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EQUITABLE ACCESS TO STM INFORMATION: HOPE OR HYPE?. A (COMMERCIAL) PUBLISHER’S PERSPECTIVE Pieter S. H. Bolman, Trieste, 4 October 2002. PRINT VS. ELECTRONIC: SOME COST & RISK CHARACTERISTICS.

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Equitable access to stm information hope or hype

EQUITABLE ACCESS TO STM INFORMATION: HOPE OR HYPE?

A (COMMERCIAL) PUBLISHER’S PERSPECTIVE

Pieter S. H. Bolman, Trieste, 4 October 2002


Print vs electronic some cost risk characteristics
PRINT VS. ELECTRONIC: SOME COST & RISK CHARACTERISTICS

  • FOR TYPICAL PRINT-ON-PAPER SCIENCE AND HIGH LEVEL HEALTH INFORMATION THE RATIO FIXED TO VARIABLE COSTS 75:25, VIZ. COST OF (RE)PRODUCING, HANDLING, DISPATCHING AND RECEIVING EXTRA COPY IS CA. 25% OF TOTAL.BESIDES, ONCE DISPATCHED IT IS OUTSIDE THE CONTROL OF PUBLISHER AND CAN BE RESOLD ANYWHERE

  • FOR ITS ELECTRONIC COUNTERPART THE ABOVEMENTIONED RATIO IS >99:1, HOWEVER, IT CAN BE REPRODUCED AND DIGITILALLY REDISTRIBUTED FOR NEXT TO NOTHING (NAPSTER PROBLEM)WITH APPROPRIATE PRECAUTION AND CONTRACT PUBLISHER CAN CONTROL THIS BETTER


Digital divide a tolerable evil
DIGITAL DIVIDE: A TOLERABLE EVIL?

  • GAP BETWEEN INFORMATION ‘HAVES’ AND ‘HAVE-NOTS’ IS FITS IN WITH OTHER ‘HAVE’ ‘HAVE-NOT’ CATEGORIES: LOW INCOME COUNTRIES ARE ON THE LOW END OF THE SCALE

  • DOES THIS NEED TO BE?

  • INTERNET IS GLOBAL: IN PRINCIPLE CONNECTIVITY IS CHEAP, ALTHOUGH PRESENTLY IT IS NOT NEARLY UBIQITOUS

  • HOWEVER, SCIENTIFIC AND HEALTH INFORMATION IS EXPENSIVE IN DEVELOPED WORLD


First attempts 1984 5
FIRST ATTEMPTS (1984-5)

  • Discussions between North-Holland (Elsevier) and ICTP (Prof. Abdus Salam)

    Purpose: a possible ‘bulk deal’ where ICTP mediates purchasing of all relevant North-Holland physics journals by selected 3rd world libraries: the first one at full price (ICTP’s), the remaining ones at marginal pricing (~ 1/3)

    Deal did not materialise as it was unlikely to scale. Elsevier feared loss of control and of existing subscriptions (even though Salam vouched for the institutional integrity), print fulfillment system would not sustain different prices, etc.)


Resulting developments
RESULTING DEVELOPMENTS

  • THESE COST & RISK CHARACTERISTICS UNDERLY SOME PUBLIC-PRIVATE INITIATIVES INVOLVING HEALTH & SCIENCE PUBLISHERS, AMONGST THEM:- ‘IDEAL CHARTER’- ‘HINARI’- ’AVU’- eJDS


Ideal charter for low income countries
‘IDEAL CHARTER FOR LOW INCOME COUNTRIES’

  • NEW LICENSING MODEL BY ACADEMIC PRESS (SINCE HARCOURT ACQUISITION PART OF ELSEVIER SCIENCE)

  • ANNOUNCED FEBRUARY 2001 AT UNESCO/ICSU MEETING: UNIVERSITIES, RESEARCH CENTRES AND TEACHING HOSPITALS GET ACCESS TO 300 JOURNALS AT GREATLY REDUCED RATES

  • ELIGIBILITY BASED ON WORLD BANK DEFINITION OF LOW INCOME COUNTRIES

  • NOT MEANT AS (PASSING) PHILANTROPY, ATTEMPT TO ESTABLISH DURABLE BUSINESS MODEL

  • ELSEVIER WILL DISCONTINUE AND REPLACE BY A SIMILAR, MORE SUBJECT BASED, MODEL


Hinari health internetwork access to research initiative a public private partnership
HINARI (Health InterNetwork Access to Research Initiative) - A PUBLIC-PRIVATE PARTNERSHIP.

