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Outraged by SpringerLink

Sometimes I get frustrated seeing things not driven by the market. This is not because this is not the way I want. This is because this is just plain inefficient. Here is one example.

Often search for some math papers leads to SpringerLink. This is a great resource, if your institution pays for access. If you are an individual, well, I would say you are out of luck. But this is what at SpringerLink frustrated me the most. They offer you to get access to books. They sell books by chapters; each chapter is $25 regardless of content, subject, or volume of that chapter (It’s like selling books in pounds). If you want to get access to the entire book, you would still need to buy it chapter by chapter. I decided to check how much a five chapter book on differential equations would cost, say at Amazon.com. A 222-pages paperback book costs $43. If you try to read it online at SpringerLink, it would cost you $125. What Springer, the owner of SpringerLink, is thinking? Or rather, are they able think at all? Who would buy books that expensive, who would buy, for example, a 6-page article for $34? By offering books at such outrageous prices with such a blunt pricing method Springer loses big time. Springer just needs to understand, it hurts itself more than its potential customers.

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