The Scholarly Publishing Office of the University of Michigan Library is pleased to announce the availability of a new open access monograph, Economics and Usage of Digital Libraries: Byting the Bullet, 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). 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 practitioners 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.
This monograph is part of the SPO Scholarly Monograph Series, an interdisciplinary collection of original, open-access scholarly monographs and essays. The University of Michigan Library, through its Scholarly Publishing Office, provides academic publishing services that are responsive to the needs of both producers and users, that foster a sustainable economic model for academic publishing, and that support institutional control of intellectual assets.