Tuesday, August 21, 2012

PL 34/12: How to market library indicators

Filed under: IFLA, iflastat — plinius @ 1:56 pm

Librarians, teachers and researchers who need ISO standard 11620 – on library performance indicators –  in their work, have a range of economic choices.

You can buy the paper version for USD 294 in the US. At the current rate (WolframAlpha) this is about 236 euro. Or you can go for the PDF at

  • 204 UKP in Great Britain – 258 euro
  • 2110 SEK in Sweden – 255
  • USD 235 in the United States – 189
  • 711 DKK (+ VAT) in Denmark – 95  (excl. VAT)
  • 112 Swiss francs from ISO – 93
  • 105 Lt in Lithuania(n) – 30

If you think that is a bit expensive for less than 100 pages, you can download the PDF for 4 euro from Scribd – or read the whole document for free on the Scribd website.


USD 5 provides one day of “free” downloads from Scribd.



It was the case (at least a couple years ago) that US government agencies would assert rights of free publication for work done in committees whose members were government employees, i.e. when the work was funded in part by tax dollars. In that case the committees or perhaps the agencies would leave a final draft on their web page.

Of course the final “official” version will be the one published by ISO, with the ISO copyright, but as you point out the FDIS is usually just as good.

Note that the business model of selling standards may be changing.

In January 2007 ITU-T announced that their Recommendations would be available free of charge for a trial period. They said “There is a general belief that the strategic importance of making on-line access to ITU-T Recommendations free outweighs the costs (in terms of lost revenue) to ITU. This is seen as a way to increase the transparency of ITU-T work and encourage wider participation in ITU-T activities. It is also believed that this policy will help increase developing countries’ awareness of pertinent issues and help to promote the participation of academia in ITU-T work.”

In short, ITU-T is admitting that the practice of charging for access to the recommendations developed by the organization is an obstacle to participation in and adoption of their work.



1 Comment »

  1. […] PL 34/12: How to market library indicators. Strange variations in the price of ISO documents […]

    Pingback by P 51/12: Blogging i august « Plinius — Sunday, August 26, 2012 @ 11:28 am

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