Monday, March 30, 2009

Publishers Face Pressure From Libraries to Freeze Prices and Cut Deals, Chronicle of Higher Education, 3/27/09

Via Chronicle of Higher Education: Publishers Face Pressure From Libraries to Freeze Prices and Cut Deals:

"A price increase of about 5 percent a year has been the industry standard, according to Mr. Price, but Oxford has not yet announced its fee structures for 2009-10. "We're waiting for pricing decisions to be made," he said. "The question is, Do you raise prices in a year like this?"

Now more than ever, publishers feel they must walk a fine line. "We want to make sure we're not undervaluing our product, but we don't want to be seen as harsh," Mr. Price explained. "We're trying to be mindful of tough times."

He has heard from colleagues in the business that some publishers are likely to hold prices flat in response to the economic downturn, or even lower their prices...

Even consortia have had to adjust their strategies. It might be a stretch to call this a silver lining, but members of Mr. Doyle's consortium have been working to make the most of their collective resources. For instance, the University of Oregon and Oregon State University have talked about coordinating database cuts so that they don't both end up axing the same useful resource. "When things get tight," Mr. Doyle said, "you have to think about doing things a little differently.""

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