Thursday, January 9, 2014

The Bookcharmer wants to put the Current Back in Current Periodicals!

Greetings and welcome to 2014!

When, years before, you thought about a year such as 2014, did you imagine it one complete with technological ease and convenience?  Surely, we never thought of such things as igadgets and PlusPhones, but here we are.

What you and most certainly I did not expect was that the world of Current Periodicals would have found itself paralyzed, almost in a Polar Vortex, in a tightfisted grasp of greed.

What am I ranting about?  Well, here's a visual:

Yes, see there, that issue of the periodical Design Issues, Winter 2014.  It is now Winter 2014, am I right those parts of the country enduring the Polar Vortex?

So why can't I read it?  I want to read it.  Don't you, having seen the article title and abstract, also want to read about the relevance of Artisanship?

Well, you can't.   Unless you are a personal subscriber to this periodical.  You may very well be.  But if you are a student looking for articles for a researcher paper, perhaps you are not.

Well, why not go consult the print issue you might ask.  Possible if your academic library had not had to cancel the print version in 2004.

Academic libraries, and our students and faculty, have been on the painful horns of this dilemma for too long.  Faced with increased costs for online access, we've had to cut every other place possible.   So publishers, it is time we have a Family Meeting about this particular practice.

The previous issues of this journal are available in several databases to which my institutions subscribes.  See the following list:

So, we're not only paying you for the content, we're paying you multiple times for the same content, because, for those of you who don't already know, five of those databases on the list are owned by the same company.  Yup.


So, what is it going to take?  We really pay for the same content more than two times if you consider the fact that if a student or faculty member decides yes, I really do want to read that article and places a request through InterLibrary Services, my library pays a fee to get it.  (I'll gloss over the fact that we paid for the intellectual content for the back issues, since I get that we are now paying for the electronic hosting and 24/7 online access of said back issues.)

But I'm tired of my library having to pay for the same content multiple times while vendors of database packages continue to raise the prices while withholding current content.  Stop it.

Reader, if you need more facts and figures just google the phrase "cost of periodicals" but have a nice pillow in your lap for when your jaw drops.

Vendors, we can make this happen.  When I teach students how to effectively search databases for relevant information, I don't want to try to explain why the most recent information is not present.  Trust me, you don't want me explaining that in public.

Instead, make 2014 the year we all fall back in love.  Let the word "embargoed" apply no more to current periodical content.   Put the Current back in Current Periodicals!  That's all I want.  Valentine's Day is just around the corner!

The Bookcharmer.

1 comment:

Susan Kendall said...

Another thing about embargoes -- the time periods are getting longer. What used to be six months is now typically 12 months or more.