  • ORIGINS DATE BACK TO W.H.O. SURVEYOF BIOMEDICAL RESEARCHERS IN DEVELOPING COUNTRIES IN 1999. TWO NEEDS IDENTIFIED: 1. ACCESS TO RESEARCH 2. ASSISTANCE IN HAVING RESEARCH PUBLISHED

  • FIRST ANNOUNCEMENT: 6 PUBLISHERS & W.H.O. IN JULY 2001

  • ACCESS TO WORLD BANK’S LOWER INCOME COUNTRIES (<$975 PER CAPITA) FOR FREE AND AND MIDDLE LOWER INCOME COUNTRIES ( <$2999 PER CAPITA) FOR (MODEST) FEE

  • PRINCIPLES: 1. ONLY FOR BONA FIDE, NOT FOR PROFIT ORGS., 2. EACH PUBLISHER FREE TO MAKE HIS OWN ARRANGEMENTS FOR ANY COUNTRY, WHICH GROUP OF JOURNALS

  • NO DEGRADATION OF SERVICE: SAME AS IN R.O.W.


Hinari where are we now
HINARI - WHERE ARE WE NOW?

  • PHASE 1 (<$1000 PER CAPITA) LAUNCHED IN JANUARY 2002, FREE ACCESS TO 1400 JNLS (5 LARGEST COMMERCIAL PUBLISHERS. IN MAY CATALOGUE WAS FOR EXTENDED

  • ACCCES BY PASSWORD AND USERS PASS THRU WHO HEALTH INTERNETWORK SERVER AND HINARI MENU DIRECTLY TO PUBLISHER’S SERVER

  • ELIGIBILITY : 490 INSTITUTIONS (IDENTIFIED BY W.H.O.), 67 COUNTRIES, 600+ POSSIBLE INSTITUTIONS

  • REGISTERED: 235 INSTITUTIONS, 49 COUNTRIES

  • REGULAR USERS:65+ INSTITUTIONS

  • 22 PARTICIPATING PUBLISHERS


Hinari where are we now1
HINARI - WHERE ARE WE NOW?

  • PHASE 2 ($1001<X<$3000 PER CAPITA COUNTRIES) EXPECTED IN JANUARY 2003: FOR VERY MODEST FEE ACCESS

  • ELIGIBILITY : 320 INSTITUTIONS, 42 COUNTRIES, 600+ POSSIBLE INSTITUTIONS

  • PRE-REGISTERED: 119 INSTITUTIONS, 28 COUNTRIESPHASE 2 IS MORE DIFFICULT AS MOST PUBLISHERS HAVE NON-NEGLIGIBLE BUSINESS IN THIS CATEGORY (AND THUS FEAR LOSS OF EXISTING SUBSCRIPTIONS!)


Avu african virtual university distance learning
AVU: AFRICAN VIRTUAL UNIVERSITY (DISTANCE LEARNING)

  • AVU has just completed a pilot phase during which the virtual university concept has been successfully implemented and tested in 16 English-speaking and 10 French-speaking partner institutions across Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA), and is now transitioning to the operational phase.

  • AVU, initiated by the World Bank, is a first-of-its-kind technology-enhanced distance learning network established to serve the countries of SSA.

  • To start with, AVU will concentrate on Computer Science

  • Recently announced: AVU alliance with Elsevier Science. Free access to 70 ScienceDirect online mathematics, computer science and physics journals by all AVU member institutions.


E journals delivery service
E-JOURNALS DELIVERY SERVICE

  • Conceived by Hilda Cerdeira, taking into account imperfect technology in many countries

  • Subject of separate presentation


Critical assessment so far
CRITICAL ASSESSMENT SO FAR

  • Free distribution does not seem a lasting option, price differentiation (using GDP or usage related criteria) more promising

  • Publishers’ ability to find usage related pricing models in the developed world would enhance sustainability in developing world

  • Technological problems remain but, presumably, will be solved in time

  • Although research journals are “low hanging fruit” (because of their ready electronic availability), are they the right priority for the countries in question?

  • Should the next, urgent, step involve textbook publishers (although far less textbooks are available digitally)? In other words: is DISTANCE LEARNING a better priority?

  • On balance, steps taken have been very useful: organisations and contacts are created, technology is tested etc.. Usage stats and user feedback will help us chart a further course and are anxiously awaited ….

  • IT NEEDS TO BE FOLLOWED BY (FAR) MORE……..


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