I didn’t make it to ALA Midwinter in Boston (broken ankle) but I have heard all sorts of Rumors about an Announcement that was made by Ebsco at the Luncheon during ALA about Ebsco securing the exclusive full text rights to several of the more popular journals. A press release has not yet been issued but I did learn the following from a telephone conversation with an Ebsco official.
1) There is an exclusive fulltext agreement. It is with Time Inc and includes their journals only (Time, Sports Illustrated, Fortune, etc. — the person I talked with did not have a full list of the titles).
2) Time, Inc. sent out an RFP and asked for bids. Ebsco had the winning bid.
3) The contracts were just signed and a press release is in the works.
4) Based on the contracts, apparently the agreement is generally for five years and covers the fulltext archive of Time, Inc. titles back to their beginning.
5) Other aggregators can index the titles, but the fulltext of them will only be available via Ebsco.
6) A press release is forthcoming and will be posted here when it is available. In the meantime, ATG plans to interview an Ebsco person online shortly.
As we all know, with aggregated databases pushing out fulltext content online, many publishers are pulling their content to remain financially viable. Is this a trend? Probably. Will it increase? Probably. Will this cause prices of Ebsco databases like Academic Source Premier to rise? Hopefully not. But watch for our interview soon we hope.
My second post will be an open letter to the library community about this issue written by John Barnes, Executive Vice President of Gale, part of Cengage Learning.