As of March 31, 2008, ScienceDirect will no longer offer free online access to print subscribers through what is known as Web Editions. We have only a handful of these print + online subscriptions; most of our ScienceDirect titles are part of the Freedom Collection and are unaffected.
We will either switch to online-only access (depending on the cost) or keep the print subscription. We haven’t been keeping our print copies because of the online access. If we switch to online-only, we’ll have access to the backlog; if we stay with a print subscription, we’ll have a gap in our holdings for these titles.
Update 7/6/07: The Association of Subscription Agents issued a press release today:
The decision by Elsevier earlier this year to withdraw their Web editions for the 2008 subscription year is causing some confusion in the marketplace when it comes to determining a replacement service for single subscriptions to Elsevier journals…. The situation is not helped by the fact that Elsevier’s policy is that they will not, in general, deal with subscription agents for any electronic journal service…. Whilst it is entirely up to Elsevier to decide how and to whom they sell their products, the ASA believes that this model is not helpful to either libraries or agents…
The final paragraph (with my emphasis):
The ASA therefore feels this needs to be brought to the attention of the library community so that agents and librarians can work together to make the best of what is now a difficult renewal period for Elsevier subscriptions. We also believe that the difficulties faced by libraries in renewing their single title Elsevier subscriptions should be communicated both directly to Elsevier and also to their subscription agent. In this way Elsevier may be left in no doubt of the difficulties this policy is causing and consider revising their policy on web editions to enable single subscription combinations with a site licence as well as the other options on offer; and of course for libraries to choose their means of acquisition using an agent if they so wish.
Make some noise! I’ll link to the full press release if they post it on their website.