Developing access and pricing models that use today's technology: What publishers have done so far, and where their efforts may lead us
Scholarly books and journals operate in a dysfunctional market. Price signals do not reach the customer. The reader may select but does not bear the cost of acquisition, while the library deploys the budget but is driven by readers? requirements. In the absence of market mechanisms governing prices, publishers base their pricing on cost recovery. And library budgets continue to deteriorate in relation to the volume of information they are expected to acquire. In this context, publishers have started to experiment with new pricing models for online content: variations on the traditional product price, simultaneous user and population?based pricing, pay?per?view and information ?rental?. Usage?based pricing may be imminent. Such approaches may put libraries generally, and non?English speaking countries in particular, at a disadvantage. Nevertheless, it is reasonable to speculate that further pricing mechanisms may be made possible by DRM/content management systems.