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JSTOR recently launched a direct subscription service called JPASS. Researchers wanting more content than their library provides can pay for access. Is this the future of aggregator publishing?
One of my first memories of librarianship is the snickering over Questia's model of marketing their product directly to library users. Questia is still around today, and websites such as LibraryThing and Mendeley have made successes over filling the voids of services that libraries don't provide. So why should a library subsidize a new discovery platform, for example, when users are already off subscribing to Udini?
It's a great idea. There are often resources that would be ridiculously expensive for a department/school/business to provide to their users, but if someone wants to pay for it out of their own budget/grant etc that's brilliant.
Use your institution's interlibrary loan service.
ILL takes time, and at some point for heavy researchers, a site pass like this is more cost-effective for the library to subsidize. My institution hands out a few ScienceDirect logins (and even credentials from a larger system library) for this exact reason.
I'm not sure it will scale to the typical Wikipedia-savvy freshmen, but it's an interesting model to think about.
This service would be a hell of a lot cheaper than using the Inter-Library Loan service provided by your institution. Or indeed them providing online access themselves.
I don't think it's aimed at students below PhD level either.
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