Stop Printing: Some Conclusions

Greg Tananbaum drawed the following conclusions from the lis-medical debate about Stop Printing:

  1. That many, but not all, institutions prefer the electronic medium to its print counterpart.
  2. That scholars across generations generally share this preference.
  3. That both of these preferences are trending more and more toward electronic over time.
  4. That a number of compelling reasons exist to keep the printing press from dry dock, including the plight of the non-affiliated reader, the need/desire of publishers to recognize a print ad revenue stream, and a desire to test the long-term viability of e-archiving solutions like Portico and LOCKSS.

And Rick Anderson added:

During the print era, we all thought of ourselves as more-or-less permanent repositories of the information we selected. But we paid for permanence with breadth — we could afford to house our journals permanently, but we couldn’t afford to buy everything our patrons needed. Today we can flip that model: online access makes it possible for us to provide much more of the content our patrons want, but (in many cases) not to do so in a reliably permanent way. This means we have to ask ourselves a serious question: to what degree is permanence of access more important than breadth of coverage? I think the right answer will vary depending on the library.