need to be strategic and market sensitive. Publishers should base
investments on market research that demonstrates demand and takes into
account the ongoing economic situation.
• Publishers should go further in reducing the need for outright
cancellations by undertaking broad efforts to seek new efficiencies that
can result in price reductions in the short as well as long term. As libraries
scrutinize their own operations, publishers similarly need to critically
examine all of their practices and services to identify ways of reducing
expenditures and, with them, prices. One obvious opportunity for
reducing operating costs to proportionately lower prices is accelerating
shifts to electronic-only publication to reduce overhead of print
production and handling.
• ARL reiterates the ICOLC call for price stabilization and advocates real
price reductions. Models that stabilize or discount prices for all
customers, large and small, are most likely to be attractive in the current
economic situation and into the future.
• Libraries serving research organizations are increasingly receptive to
models that provide open access to content published by their affiliated
authors in addition to traditional subscription access to titles. This kind of
model can form a bridge from subscription models to models
incorporating author-side payments.
• Responsible publishers and vendors should provide real alternatives to
multi-year contracts and a range of options for contract terms, as
described in the ICOLC statement.
• Acknowledging the singular budget conditions confronting even the
largest libraries, publishers must be open to mid-term renegotiations of
• The research library community is also concerned that the suddenness
and depth of the global economic crisis substantially increases risk for the
loss of important scholarly content. Scholarly publishers share with
libraries a stewardship responsibility and should accelerate their
commitments to third party archiving services as potential for business
• Inevitably, libraries will be forced to invoke many contract terms in place
for providing ongoing access to previously subscribed content after
cancellation. ARL calls on publishers to generously and completely
RLI 262 10
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