Monday, August 22, 2011

Time for New Journal Subscription Model

I like open access, but I’m realistic.  The big journals (NEJM, JAMA, society journals, etc) aren’t likely to go that route anytime soon though more of them are making select articles available in full for limited time periods.
I have been thinking of the current subscription model more and more as my print journals stack up in my office and I read the articles online.  It has really been in my thoughts as I am closing my practice and have had to decide what to do with all the journal volumes accumulated over the past years.
Currently, subscription to a journal (ie my PRS journal) gives me both a print copy and the online access.  The online access allows me to search all years of the journal, even those prior to my subscription.  I love this.  I no longer go to the print indexes to search for a topic or article.  I lose this access if I cancel the subscription.
What I propose is a subscription model that would allow the subscriber to chose online access only without receiving the print version.   I would like this subscription model to allow the subscriber long term online access to the years (ie 1990 to 2015) of active subscription.
I believe it is possible to create a database of subscribers and years of full subscription so that this would be possible.   I also think the publishers savings from the mailings and print could be put towards keeping up this database.
Note, I am not asking for continued full access to all the old and any new journal volumes.  Just the ones I would have access to if I kept all the print volumes, but with this new model I would not have a storage problem of 20 plus years of not just one journal but several.
Anyone else have any thoughts on this model? 
By the way, I’ve decided to just recycle the print copies of the journals I have.  I don’t have room at home and don’t want to end up being an episode of Hoarders.  I will continue my subscriptions as a way to keep current as I will continue to need CMEs.

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