Buying and Selling Electronic Journals: A Matter of Uncertainty Reduction
VALA 2000 CONCURRENT SESSION 6: Electronic Publishing
Gregor van Essen
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In the fast changing landscape of scientific information delivery, both libraries and publishers find themselves struggling with the overwhelming possibilities offered by new information technologies. Whether it is the publisher marketing its new electronic services or the library evaluating the inexhaustible flow of new products, the uncertainties confronted by both are tremendous. This paper describes the process of “uncertainty reduction” that increasingly characterises the new way of buying and selling electronic (scientific) journals. It is argued that the ability of library and journal publisher to reduce uncertainty determines the likelihood that a mutually satisfying outcome will be achieved. Critical in this process is the exchange of information between library and publisher. Several “communication mechanisms” will be discussed that can support library and publisher to enhance communication, and as a result reduce uncertainty.