- 02 Temmuz 2022, Cumartesi 11:21
The digital resources available to users have increased steadily in recent years: bibliographic databases, press, reports, journals, historical collections, various open access content, and more recently electronic books, etc.
Libraries and documentation centers now devote a large part of their budget to the acquisition of these resources, especially in the university context.
For example, the Paris library has devoted half of its budget to electronic resources since 2003. The situation is the same in European and American business schools. Whereas, this budget represented only 15% ten years ago.
Various methods of group purchase of paid content, but at the same time, the growth of the offer of free access content, the weight of search engines in the search for information, the increasing demand for simplicity, the fragmentation of local signs characterize the documentary environment.
In such a context, addressing the issue of electronic subscription requires mentioning some fundamental developments in the Internet economy.
Digital does not only lead to the transfer of an old mode of purchase, but also contains different economic rationales for content.
More generally, it is this economy of the internet that the documentary field is facing today: the economy of free access, the economy of attention, the renegotiated values of information agents, multiple versions of products, and so on.
The digital content offering is determined by alliance strategies and diversification of activities. The repositioning of players has no effect on the specifics of the offer available to information specialists today.
In all areas, concentration has increased in recent years with increasing mergers and acquisitions between content and container players. This is mainly reflected in a certain instability of the offer, especially at the level of addressees and content platforms.
The moves don't exactly make sense. The human sciences, which are subject to less commercial appetite than certain industries such as medicine, have also experienced concentration moves.
The globalization of the economy, investments in digital broadcasting, and the search for economies of scale contribute to explaining these concentrations.
On the side of public actors, we are witnessing a certain pooling in parallel. This led to the emergence of combinatorial operators for the humanities and social sciences.
The volumes that some platforms are able to distribute today often lead to simplifying documentary research. In this case, the user is limited to one or two platform experts.
Another example of concentration concerns major international subscription agents. Within a few years, only two of the five major agencies that existed in 1999 remained.
In addition, services have been widely diversified. It has more recently positioned itself in the e-book market, significantly increasing its effectiveness as an international content aggregator with its offering. Therefore, concentration of actors is also synonymous with diversification of activities.
Concentration of Access Points
Obviously, the abundance of resources causes information overload and disorientation of the user who demands simplified, efficient and qualified access routes.
The attention economy is now at the center of a bidding strategy: how can we get the internet user's attention to sign up? Is it located on the few access points it wants to remember?
Competition is strong, there is clear disparity among potential players. General search engines get a rare attention in media history, and Google in particular: 85% of requests will go through this engine.
And their diversification now extends that catch to more specialized segments like print (Google News), books (Google Book Search), scientific literature (Google Scholar).
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All these services eventually come together and strengthen an overall image. The container industry seems to resolutely prioritize the content industry.
In terms of financing, let's compare, for example, the last public subsidy of €99 million for a motor with €15 to €20 million allocated to the purchase of electronic resources for all university libraries or the budget of universities.
These resources for municipal libraries would require around one million euros. This ratio seems somewhat disproportionate.
Could there be a place for the access portal next to Google?
The latter remains the first gateway in most cases. But to be defined as a more specific portal, you need to rank well on the first page of Google.
This competitive environment is also very stimulating. The last decade has witnessed the development of a large number of portal initiatives.
Local and national library portals, disciplinary gateways, publishing sites tor's and aggregators are advocating for their rights. Interest is developing a critical audience, often through alliances or partnerships that provide a wider audience and greater visibility.