ReadCube: A Viable Alternative?

Manav put me in the way of a company that’s doing interesting-looking licensing structures for scholarly journals. ReadCube started as a method for organizing articles in the sciences but has grown into a way for libraries to manage demand driven payments for content beyond their collection.

ReadCube is backed by Macmillan Publishers and currently lists 95 journals, primarily in the sciences. The setup seems similar to ebook DDA programs in that libraries select which journals they would like to include in their profile and then set purchasing preferences (which include per view, cloud purchase, and download options).

Because of the size of the collections, at this point ReadCube would only work as a supplement to subscription packages and interlibrary loan. It might be difficult for the company to compete with more comprehensive per-view purchasing strategies like the CCC’s Get it Now!, though their science specialization may give them a leg up if they focus on convincing mega package STEM publishers of the benefits of patron driven purchases.