From the June 2 issue of the Chronicle of Higher Education:
Today the National Academies Press announced it would offer its entire PDF catalog of books for free, as files that can be downloaded by anyone. The press is the publishing arm of the National Academies of Sciences and Engineering, the Institute of Medicine, and the National Research Council, and publishes books and reports that scientists, educators, and policy makers rely on.Posted by stemp003 at June 22, 2011 11:50 AM
"Eight years ago, if we did this, we would have lost substantial amounts of money," [Barbara Kline Pope, executive director for the press] says. "But our costs have come down a lot, and our institution says they will stand behind us even if we do lose money." The operating costs of the press are lower, she said, because it jettisoned its own printing and fulfillment operations (they are now outsourced) and cut staff from about 70 people down to about 40. It also no longer prints catalogs but does all its marketing over the Internet. "So now we can afford to do this," she says. "Of course, we still need to sell some hardcover books."