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Keeping personal subscriptions out of the library

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In recent decades library finances have been struggling to keep up with the growth of journals. Budget cuts, and subscription price increases due to resultant cancellations, have put additional strain on libraries, creating an accelerating spiral, the so-called 'serials crisis'. Personal subscriptions have suffered less from rising prices, but an increasing gap has opened up between personal and institutional subscription rates. This is being exploited by some unscrupulous agents, who are fraudulently buying journals at personal subscription rates and reselling them to libraries at discounted institutional rates, thus making huge profits and undermining the businesses of both the publishers and those agents who operate legitimately. Measures are being taken to counteract the problem, including the establishment by the Association of Subscription Agents and Intermediaries of a branch in the Middle East, where the problem is quite common, and the introduction of policy rules regarding personal subscriptions by the majority of STM publishers.

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: July 1, 2007

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  • Editor in Chief: Pippa Smart
    North American Editor: Judy Luther

    Learned Publishing is the journal of the Association of Learned and Professional Society Publishers, published in collaboration with the Society for Scholarly Publishing. The journal is published quarterly in January/April/July/October.

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