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Reed's Rx: Convert Pricey Print Medical Journals to Free Ones Online

ReedPublisher Reed Elsevier recently decided to offer free online access to the contents of several pricey medical journals.  Risky?  Perhaps, but it doesn't seem like a bad idea to me.

This excerpt shows one important reason why this move makes sense:

In just the last two years, the number of visits by physicians to online medical journals increased 27 percent, while readers of the printed versions declined 14 percent, according to Manhattan Research, a health care market research firm.

Ouch.  How long could Reed possibly sit on the sidelines and wish this whole free access model would go away?  I applaud the fact that they're working to leverage their existing brand(s) online and compete against the world.  Plus, I wish I had access to the deep pockets their potential advertiser base consists of; if pharmaceutical companies will spend millions in the hopes that you and I will ask our doctor for a particular drug, imagine how much they'll be willing to pay to appear alongside professionally vetted journal articles aimed at your doctor...

Comments

Ben

Great example of how the publishing industry is changing. I think the free access model will bring in more doctors, particularly ones in smaller practices, however, the biggest feature is the ability to keep up with the latest/best practices in the field and provide better care for their patients provided through better search of articles. A physician can find the latest articles on a subject with a quick "web" search rather than combing through print journals looking information on a diagnosis, treatment or procedure.

I applaud Reed for recognizing a trend in their industry and having the strength of leadership to change their organization to meet the changing needs of their customers.

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