Competition and cooperation: Libraries and publishers in the transition to electronic scholarly journals
The conversion of scholarly journals to digital format is proceeding rapidly, especially for those from large commercial and learned society publishers. This conversion offers the best hope for survival for such publishers. The infamous "journal crisis" is more of a library cost crisis than a publisher pricing problem, with internal library costs much higher than the amount spent on purchasing books and journals. Therefore publishers may be able to retain or even increase their revenues and profits, while at the same time providing a superior service. To do this, they will have to take over many of the function of libraries, and they can do that only in the digital domain. This paper examines publishers' strategies, how they are likely to evolve, and how they will affect libraries.