3 Feb 2007

Journal bundling

On the SPARC Open Access Forum, Sally Morris responded to criticism of journal bundling by arguing that "I know of no publishers (please correct me if I’m wrong) who only offer their journals as part of a ‘big deal’ bundle. Is anyone taking food manufacturers to task for not offering the same value in individual servings as in family packs?".

The family pack analogy is flawed. Imagine if you wanted to buy food and groceries (let's say bread and milk), but when you handed over your money to get what you wanted the shopkeeper insisted on you also paying for some nappies (when you didn't have a child) and some denture cream (when you still have all your teeth)... well, you'd go to another shop. No shop has a monopoly on bread and milk (at least not yet). The difference with journals is that if you want access to particular articles in one particular journal, you *can't* go to another journal to read them. That's why bundling is criticised as being anti-competitive.

1 comment:

Peter Suber said...

Hi Matt: You make a good point. I hope you'll send a copy to SOAF, where it can be seen by everyone who read Sally Morris' original messsage.