Reduction in our subscription to Science

Rainer Rees, Lothar Nunnenmacher

From Saturday 12/13/2014 on, Lib4RI users will not have access to Science Express anymore. Science itself is still fully accessible, but we cancelled the online first service Science Express, where Science articles are released before print. Science is the only journal we know of, where these articles are not included into the subscription fee, but have to be paid separately. We cancelled this “extra service” to partially compensate for the immense price increase of about 30% from the publisher of Science, the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS).

One reason for the price increase was that AAAS started to additionally charge institutions for their remote sites, instead of tiering them according to their size. In consequence, Eawag has now to pay extra for Kastanienbaum, EMPA for St. Gallen and Thun, and WSL for Davos, even so these remote sites do not mean extra costs or efforts for AAAS and the size of the institutions is, of course, independent of the number of their sites. The decision for the cancellation is supported by the Lib4RI steering committee. Interestingly, a journal from a commercial publisher with a similar prestige as Science, costs only about half as much as Science. This raises the question again, whether societies are really the better publishers?

Lib4RI is not the only library in Switzerland that had to cancel an AAAS journal because of the price increase. The EPFL library even cancelled its subscription to Science completely! Until 2014, there was a consortium agreement between AAAS and the German, Austrian and Swiss Consortia Organisation, GASCO. However, after long negotiations in 2014, no consortial agreement could be achieved for 2015. Therefore, each institution had to negotiate on its own, which made it much harder to find a reasonable agreement.

Lib4RI users will still have full access to the Science Express contents, as all Science Express articles will appear later on in the print and in the online version of Science. However, if you urgently need an article from Science Express, Lib4RI’s Document Delivery team will obtain the document for you. This service is free of charge for you. This option is conveniently accessible via our link resolver within the search results in most article databases.

Please contact us at @email for any questions regarding our AAAS subscriptions.