more ready access to EMBOreports than has been the case in the
> past.
>
> The final point in your message relates to open access.   As you are
> well aware, the economic aspects of open access publication are complex,
> and EMBO's position is currently completely open on how best to serve
> the scientific community on this question.   We have recently
> established a working party to look into all aspects of open access,
> including the feasibility of launching a new open access journal, since
> any transition from a traditional to an open access business model is
> likely to require both careful analysis of alternative models and time
> to test them.   Even the start of a not-for-profit new open access
> journal with a model in which the author pays for publication carries
> with it a large number of unknowns in terms of both the economic
> sustainability of such a journal and the real costs to authors and their
> institutions.   Hence, although we are very sympathetic and supportive
> of open access, we have not yet completed the analysis that we feel such
> a step into uncertainty requires.   When we have done so (in the next
> few months) we will be happy to let you know of our plans.
>
> I hope that the above paragraphs help to clarify the position of EMBO
> and I remain open to further dialogue on this matter as is needed.
>
> Yours sincerely,
>
>
>
>
>
> Prof. Frank Gannon,
> Executive Director, EMBO
> Secretary General, EMBC

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