subscription costs if acceptable preservation strategies are in place, such as archiving with third parties. In addition, there may be greater exposure of research libraries, which historically have built broader and more diverse collections, to some facets of the current economic crisis. ARL members tend to collect “long tail” materials very actively, including many publications produced abroad. These may be particularly vulnerable to drastic fluctuations in currency exchange rates that disproportionately increase their prices. The long tail of research library collecting is also likely to include significant numbers of small publishers and titles with small circulation bases in the best of times. These will certainly experience cancellation spirals that reduce their titles’ cost/benefit profiles and are likely to be more vulnerable to business failure. Large libraries have also been subject to a novel form of inflation pressure as some publishers have implemented new pricing models, such as tiered pricing, that shift revenue generation to larger institutions that are required to absorb significant price increases to compensate for discounting to other customers. Publishers implementing changes in pricing models that provide discounts to small customers by balancing them with increases to larger customers will be especially likely to force large institutions into cancellation decisions. Indeed, these pricing models are somewhat counterintuitive given that the content published come disproportionately from the faculty in research institutions. Recommendations to Publishers and Vendors ARL echoes the ICOLC statement’s advocacy for publishers to adopt flexible approaches to pricing and avoid reducing content or access as libraries seek to renegotiate expenditures. The research library community believes it is important to go further in making recommendations for publishers and vendors that seek to honor their commitment to enhancing scholarly communication in these times of unprecedented challenge. These recommendations are made based on the belief that scholarly publishers committed to enhancing the effectiveness of the scholarly communication system are prepared to act to minimize negative impacts on the system resulting from economic conditions. ARL calls on publishers to consider carefully decisions to invest in new products, functionality, and marketing efforts. Any new investments RLI 262 9 ARL Statement to Scholarly Publishers on the Global Economic Crisis ( C O N T I N U E D ) FEBRUARY 2009 RESEARCH LIBRARY ISSUES: A BIMONTHLY REPORT FROM ARL, CNI, AND SPARC
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