It was not until I read the notice from Nature Network forum about Nature’s joining DeepDyve that I knew this new rental access service. It really enable my access to some highly desired journals such as Annu. Rev. Mater. Res., but there are still some journals that have not been permitted by the publisher for rent on DeepDyve yet. Some journals only allowed the most recent volumes for rent.
Of course DeepDyve has done a great job and it is still in the beta stage. But its profiting strategy seems much the same with an ordinary university library. I suspect the DeepDyve has to pay for the publisher annually with a fix price and it hopes to cover this cost by renting the bought journal within a year. Therefore the most popular journals and the most recent papers will most probably appear for rent, while those with low usage rate will be excluded to cut the budget – a common case too of the university libraries.
In my own practical case, mostly it is the access to old papers that are badly wanted because I love to collect the history of every research direction by myself. For many publishers the historical archives charge additional money, so there are certainly less ways for these archives to become more “affordable”.
My solution is contacting my librarian for inter-library service across China. Requesting other libraries for scanned versions only charges me approximately RMB 1.00 per page, then I own the copies. But this is of course more time-consuming than renting a view-only access online.
Hopefully as more people rent paper on DeepDyve it will have enough budget to provide access to more journals in the future.
Recently I noticed the Annual Reviews started a new section: ~ of Condensed Matter Physics. This year is its first volume, and some articles on the upcoming 2nd volume are now visible online.
Condensed matter physics is not a new concept, and the Materials Research/Science, Fluid Mechanics and Physical Chemistry section of Annual Reviews series have been for a long time quite able to cover almost all theoretical and experimental aspects of the condensed matter research. I guess the necessity in still starting an explicitly cond-mat section is to converge the otherwise partitioned citing rate into one journal, as people today increasingly called their research of a diverse spectrum of fields as “condensed matter science”, in order to be mainstream. The success of the RSC journal Soft Matter is a good example.
In the first volume I found 4 articles very relevant to my interest. The physics of polymer glass by K. Schweizer and coauthors, new rheological techniques for the research of the so-called soft matter, a repeated advocation of the jamming concept by — of course — Liu and Nagel, and the first review I have seen on active materials.
I wonder until now how many institutions have accordingly updated their subscription. I recommended the new journal to the librarian of my university. I also asked a few friends who used to have full access to former AR series but none of them had access to this new journal. I think it is unwise not to set the first volume of a new journal free of charge for Annual Reviews, “a nonprofit scientific publisher”, even though the volume contains a large portion of attractive concepts and authors’ names.
Journal of Rheology is the most important journal in the field of rheology. Until last year my university was one of the journal’s subscriber so I could download its papers freely. Later I had to ask friends in other universities (abroad) for help. Recently I noticed that many friends who had the full text access before cannot download the papers from this journal anymore. Some suspect that their universities have stopped subscribing the journal.
To use the budget carefully, university librarians frequently check the usage rate of the subscribed journals and make modification of the subscription lists to ensure their money is best used. Can it be the cases of the universities in many countries that, under the pressure of economic crisis and the resulted reduction of science and educational budget, there is a vast cancellation of low-usage journals? Rheology is such a small field that even the most important journal of it has an IF less than 3. At least the fact is that getting access to J. Rheol. is much more difficult in these days.