Index Kewensis

Kent Perkins kperkins at FLMNH.UFL.EDU
Mon Dec 22 10:42:22 CST 1997

Mary Barkworth of UTC wrote at 01:27 PM 12/20/97 -0700:
>Is this the downside of technology, or are we being asked to pay more for
>convenience that was not available before technology?  It is a lot more,
>and UTC cannot afford the upgrade, but consider the amount of work that
>goes into developing the Index Kewensis, and the resources that are
>required to develop it.

I agree, a tremendous effort is involved in putting together Index Kewensis
and Kew gets my respect for managing it.  The initial offering price of
$1500 actually seemed quite fair to me, considering the volumes and years
of work involved.

Mary Barkworth wrote:
>And how much for upgrades?  We have the first CD-ROM edition (it came out
in the
>last year that the department had surplus money at the end of the fiscal
>I would have swallowed a $200 upgrade cost, perhaps $500, but that is my
>given the budget at UTC

Exactly, $200 or even $300 would be quite reasonable for an upgrade.

Don Kirkup of Kew wrote at 11:48 AM 12/22/97 -0000:
>In Kew's defense, my understanding is that the contractual obligations IK
>has with the publishers effectively prevents wider dissemination of the
>database and a very large element in the cost of the CD, is the licence for
>the database retrieval engine, not for the data.

You would think that we already paid for the software license with the
initial outlay of $1500 and that the upgrade would be for the new
information.  Since the printed volume is $140, factoring in a slight
added-value increase for the license again would lead us to a reasonable
upgrade price of $200, $300 at the outside.

Of course one can not guess at all of the intricacies involved in the
contract between Kew,  Oxford Press and the software vendor.

>This situation may change since the contract with the publishers is due for
>re-negotiation soon. In addition, Index Kewensis is working on a pilot
>project together with The Grey Card Index and the Australian Plant Name
>Index. The idea is to pool resources to produce a single 'Plant Names
>Database' will be made available over the web.

This is wonderful news and another reason not to buy the CD.  If you make
this available over the Web by subscription, I do hope you will carefully
consider where you set the annual fee.

|Kent D. Perkins                  |Ph: 352-392-1767 /SUNCOM 622-1767 |
|Mgr. of the Collections (FLAS)   |FAX: 352-846-2016                 |
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