Economics and Usage of Digital Libraries: Byting the BulletSkip other details (including permanent urls, DOI, citation information)
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5.8 Longer term effect of PEAK on ScienceDirect
What, then, has been the effect of PEAK on Elsevier Science thinking? As was noted above, there were two outstanding lessons we took from PEAK. One is the value of access to the whole database, which was core to our new product and pricing discussions in 2000. The second is the desire to have choices, to be able to tailor what is purchased to local needs.
In response to this second point, Elsevier moved in January, 2000, to introduce a second product line called ScienceDirect Web editions. This provides free access to PDF files for all titles subscribed to in paper. Initially, Web editions did not have all the functionality of the full ScienceDirect and were limited to a nine month rolling backfile. For many libraries, this is the "choice" they want to have and they have decided to sign up for the Web editions rather than the full ScienceDirect. This was positive for Elsevier as well, as it meets more libraries' needs.
There are other product and pricing changes in discussion at the Elsevier board level. The discussions leading up to these changes reflect what we have learned from ScienceDirect and PEAK to date. PEAK has provided significant input to the broad thinking process and we are grateful to the University of Michigan, and in particular to Wendy Pradt Lougee and Jeffrey Mackie-Mason, for their insight and persistence in making this happen. We hope that the discussion of the pricing and packaging of electronic products, particularly journals, will continue in a spirited way.