Netflix of Academic Journals?

Ran across this article in the Chronicle of Higher Education. Interesting implications–rented articles can not be downloaded, printed or shared. They do have a free trial–I might have to try it out.

The Netflix of Academic Journals Opens Shop

By opening the largest online rental service for scientific, technical, and research journals, the company Deep Dyve is hoping to do for academic publications what Netflix has done for movies: make them easily accessible and inexpensive for everyone.

The Web site has been an academic-journal search engine since 2005 and unveiled its rental program this week. Now anyone can “rent” an article—which means you can view it on your computer without ownership rights or printing capabilities—for as little as 99 cents for 24 hours. Users can also subscribe for monthly passes. Currently the site has 30 million articles from various peer-reviewed journals.

William Park, chief executive of Deep Dyve, says the model will not only allow more people to read articles they might otherwise not see, but will actually encourage users to purchase more content from journals. He says that now, only about 0.2 percent of people visiting journal Web sites go on to buy articles, because they don’t know exactly what they are getting from just a title and an abstract.

“Nobody would buy a car without at least evaluating it first,” Mr. Park says. “The same is true for anything, whether it’s a dollar or $10,000.”

Mr. Park says that Deep Dyve has revenue-sharing partnerships with hundreds of publications (about 80 percent of which are scientific) and hopes to expand to more of the humanities within the coming months.