Wednesday, February 13, 2013

I hope this isn't an online journal trend

Readers, 2013 is starting off with a disturbing trend for those of us heavily involved in access to journal contents online. So far we've identified two associations that are reserving online access to their journal for association members. Any one, individual or institution, can subscribe to their print journal, but only association members can access the journal online and They Don't Offer Institutional Membership (or at least not to American institutions).

I'm not going to name the associations. However, one is Canadian and the other is Japanese. These are both medical associations (I work pretty exclusively with Medical Journals.)

Library patrons have grown use to reading articles online and many libraries have made budget decisions to stop getting print for titles they access online when there is a significant saving for dropping he print.

Now we have another worry added. Before this, we had to worry about titles that ceased and weren't archived online at PMC, Portico, LOCKSS, etc. Now we have to worry about associations deciding their online presence is something to be protected from access, even if money is offered.

I pray these are just two silly associations and no more appear. Unfortunately, my years of dealing with journals have made me a pessimist.

[Updated 03/21/2013]

The count all year is now up to four. Two Japanese associations, one Canadian, and a Non-Profit that has decided to embargo their online issues for 1 year. They are open access after that year.

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