SPIE Acts in Support of Affordable Library Pricing for Fourth Straight Year

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A price freeze in 2013 for customers of the widely used SPIE Digital Library is the latest action the publisher has taken to help ensure affordable access to the collection. SPIE is also adding an additional 40,000 articles from its earliest publications to the collection, at no additional cost to subscribers.

It is great to see a publisher working with libraries for the benefit of the whole community.

The SPIE Digital Library, whose Proceedings of SPIE consistently ranks in the top 50 of the world’s 50,000 most-used journals as analyzed by Ex Libris, has announced another price freeze for subscribers in 2013. At the same time, an additional 40,000 articles from 1962–1989 are being added to the collection, at no additional cost to subscribers.

This is the fourth consecutive year that SPIE, the international society for optics and photonics, has reduced or frozen subscription prices for the SPIE Digital Library. The move demonstrates the Society’s promise made in 2009 to ensure affordable access to the largest and widely used collection of optics and photonics literature to the greatest number of researchers, and meets its commitment to address the long-term budgetary pressures facing libraries

SPIE has taken several voluntary and pro-active steps during the four-year period to manage pricing:

  •     2010: 10% reduction
  •     2011: price freeze
  •     2012: 5% reduction
  •     2013: price freeze, while adding 15% additional content.

The consistent realistic approach to pricing is welcomed by SPIE Digital Library subscriber Terry Bucknell, Electronic Resources Manager for the University of Liverpool. "When the economic downturn first hit, many publishers froze prices for a year,” Bucknell said. “SPIE was notable for two reasons: they actually cut their prices, and they made it clear that this was just the first step in a long-term plan to attract more subscribers. I'm delighted to see that in each of the last four years SPIE has either frozen their prices or reduced them, and this year the price freeze is accompanied by significant additional content at no extra charge. It is great to see a publisher working with libraries for the benefit of the whole community."

The 40,000 conference proceedings and journal articles to be added to the SPIE Digital Library this summer will extend the digital collection to the beginning of the society's publishing program which began in 1962. This much requested and difficult to find older content, includes pioneering and fundamental technical papers dating from 1962 through 1989.

The price freeze and the expansion of content will occur along with the SPIE Digital Library’s move to the SCM6 online platform hosted by Silverchair, an innovative company known for its use of semantic technologies.

In addition to its nine journals and over 8,000 conference proceedings volumes, the SPIE Digital Library includes the SPIE eBooks collection containing monographs, tutorial texts, and field guides published by the SPIE Press.

To support researchers in developing or low-income countries, SPIE participates in the eJDS program of the Abdus Salam International Centre for Theoretical Physics, providing papers on demand to individual scientists, and the Information Network for the Availability of Scientific Publications PERii program, providing access to libraries in developing nations at low or reduced rates.

About SPIE

SPIE is the international society for optics and photonics, a not-for-profit organization founded in 1955 to advance light-based technologies. The Society serves nearly 225,000 constituents from approximately 150 countries, offering conferences, continuing education, books, journals, and a digital library in support of interdisciplinary information exchange, professional growth, and patent precedent. SPIE provided over $2.7 million in support of education and outreach programs in 2011.

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Amy Nelson
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