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Gale eBooks cost MORE than print versions

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  • jwneastro
    I thought a message that I sent to the Electronic Book Community might be of interest to the members of this group. It is in response to another message on
    Message 1 of 1 , Oct 1, 2002
      I thought a message that I sent to the Electronic Book Community
      might be of interest to the members of this group. It is in
      response to another message on the E-Book Community of Yahoo Groups
      whose archives, like those of this combined discussion group and
      weblog are public.

      Responding to this message:

      I found the comments in this message interesting. I agree that some of
      the pricing models employed by the very strong companies in the
      publishing and electronic publishing field are not seemingly fair.
      Much ink has been expended about this and related issues on the
      Library Libcensing (LIBLICENSE-L) discussion group moderated by Ann
      Okerson out of Harvard University. Reading the archives of this list
      might be useful for some of the members of this list to see the
      controversial issues between libraries, publishers, aggregators and
      so forth.

      Liblicense-L List

      Liblicense-L List Archives

      Some publishers have a reputation in the journal publishing field for
      some very large prices for their periodical publications, reading the
      Liblicense list should disclose some of those.

      Gale is part of a much larger resource and is unlikely to get out of
      the electronic publishing field. Gale had some of its reference books
      like the Encyclopedia of Associations on CDRom some years before the
      end of the last millenium. Indeed this publication was available in
      DIALOG, a searching service created in the early nineteen-seventies
      by Lockheed and sold to Knight-Ridder around 1987 and then sold a
      decade latter to MAID, as early as 1991 and probably earlier.
      Increasingly GALE reference tools are being made available online
      full text. Gale also owns as part of its division the database
      product known as Infotrak which covers journal and magazine
      literature in a range of fields with full text content online.

      I use the word division in the above sentence because in more recent
      times there has been a major change in a newspaper publisher in
      Canada, Thompson. Thompson sold all of its Canadian newspapers except
      the Globe and Mail to fund expansion of its resources in the databank
      and database field. Thompson already owned Westlaw. They bought Gale
      and with it Infortrak. MAID was not doing well with Dialog and its
      Datastar subsidiary that Knight Ridder had purchased from Radio
      Suisse. Thompson bought both of those subsidiaries from MAID. They
      now also own the databases of the Institute for Scientific
      Information which include Science, Social Science, and Arts and
      Humanities Citation Indexes online.


      Dialog Catalog

      Dialog Bluesheets

      DataStar Datasheets

      Dialog List of Datbase Bluesheets by Database Title

      If one browses the Dialog catalog, one will find a very substantial
      number of full text databases including monographic publications
      including some from its sister company Gale. The King James Bible, by
      the way is Dialog File 297. Given the investment that Thompson has
      made in Gale and in Dialog, I strongly suspect that Gale publications
      in electronic format will not be disappearing from the computer
      screens of paying customers any time soon. The Netlibrary contract
      allows libraries to lease the Gale reference and perhaps other Gale
      publications rather than pay by use and content viewed which would be
      the case in the online searching model of DIALOG.

      One mitigating factor in what libraries will pay for online content
      from Gale and other high priced publishers is that many libraries
      belong to consortia and these consortia may negotiate more favorable
      contracts for their members for the use of these tools.

      Another substantial problem faced by librarians who love that
      wonderful smell of paper is that demand for books in print and online
      is way down compared to the use of magazines and journals online
      fulltext or in print, in part because the databases that are used on
      the computer with a simulated smell of paper to keep us librarians
      happy focus on periodical literature that is abstract or fulltext
      searchable and leads clients to a list of articles rather than books
      about their topic. Futhermore the use of search engines by students
      and even serious professional researches who find some or a
      significant portion of their content on a variety of web pages,
      reduces the attention accorded to books by those seeking
      information. Electronic and print books are both facing stiff
      competition from other forms of print and electronic media.

      David Dillard
      Temple University
      (215) 204 - 4584
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