Friday, June 01, 2012

Article Note: On providing articles as "pay per view."

Citation for the article:

Hanson, Michael and Terese Heidenwolf, "Making the Right Choices: Pay-per-view Data and Selection Decisions." C&RL News December 2010: 586-588.

Read via Library Literature and Information Science Full-Text.

I found the idea presented in the article intriguing. Why would anyone do pay-per-view for academic articles? If anything, a fairly constant complaint I get here is when students fail to go through our resources, find a particular article online, then call us to ask how to avoid paying for it. Now, in the article, if I am understanding the process, the library does absorb the cost of the articles that their academic community uses. So, I am curious. One thing the authors found is that they got a better picture of what their patrons want and actually would use. The authors also state that the process requires a good amount of vigilance in deciding what periodical titles to provide access to and which to cut out. It helps that they have a pretty responsive faculty to help with the task.

A few other notes:

  • The article discusses focusing on Elsevier journals. 
  • The faculty could download articles without librarian mediation. Student requests required a librarian to review and approve the request where the librarian then "would either e-mail the requested article to the student (within two hours during regular reference hours) or, if the article was available in the library's print collection, direct the students to the paper copy" (586). This is done for cost control. Keep in mind, the setting is in a very small college. We probably would not be able to do this at current MPOW given our size. 
  • The tool for providing the access was via Article Choice.
  • It was not easy for them to identify which important periodical titles were essential for new selection or retention. So, the authors note that there are still open questions about their periodical selection and review process. This is still a work in progress. 

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