ERIC Number: ED414924
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1997-Apr
Reference Count: N/A
JSTOR: The Development of a Cost-Driven, Value-Based Pricing Model.
Guthrie, Kevin M.
JSTOR (Journal STORage project) began as a project of The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation designed to help libraries address growing persistent space problems. JSTOR was established as an independent not-for-profit organization with its own Board of Trustees in August 1995. This paper summarizes how JSTOR's economic model was developed, lessons learned along the way, and future challenges. In developing a plan for cost recovery, JSTOR's first step was to define "the product." For nonprofit organizations like JSTOR, a key guidepost for choosing an appropriate display format is the organization's mission; having a clear understanding allows for flexibility in a rapidly evolving environment. Once the basic parameters of what would be offered were framed, the question of economic viability needed to be addressed. JSTOR learned that costs fell into basically six categories: production; conversion; storage and access; software development; user support; and administration and oversight. For the most part, production and conversion are one-time (capital) expenditures; the costs in the other categories are incurred regardless of whether new journals are added to the database and are thus a reflection of the ongoing (operating) costs of the enterprise. In JSTOR's case, to define a pricing plan, the benefits to participants of providing a new and more convenient level of access to scholarly material were evaluated; cost savings of allowing participants of JSTOR to free expensive shelf space were also calculated. Once JSTOR had decided to offer a range of price levels, an objective classification method was chosen to place institutions in different price categories. The positive reaction of the library community to JSTOR has raised expectations and created new challenges to be addressed in the future. (AEF)
Descriptors: Academic Libraries, Cost Effectiveness, Costs, Electronic Journals, Higher Education, Information Storage, Library Technical Processes, Models, Scholarly Journals, Strategic Planning
Association of Research Libraries (ARL) Web site: http://www.arl.org/scomm/scat/
Publication Type: Reports - Descriptive; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A