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How do you access the pdf of an article?

During the early Beta Testing period we asked our users the following question:

Given the link to the publisher provided, how do you access the pdf of an article?

The possible choices given were:

  • I can access the pdf because my institution has agreements with the publishers
  • I must rely on the pdf being freely available on the web
  • It would be good if Odysci can deliver it directly to me (even if there is a cost involved)

This question drew a good number of responses, shown in the chart below.

It is no surprise that part of our beta testers (17%) indicated that they access the pdfs using their institutions’subscriptions, since many of them are university professors with institutional access. Interesting too, but also expected, was the good number of users (33%) who rely on the pdf being freely available on the web. Last but not least, we found somewhat surprising the high number of users (50%) who indicated that they would like Odysci to deliver the pdf even if there was a cost involved!

We are very interested in your views about this!
Would you be willing to pay to download an article? How much?
(As an example, current prices for an article by publisher are: ACM $10 for members, $15 for non-members, IEEE $10 for members, $30 non-members, Springer $34, ScienceDirect $41.95).

How about renting an article? Would you be willing to pay for viewing an article online for a fixed time period (assuming this could be much cheaper than buying the article)? How much do you consider reasonable for renting an article?

Let us know by adding comments to this post.

Categories: Beta Testing, PDF Access, User Feedback. Tags: , .

One comment... »

One comment.

  1. All those publisher costs are too high. We should be looking at many more papers than we actually read thoroughly–just in case something happens to be mentioned.

    I don’t know how “renting” would work, but I’d like to be able collect and prioritize the papers I download rather than examine each one in a rush right away. I could thus end up accumulating fees for long rental of articles I ultimately reject.

    I’d like it if everyone would just pay a modest membership fee to have the service always available.

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