Fees for services

Peter Rauch peterr at VIOLET.BERKELEY.EDU
Fri Apr 21 15:32:32 CDT 1995

Recently, Ron Cole asked about fees for services; earlier (in Feb?),
Lynn Kimsey also asked, and mentioned that for his institution, he would
be required to charge fees that are within the ranges of fees charged
by others.

I wonder whether this is pioneering ground, at least with respect to
biological systematics? I know that fees of some sort or another have
been around for years, but aren't most of those fees, where they do exist,
set up more as "nuisance fees", set up to ward off too-frequent inquiries
by those with mostly idle curiosity or for personal educational value only.

The more serious medical and agricultural biosystematics services
have fee schedules sometimes also. These are obviously not nuisance calls,
but are the fees, again --when they are even charged, carefully thought
out with regard to what costs exactly they are supposed to be recovering?

I would be wary of any internal requirement from my institution to "tow
the line" with regard to fees. I would argue that there is very little
solid basis presented for existing fee structures, that they are weak
on rationale (with respect to level of fee, at least, if not for purpose),
and that they are generally set at levels so low as to make a mockery of
the true marginal cost of the work done by biosystematists to provide
determination services, that the demand of the past decade or so put upon
biosystematists is "new stuff" that deserves a fresh look with respect
to fees/recharges/support/etc. (If there are some _solid_ rationales out
there for traditional fee levels, they weren't readily discernible in
the responses to several earlier inquiries on both Taxacom and on

But, then again, maybe the biosystematist community is twenty years too
late. What with the imminent demise of the Endangered Species Act, and
apparently no more need for Environmental Impact Assessments, perhaps the
market mega-demand for these services in now on the wane...... ;>)  or  :+{

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