|ACS Member E-Passport: not a good enough deal|
2. Group rates on access to journals and library services.
This is something I do know a bit about. My M.S. is in library science, and I worked in the Chemistry Library in a large research institution for years during grad school. What if there were one centralized virtual library to which unaffiliated researchers across the country could log in for ejournal access? What if one place could buy and house the print media that start-ups would need to access every so often, and provide a librarian to look things up-- it's not like everyone needs their own print copy of the Canada & US Drug Development Industry & Outsourcing Guide 2012 at $150 a pop. (But if 350 people paid $1 a year for a $350/yr online subscription . . . )
Yes, some of you could go to university libraries and look these things up and print off articles to read at home, but some of you can't. You're probably violating some sort of terms of service agreement the library and publisher worked out anyway. It's not like anyone is likely to bust you unless you print out stacks and stacks of papers, but still. It's one more hassle for a small company to deal with, and everyone will have to re-invent the wheel and waste time and energy negotiating access on their own.I think that's an excellent idea, as someone who enjoyed darn near universal access to everything during my academic/early industrial career and now suffers along without access to a lot of the chemical literature. I'm regularly making trips to the local university library (closed on Sunday?!?! Darn you!). Of course, those trips (and their success) depends on the library you're going to. My local public university library used to be superb -- now, not so much.
This brings us to ACS Member E-Passport, which offers the chemist the fabulous deal of 500 articles for $1000. From ACS Publications' perspective, this is a great deal -- they're offering you articles at $2 per, as opposed to the $35 that you might normally pay. From my perspective, no deal. For $1000 a year (a price, I might add, that I would be willing to think about**), I
If I pay $500 to this new organization and they offer me universal access to all the major publishing houses, I'd be all for it.
*What is that a reference to? The NJ governor's wife?
**I should note that $1000 is a lot of money in anyone's book, even ACS industrial chemists (median B.S./M.S./Ph.D. industrial member salary: $72k, $86k, $115k. Note that it's independent or small company chemists that would be paying for these services on their own -- and they're the ones with the smaller salaries.)