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Wednesday, August 17, 2005

More against the big deal

David Ball, Signing Away Our Freedom: The Implications of Electronic Resource Licences, The Acquisitions Librarian, vol. 18, no. 35/36 ("Cover Date: 2006, Publication Date: 2005, Copyright Date: 2004"). Only this abstract is free online:
At first sight, the “big deal” seems an excellent value for academic libraries. A more thorough-going evaluation, however, exposes dangers. This paper examines the roles and strengths of the players in the information supply chain: creators, publishers, intermediaries, libraries. Traditional hard-copy procurement is analysed in terms of these roles and the concepts of authority, branding, and monopoly, and contrasted with the procurement of electronic resources. The advantages and dangers of the big deal are discussed. The latter arise mainly from the publishers' position as monopolists. Means of minimising these dangers --consortia, alternative publishing methods, new economic models to promote competition-- are examined.