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    Subscription Costs

    Budget allocations reflect the decision to shift from print to electronic subscriptions. Purchase decisions are based on two processes. First, we undertake a major initiative to analyze our current print and electronic holdings prior to renewal of subscriptions for the coming year. Secondly, throughout the year we invest significant staff resources to keep current with all e-journal offerings from vendors, publishers and consortia within the scope of our collection and initiate negotiations for pricing and packages tailored to our needs. In particular, we seek out electronic equivalents of current print holdings and replace the print with the electronic version of the title unless the title meets the exception criteria. Eventually, we expect to have a browsing collection of fewer than 100 titles.

    As a result of these efforts Drexel's total journal subscription costs will be approximately $636,000 for 2001. See Table 18.2 for the breakdown. Aggregator subscription costs are difficult to calculate since these resources are part database, part electronic journals. With a "best guess" allocation of the cost of these services, we are spending or expect to spend a total of $600,000 for electronic journals.

    Table 18.2: Subscription Costs FY2001
    Category # of Titles Amount
    Print only subscriptions 300 $36,000
    Electronic subscriptions* 2800 $550,000
    Aggregator/databases with full-text content** 3500 $45,000
    Total E-Journals (Unique titles) 6300 $595,000
    NOTE: *Approximately 200 of these titles are "bundled" and require print plus electronic subscriptions
    **These are services such as ProQuest and Wilson Select which are part database, part journal full-text. Half the cost of these services has been allocated to electronic subscriptions. The count is of unique titles.

    On a raw per-title basis the e-journal subscription dollar has superior purchasing power when the aggregators' titles are included. Our print-only journal subscriptions now cost an average of $120 per title while e-journals are $95 per title. This difference is far greater when one considers that nearly all the electronic journals come, even when a subscription is first entered, with several years of backfiles. In addition, the electronic subscriptions include many titles that cost several thousand dollars in print. The 300 print journals consist mainly of humanities and social science publications, along with some popular titles, all of which are low cost historically. The increased value of electronic journals is even more evident when coupled with use statistics, since our figures show that electronic journals are used more heavily than their print counterparts (see Montgomery and Sparks, 2000).