Earlier this year we reported on the startup of e-psyche, a new enterprise launched by a pair of information industry pioneers to compete with PsycINFO. [See Tom Hogan's February 21, 2000 NewsBreak.] Dennis Auld, former head of the PsycINFO unit of the American Psychological Association, and John Kuranz, who founded Management Contents in the 1970s, joined forces to launch e-psyche and to investigate other content areas where, according to Kuranz, "dominant players have fallen asleep at the wheel."
During the past 6 months, the company has been busy building the e-psyche database, which abstracts and indexes some 4,000 journals in the field of psychology, and investigating distribution opportunities. e-psyche has now announced that it will be available through two distribution partners, EBSCO and Cambridge Scientific Abstracts (CSA), and has indicated that a third partner in a non-U.S. location will soon be added to the list. EBSCO and CSA both have strong positions in the academic and institutional library markets.
"We are calling these arrangements ‘partnerships' because of the degree to which we will be coordinating our efforts and supporting one another," said e-psyche president Kuranz. "For example, we are committed to a program of training the CSA and EBSCO sales forces as well as actually going on customer visits to help close sales. Both companies have told us that they welcome this support, which they say they haven't gotten from very many database producers in the past."
As we reported earlier, e-psyche will be offered to institutions on a subscription-only basis, and the subscription price will be determined by the number of students and faculty the institution has—the so-called full-time equivalent (FTE) pricing method. "We have a fixed annual FTE price which we charge the distributor, who in turn determines the final price to the customer," Kuranz explained. "But in some cases a prospective customer, such as a large university system, has its own technology platform that is capable of loading the e-psyche database without the help of a distributor. Sometimes these large buyers will go directly to a database producer looking for cheaper prices. Although we may find it necessary to sell direct to the customer because they are not using one of our distributors' platforms, we are guaranteeing our distributors that we will not under-price them."
Tim Collins, president of EBSCO Publishing, said that e-psyche fits into his company's strategy of positioning EBSCOhost as a provider of key secondary databases. "By linking many of the abstracts in the e-psyche database to the full text of articles in our own databases, we can add value in the information supply chain. We also believe our customers will react very favorably to the breadth of coverage in psychology that e-psyche brings to the table."
Similarly, Matt Dunie, president of CSA, is especially pleased with how e-psyche fits in with two of his company's key databases, Sociological Abstracts and Social Services Abstracts. "We think e-psyche's extensive coverage of the field of psychology is a perfect complement to our coverage of sociology and social work."
Both CSA and EBSCO will be offering a significant amount of free introductory usage on the e-psyche database. "We want the user to fully experience the value of our broad coverage, linking, and citation indexing," said Kuranz. "Basically, we're the new database on the block, and we need to have our product in front of the user."
For more information on e-psyche, visit its Web site at http://www.e-psyche.net, or call 505/998-0716.