Cost per Use Overvalues Subscriptions

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Journal subscriptions, Journal costs, Cost per use, Subscription valuation


Digital delivery of scholarly publications has enabled far more robust tracking of usage, with the COUNTER Project providing and periodically updating the defining standard for usage measurement. As a result, usage has become a critical metric for establishing the value of a given journal or content bundle in many circumstances, including licensing negotiations between publishers and libraries. This essay raises some probing questions about whether cost-per-use is the appropriate metric for measuring the comparative value of library subscriptions. It offers a strong warning, to publishers and libraries alike, to avoid the simplistic use of metrics when the underlying thing being measured is far more complex

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The Society for Scholarly Publication

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Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 4.0 License.