Library Periodicals Expenses Comparison of Non-Subscription Costs of Print and Electronic Formats on a Life-Cycle Basis

C Roger, W Donald, Ann Okerson, Eileen Gifford Fenton


What are the implications of the transition to electronic periodicals on non-subscription library expenditures, such as those required to select, accession, catalog and provide ongoing access and services? New data on staff activities and costs were collected from eleven US academic libraries, and a life-cycle analysis was utilized to study the longer-term cost implications of the transition. We find that, on a per-title basis, the non-subscription costs of the electronic format are consistently and substantially lower than those of the print format. We conclude by considering the implications of the transition to electronic formats—and the consequent favorable cost differentials—on long-term preservation.

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