UM Scholarly Publishing Office Releases Economics and Usage of Digital Libraries: Byting the Bullet

The Scholarly Publishing Office of the University of Michigan Library has released an open access monograph, Economics and Usage of Digital Libraries: Byting the Bullet. It is edited by Wendy Pradt Lougee (University Librarian, University of Minnesota) and Jeffrey K. MacKie-Mason (Arthur W. Burks Collegiate Professor of Information and Computer Science, School of Information, University of Michigan).

Here's an excerpt from the press release:

In the late 1990's, researchers and digital library production staff at the University of Michigan collaborated on deploying the Pricing Economic Access to Knowledge project (PEAK), a full-scale production-quality digital access system to enable usage of content from all of Elsevier's (then about 1200) scholarly journals, and at the same time to conduct a field experiment to answer various questions about the interplay between pricing models and usage. The experiment culminated in a lively conference that engaged scholars, library practioners and publishers. This volume captures some of the most interesting and provocative discussions to come out of that conference. PEAK was a ground-breaking effort in its day, and references to the project have continued over time. It raised important questions about the potential for highly functional journal content and new economic models of publishing. In today’s context of socially-enabled systems and open-access publishing, the motivating questions of PEAK remain relevant.